The Silence of the Quandts part 3/7




Uploaded by originalrhombus on 04.09.2011

Transcript:
The marriage takes place on 19. December, 1931,
at Guenther Quandt's summer residence, Gut Severin.
There, the Goebbels swear eternal loyalty to each other, and to national socialism.
Adolf Hitler is best man;
he, too, spends the night at Gut Severin,
in Guenther Quandt's bedroom.
The industrialist quickly recognized the opportunities the national socialists could offer him --
not least through the connection to Goebbels via his ex-wife.
The religious ceremony is a carefully staged national socialist family celebration.
Accompanying the bride and groom: the ten-year-old Harald Quandt.
Goebbels adopts the blonde Harald as his own.
His Aryan features make him a poster child for the Nazi elite.
He grows up surrounded by the Goebbels ever growing number of children.
His relationship with his biological father goes into decline.
In response, Guenther Quandt grooms his eldest son, Herbert, to be his successor.
Ruediger Jungbluth: "His son Herbert, who was by this point already at his side,
that is, during the Third Reich,
has even been quoted as saying that he learned more, from a business perspective,
during this time than at any other."
Guenther Quandt appoints his son Herbert to upper management.
AFA's battery production is quickly becoming the Quandt's core business.
But the burgeoning relationship to the Nazi regime is not without problems.
Quandt is detained due to alleged tax evasion.
Goebbels, however, proves a powerful advocate on his behalf.
The Propaganda Minister backs the tycoon before Hermann Goering.
Quandt is released after a few weeks.
Not long afterwards, he presents Hitler his batteries personally.
Ralf Blank: "Guenther Quandt used the SS, he used the NSDAP, he used the party hierarchy,
he used every opportunity to participate in the formation of the 'New European Order',
as the National Socialists conceived it,
and he wanted to be in front."
Quandt rarely sees his youngest son.
By this point, Harald has become a paratrooper.
This rare "home movie" is produced during one of his leaves.
Harald Quandt visits the Goebbels family.
His relationship with his beloved stepsisters and his mother Magda is closer than that with his own father.
In 1944, Harald Quandt fights at Monte Cassino.
The young lieutenant has no idea what tragedy will soon befall the Goebbels family.
He receives the news upon being captured by the British.
Mother and stepfather have killed all six children, then themselves, in the Führerbunker.
Ariane Sheppard: "It wasn't simply the death of the family. It was a crime. She committed a crime.
Magda. And Goebbels too."
This makes Harald Quandt the only surviving member of the Goebbels family.
He is never able to get over his mother's fanaticism and her ultimate act of murder.
Ariane Sheppard: "Harald had received a letter from his mother.
'My beloved son, it is time we said goodbye.
The Führer has pinned your Golden Party Badge on me,
I am happy now and can die in peace."
After war's end, Harald returns to his father.
The Allies are looking for the guilty parties to the war and genocide,
and want to "denazify" Germany.
Harald is only dimly aware of what his father Guenther and brother Herbert have done.
Herbert, but especially Guenther, is in the sights of investigators.
Guenther Quandt, once a Nazi profiteer, now insists he is innocent.
And not simply innocent. In a letter to the investigating authorities,
he claims he was persecuted, a victim.
A lie.
And yet, his innocence is certified: officially, he had nothing to do with Nazi war crimes.
Ruediger Jungbluth: "Guenther Quandt was classified as a 'Fellow Traveller'.
One of the greatest military contractors in the Third Reich,
he was just a 'Fellow Traveller'.
That is absurd.
He was not even classified as a Class II incriminated profiteer,
Even though he was, without a doubt, an incriminated profiteer.
With Quandt's exoneration, questions about his involvement with the Nazi regime fade.
Guenther Quandt dies in 1954.
Yet even after his death, the true source of parts of his fortune remain obscure.
This is not simply due to the dogged silence of the family.
Documents proving a connection between the Quandts and the NSDAPs regime of terror lie scattered,
and often without context,
in archives around the world.
Others can no longer be found,
though isolated citations hint that they exist.
And yet, in numerous archives, we strike pay dirt.
We find documents proving close cooperation between the Quandts and the Nazi regime.
They show how the Quandts' conglomerate played a key role in the German armaments industry.
Guenther and Herbert Quandt were not only among the most powerful,
but also among the most influential men in NS industry.
Quandt runs his business empire from his office in Berlin, on the Askanischer Platz.
Beginning in 1933, the entrepreneur seeks out the company of the new rulers.
He starts with a large donation, and continues shortly thereafter by joining the NSDAP.
Quandt's "Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabrik" (German Armaments and Ammunition Factory)
becomes an engine for Hitler's remilitarization.
The Nazi state returns the favour.
In 1937, Quandt is named "Wehrwirtsschaftsführer" ("war industries leader")
as are Alfred Krupp and Friedrich Flick.
His new position guarantees him preferential access to the party leadership and to the military.
He can now sell weapons directly to the highest levels of power.
NSDAP managers and security units permeate every aspect of the working environment at DWM.
Including that of the thousands of forced labourers who must toil here.
Hans-Oskar Baron Loewenstein de Witt: "It was especially bad at the DWM.
In Jewish circles, it had a reputation for being one of the most horrible forced labour posts, and not for nothing.
We had to stamp ammunition in rooms totally contaminated with acid vapours.
They used sulfuric acid to etch ammunition in the same rooms where our stamping machines stood.
We were the only ones, as far as I know, who were marked as Jews,
long before anybody was badged with a Star of David in the city.
No other company did that.
The Reichsbahn didn't do that, Siemens didn't do that, nobody did that.