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German media giant Bertelsmann has admitted it lied about its Nazi past and that it made big profits during Adolf Hitler's reign in Germany using Jewish slave labour.
A commission set up by the firm found Bertelsmann rode the rise of the Nazi party to restructure itself from a religious and school book publisher to supply millions of anti-Semitic texts.
"Bertelsmann published a variety of papers and books that clearly had anti-Jewish bias," Independent Historical Commission (IHC) Chairman Saul Friedlaender, an Israeli historian, told a news conference.
The Commission found that Bertelsmann made "indirect" use of Jewish slave labour in Latvia, and Lithuania but not at its German headquarters.
The then head of the company, Heinrich Mohn, also made donations to the SS, Hitler's special forces and concentration camp guards.
"True, he never joined the Nazi party, but his membership in the SS patrons' group signalled his readiness for a political arrangement," the report said.
Mohn's reputation was that of the model German postwar democratic capitalist and philanthropist: he established a profit-sharing scheme for employees that earned him the nickname "Red Mohn", and often lunched in the cafeteria with his staff.