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Porsche, BMW and other famous German brands must come to terms with their past

A new book urges companies to square with their past in order to move forward with their future

Cars being transported by rail at the production site of German carmaker Volkswagen in Emden in northern Germany last week. PHOTO: AFP
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On Feb 20, 1933 at 6pm, about two dozen of Nazi Germany's wealthiest and most influential businessmen arrived, on foot or by chauffeured car, to attend a meeting at the official residence of Reichstag president Hermann Goring in the heart of Berlin's government and business district.

The attendees included Gunther Quandt, a textile producer-turned-arms and battery tycoon; Friedrich Flick, a steel magnate; Baron August von Finck, a Bavarian finance mogul; Kurt Schmitt, chief executive of insurance behemoth Allianz; executives from chemicals conglomerate IG Farben and potash giant Wintershall; and Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, chairman through marriage of the Krupp steel empire.

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