Krispy Kreme Doughnuts storefront
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts storefrontiStock

The Reimann family, which owns well-known food brands such as Krispy Kreme and Panera Bread, on Thursday announced a multi-million dollar charity donation after an investigation revealed that their Nazi ancestors used slave labor during World War II, CNN reported.

The family, which owns a controlling stake in JAB Holdings, announced it would be donating more than $5.5 million to Claims Conference, an organization that provides compensation payments to Holocaust survivors.

The donation will be administrated through the Reimann family's new Alfred Landecker Foundation over the next three years. The organization said the money is a "significant step" for them as it begins to provide financial and humanitarian assistance for Holocaust survivors.

The Reimann family said they discovered in March that family members had strong anti-Semitic ties following a three-year investigation. A family spokesperson said Albert Reimann Sr., who died in 1954, and Albert Reimann Jr., who died in 1984, used Russian civilian prisoners and French prisoners of war as forced labor in their factories during World War II and that they were anti-Semites and avowed supporters of Adolf Hitler.

A plant run by Reimann Jr. used 200 civilians as forced laborers in 1942, the investigation found.

The investigation also found that Reimann Sr. donated to Hitler's paramilitary SS force as early as 1931. Investigators also found a letter from Reimann Jr. to a local mayor complaining that the French prisoners of war weren't working hard enough and should be in prison.

The family previously said the crimes were "disgusting" and are "nothing to gloss over."

Thursday's donation, according to CNN, is part of a larger $11 million commitment the family plans to donate to Holocaust survivors. Landecker was killed by Nazis and was linked to the Reimann family, it said in a press release.