In 1945, Harald Quandt, 23, a German Luftwaffe officer captured by the Allies received a farewell letter from his mother Magda Goebbels, the wife of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. The letter was to inform him that weeks earlier his mother and her husband along with their six children has committed suicide by cyanide capsule in Adolf Hitler’s bunker in Berlin. In 1947 Quandt was released and seven years later, he and his half brother Herbert inherited their father’s, Guenther Quandt, industrial empire that made Mauser firearms and anti-aircraft missiles for Hitler. Among the assets acquired by the brothers the most valuable were the stake in car manufacturer Daimler AG and then BMW a few years later. The brothers have long since passed away, but the family legacy still endures. Herbert’s widow, Johanna Quandt, 86, and their children Susanne Klatten and Stefan Quandt, have remained in the public eye as BMW’s dominant shareholders. The billionaire daughters of Harald Quandt — Katarina Geller-Herr, 61, Gabriele Quandt, 60, Anette-Angelika May-Thies, 58, and 50-year-old Colleen-Bettina Rosenblat-Mo — have kept a lower profile. The four sister inherited $760 million after their mother died in 1978. The rise of the Quandt family fortunes is paralleled to Germany and Hitler’s Third Reich in the 20th century. Quandt and Magda married in 1921 then divorced in 1929 when two years later she married Joseph Goebbels who served as head of propaganda for the growing Nazi Party. When the Nazis took power in 1933 Adolf Hitler appointed him the propaganda minister in fact Hitler was his best man at his wedding. Guenther Quandt became a member of the party that same year and became the key supplier for the German war effort. In 1937, he earned the title of Wehrwirtschaftsfuehrer, the name given to members of an elite group of businessmen who were deemed beneficial to the production of war materials for the Third Reich. From 1940 to 1945, the Quandt factories were staffed with more than 50,000 forced civilian laborers, prisoners of war and concentration camp workers. After the war, Guenther Quandt served in an internment camp in Mossburg an der Isar for more than year before being judged as a “Mitlaeufer” meaning that he was not formally involved in the regime’s crimes in 1948 with no repercussions to follow. After the report was published in 2011, cousins Gabriele and Stefan Quandt acknowledge their family’s ties and involvement with the Third Reich in an interview with Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper. Sad reality is the family will have to live with what they have done and what their name represents to the German people. They made their riches from violence, corruption and greed.