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Krispy Kreme donuts ownership is confronting its Nazi past

I think many of us know people who won't own a VW or Mercedes-Benz, or even a Ford, because of the histories of those companies, and it's certainly true that many companies with German complicities have never fully acknowledged, let alone made amends, for their past actions.

But it wasn't until recently that I learned that the company that owns many food brands including Panera bread and Krispy Kreme donuts and Pret a Manger and even Einstein's Bagels, called JAB Holding Company, was an early and enthusiastic supporter of Hitler and national socialism, and employed slave labor in their facilities during WWII.

Now the families that have inherited JAB have started a foundation that is doing good work to confront the past and run programs that counter prejudice and hate:

When you're spending your travel dollars and taking in your vacation calories in Europe, do you still give some thought to this issue? Are there businesses that you won't use? How do you resolve your own conflicts over liking a product or service that has a dark past?

Posted by
29683 posts

Is this really a Food and Drink Forum question? It seems that you have framed it much more broadly.

Posted by
14686 posts

avirosemail, Thank you for the history lesson. You can never learn too much. History is a twisted thing. Isn't it.

Posted by
7571 posts

Thanks for reminding me that Krispy Kreme has a second dozen today for $1.00 with purchase of a dozen donuts.

Krispy Kreme has changed ownership a few times over the years because it's not been exactly a profitable business. Right now, it's a public corporation and is listed on the Nasdaq.

We eat them from time to time. But there again there are many companies in this world with dubious pasts.

Posted by
12601 posts

Henry Ford was an admirer and supporter of Adolph Hitler. When Franklin Roosevelt first came up with the idea of building up the military prior to us entering WWII, Ford refused. He only came around once Hitler declared war on the US. Ford still was not keen on helping but realized his business would collapse if he didn't.

The founder of Ikea was a Nazi sympathizer.

The family of the founders of Bonne Maman (French preserves) helped to hide Jews from the Nazis during WWII.

As for traveling, I do think about the country I am visiting or planning to visit. Some countries are off my list completely. Others, I think heavily about before deciding.

As for companies to avoid......yes I don't want my money going to help groups or organizations I don't like. (One of the reasons why I won't buy a Tesla.)

Posted by
3198 posts

I think many of us know people who won't own a VW or Mercedes-Benz, or even a Ford,

Also is this now a thing in the United States? I don't know of anyone back home in Europe who would turn down a Mercedes or a BMW, you see plenty of them driving around in Poland.