In 2016, Germany’s wealthy Reimann family conducted an investigation into their history and were shocked to discover that Nazi heritage existed within the family, which soon became national news. As the biggest investor in JAB Holdings, this was not only a threat to the family’s sensibilities, but it also posed a huge reputational and commercial risk to their companies.
freuds was deployed to give strategic advice to JAB and the family at a time when the family was hugely sensitive and unsure about how to proceed. The advice was simple: speak from the heart and be transparent.
To tell their story compassionately we identified Katrin Bennhold at the New York Times and set up what was a three-day series of interviews with Peter Harf, Chairman of JAB as well as various members of the Reimann family. Going through family archives, the story that emerged was of Alfred Landecker, who was murdered at the hands of the Nazis and was the grandfather of two present day shareholders of the JAB Holding Company. It was in Alfred Landecker’s name that the family set-up a Foundation. Launched by freuds with a €35 million endowment, the foundation works on education, research and awareness-raising projects and also directly supports survivors of the Holocaust.
The Foundation has provided funding and support for the survivors of the holocaust and forced labour. For the Reimann Family, the ongoing campaign has enabled them to take ownership of an incredibly painful family story and create something positive.