BMW, business and industry, civilizational compartmenting, historical memory, history and time, Nazi Era, Quandt Family, restoration of reputation
Posted to YouTube April 9, 2013.
For how long should the sins of the fathers be visited on their sons?
It’s a timeless question.
To forestall the reemergence of similar evil, the answer is “forever”; to facilitate the doing of good, perhaps the answer should be “Not one more day.”
When I was a little boy recently moved into a new suburb, the still plain dirt yard of a neighbor’s new house and the clean siding of the same proved a too tempting target for the neighborhood’s eight-year-old mudslingers.
It’s different with kids, of course.
How different adults are from children in their expanded powers, and yet how similar (in history and today) when it comes to a malicious thoughtlessness and “everyone else was doing it.”
Knowing how the Nazis worked as an infernal mafia, one may sympathize with the family business that intended to stay in business through the Nazi Era and now lives with the long hangover from a bad case of “civilizational narcissism” (reference Mobarak Haider’s work on the Taliban for more about that).
To the end of his life, my father who may have possessed a personality formed in the Depression Era and WWII, would not buy major manufactured German anything.
If today is different, it needs to be kept different and the past firmly consigned to the political period between The Great War and the end of the even greater insanity that came to its end for Germany 72 years ago.
Accusation and guilt prove perennial if — or if not — haunting.
http://www.dw.com/en/bmw-dynasty-wants-to-uncover-nazi-ties/a-2814154 – 9/10/2007.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/breaking-the-silence-bmw-s-quandt-family-to-investigate-wealth-amassed-in-third-reich-a-511193-2.html – 10/12/2007.
http://www.dw.com/en/german-industrialist-family-breaks-silence-over-nazi-ties/a-3530701 – 1/8/2008.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2042405/Family-dynasty-BMW-admits-using-50-000-slave-labourers-Nazi-era.html – 9/28/2011.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2786189/Joseph-Goebbels-wife-s-descendants-Germany-s-richest-family-Relatives-Nazi-propagandist-s-stepson-worth-24-5-billion.html – 1/9/2014.
http://www.turtlegarage.com/the-dark-side-of-a-great-company-bmw-and-the-third-reich/ – 6/15/2017.
Related in Literature
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. UK: Faber and Faber, 1954.
Related on BackChannels
https://conflict-backchannels.com/2016/12/27/excerpt-1920s-the-spread-of-hate-russia-germany-laqueur/ – 12/27/2016.