GERMANY: Sippenhaft to You, Rudolf

Even though champagne sales were bubbling higher, especially exports to the U.S. and Japan, no smiles wreathed the face of Otto Henkell Jr., head of Henkell & Co., leading West German champagne house. Otto Henkell was having trouble in the family—Cousin Rudolf again. A West German court ruled that Otto must hire 31-year-old Cousin Rudolf, whose father, Joachim von Ribbentrop, was once a Henkell champagne salesman—and "not our best salesman, either," as Otto often said.

After Joachim von Ribbentrop was hanged as a Nazi war criminal in 1946, his widow Anneliese (nee Henkell) produced a legal compact that Henkell & Co....

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