Allianz will next year publish evidence of its Nazi past. The company provided Hitler with his first minister of economic affairs and insured the SS's buildings at several concentration camps in an effort to win favours from the Nazi regime.
Europe's biggest insurer, which has dominated swathes of Munich since being ousted from its Berlin headquarters by the Russians after the war, will publish independent research into its links with Hitler's National Socialist government in the summer or autumn of next year.
Researchers, lead by prominent liberal historian Professor Gerald Feldman of Berkeley University in the US, have trawled company records and raided archives of the German federal government and the recently opened KGB files in Moscow. They have unearthed a catalogue of links between the insurance company and the Nazis.
The company's director-general Dr Kurt Schmidt resigned from Allianz in 1933 and became a minister in Hitler's cabinet in 1934. But the company's researchers will claim he opposed Hitler's plans to "socialise" the financial services and insurance industry and frustrated the Nazi's attempts to close down the private sector insurance industry.
Schmidt resigned from the cabinet after a heart attack in 1935 and later recovered enough to take the top job at Munich Re.
Researchers have also discovered insurance certificates the company issued covering fire risks at concentration camps such as Dachau. At some camps, Allianz inspectors were allowed to see some of the buildings but not go inside the main barracks. But the company was prepared to write the risks based on a written questionnaire given to the SS officers in charge.
The company claims a mixture of naivety over what was happening behind closed doors and some of its then staff now known to have been Nazi functionaries, contributed to it writing the business. It will also point out that insuring the SS guaranteed further contracts from the government and the company ran the business as a loss leader, making no money from its concentration camp business.
Allianz will demonstrate that it was one of a pool of 20 insurers involved in writing the risk. But Allianz will admit that it was often the lead insurer, taking 9% of the Dachau ticket.
The company has also opened up its shareholder archive which contains documents showing how the Nazis forced Jews to pay for the damage Nazi gangs caused during the pogroms by selling their shares to state-run banks in 1938 and 1939.