Producer
Director
Sebastian Dehnhardt, Manfred Oldenburg
Producer
HDTV 16:9
Genre
Dynasties
Broadcaster
ZDF
Length
1 x 45'
Editor
Year
2014
Deutschlands große Clans:
Die Aldi-Story - Karl und Theo Albrecht

Theo and Karl Albrecht are the most mysterious figures of the Federal Republic. They built a global business empire, amassed a fortune of billions, they became the richest Germans. When Theo Albrecht died in 2010 and his brother Karl in 2014, they had built up a chain with 4300 branches in Germany from a small corner shop they took over from their mother in 1946. The corporation determines the prices of our staple foods; moreover, the brothers have influenced our food culture and shaped our mentality.

But no one knows the Albrechts. They lived completely in hiding until their deaths. For decades they systematically hid. Only two or three blurred pictures existed. The "Aldi Story" gives for the first time a deep insight into the brothers' lives and their character. They grew up in poor circumstances in a working-class district in Essen-Schonnebeck, their mother ran a small corner shop. Mrs Albrecht ran the shop as a sideline to keep the small family afloat. Karl is born in 1920, Theo is born two years later. The two boys vow to escape poverty and take advantage of their opportunity after the war. By chance they discover the Aldi principle: small range of goods at a small price.  This concept will radically change the shopping behaviour of Germans and bring the Albrecht brothers fantastic wealth. They are considered the richest Germans in their lifetime. But the money becomes too much of a burden; Theo is kidnapped in 1971. After this traumatic experience, both brothers withdraw completely, there are no more photos, even in their company only the closest employees know their bosses. The film shows how the two brothers conquered the food market, but also how the company changed the two brothers.  For the first time, the Albrecht family has provided extensive photographic material for this film project. We see the young Albrechts in 1938 and 1939 in the company of their parents and in the Schonnebeck shop, the nucleus of the Aldi empire. Key scenes of their lives are staged through elaborate re-enactments.  Close associates, companions and journalists who spent years researching the brothers' environment provide deep insights into the lives of Karl and Theo Albrecht and the empire they created.

More films