The first reviews of the book “Nazi Billionaires” by the Dutch journalist David de Jong have appeared in the world’s media. He described the stories of five German wealthy families behind powerful concerns that earned billions by collaborating with the Nazis. Among them were BMW, Porsche and Dr. Oetker.
David de Jong’s book tells the story of the richest German business dynasties amassing shady money and power thanks to their participation in the crimes of the Third Reich. Using hitherto untapped sources, de Jong shows how German financial magnates took over Jewish companies, their efforts to obtain slave labor, and the intensification of weapons production for the needs of the Nazi army during World War II. On April 26, the book will be published in Polish translation.
“A dark past they try to hide at all costs”
“In this meticulously crafted book, de Jong forces us to confront the current legacy of Nazi ties,” the Wall Street Journal reviewed. The American newspaper notes that “the lucrative legacy of collusion with Hitler lives on in the vast fortunes of five German dynasties.”
“Volkswagen, Porsche and BMW are among the most respected and respected car brands in the world. However, these three giants of the German automotive industry have a dark past that they try to hide at all costs,” wrote the Spanish daily “El Mundo”.
“Fascinating details and engaging style make ‘Nazi Billionaires’ a powerful book, revealing to a wide audience an important aspect of the German discussion” – assessed the British weekly “The Spectator”. “After reading this book, you will never drive a Volkswagen again, you will not insure your home at Allianz or reach for Dr. Oetker in the supermarket without nausea or anxiety,” wrote the British daily “The Daily Telegraph”.
Patrick Radden Keefe, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and author of the best-selling Empire of Pain, wrote that de Jong draws on a vast wealth of historical evidence to tell a gripping and irritating story of complicity, cover-up and denial, and uncovers heinous crimes war stories behind some of today’s most lauded brands.
“German magnates brutally exploited the suffering of Jews for personal gain”
“Sometimes I felt like I was reading an anti-Schindler’s List: instead of secretly helping Jews, Germany’s most powerful magnates brutally exploited their suffering for personal gain,” wrote fellow American journalist Bradley Hope.
The French daily Les Echos notes that the Dutchman’s work is a reminder that Germany is the fourth country with the most billionaires in the world, behind IndiaUnited States and China. “With a strong tradition of discretion,” the newspaper noted.
“Walking my dog, I often pass a battered Volkswagen Beetle. It used to be a pleasant sight, but then I read David de Jong’s book and now I have to resist the temptation to smash the side mirror every time I pass this damn thing,” he wrote in a review in the Israeli Daily “Haaretz” by Adrian Hennigan.
“A detailed, convincing and chilling account of a dynasty of Nazi billionaires built on Jewish blood,” writes the Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post.
Extensive reviews of the book were also published by leading German dailies, including “Die Tageszeitung” and “Handelsblatt”. “What went wrong was the process of denazification,” assessed the German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung in a review of “Nazi Billionaires”.
Main photo source: Bundesarchiv