Herbert Quandt

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Herbert Werner Quandt (22 June 1910 – 2 June 1982), was a German industrialist who is regarded as having saved BMW when it was at the point of bankruptcy and made huge profit in doing so.

Early life

Herbert Quandt was born in Pritzwalk, the second son of Günther Quandt (1881–1954) and Antonie ‘Toni’ Quandt (née Ewald). Antonie died of the Spanish flu in 1918.

The Quandts are descendents of a Dutch rope-making family who had settled in Wittstock and Pritzwalk, between Berlin and Schwerin, in the 18th century. Günther's father, Emil Quandt, married the daughter of a rich textile manufacturer and took charge of the company in 1883. During World War I, with Günther in charge, the Quandts supplied the German army with uniforms, building up a larger fortune that Günther would use after the war to acquire Accumulatorenfabrik AG (AFA), a battery manufacturer in Hagen; a potash mine; and metal fabricators including IWKA in 1928).

Herbert was afflicted with a retinal disease that left scars, and he was nearly blind from the age of nine. Consequently he had to be educated at home. After extensive training at the family's companies at home and abroad, Herbert Quandt became a member of the executive board of AFA, later VARTA AG, in 1940. Forced labour was used at many of the Quandt factories during the World War II and conditions were brutal. Herbert was the director of Pertrix GmbH, a Berlin-based subsidiary of AFA. The company used female...
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