Family businessman: screw billionaire Würth writes an appeal against the AfD to employees

This article is adapted from the business magazine Capital and is available here for ten days.

Family businessman: screw billionaire Würth writes an appeal against the AfD to employees

This article is adapted from the business magazine Capital and is available here for ten days. Afterwards it will only be available to read at www.capital.de. Like stern, Capital belongs to RTL Deutschland.

For decades, the rule in the Hohenlohe screw empire was that the Würth company remained neutral on political issues and did not make any election recommendations. Now Patriarch Reinhold Würth himself has broken this iron law - and wants to convince his 27,000 employees in Germany not to vote for the AfD with a five-page letter.

The letter, which Würth himself describes as “extraordinary news,” is available to Capital. “Just to have a bit of fun and vote for the AfD out of displeasure with the traffic light government is simply not enough,” writes the 88-year-old entrepreneur from Künzelsau. He joins the millions of people who recently took to the streets to protest for democracy.

Würth describes parallels to the end of the Weimar Republic, which many are currently drawing with regard to the influx to the AfD, as “absolute nonsense”. At that time, the Germans were in a "dire emergency situation" due to hyperinflation and "huge unemployment," he writes - and in the following paragraphs he makes it clear how well, in his opinion, people in Germany are doing: Nobody has to go hungry or freeze Citizens could "live a more established, more liberal life", spend billions on vacation trips, benefit from a good health system and have shorter working hours than in many other countries. Maybe, the entrepreneur asks, the country is simply doing too well?

"We have such freedom," writes the entrepreneur: "Everyone can say 'Chancellor Scholz is a fool'" - and not go to prison for it. Although the traffic light government is running around like a hen in many parts, it is still bringing in one or two positive laws. He himself has great respect for Chancellor Olaf Scholz "because he does not release the Taurus cruise missiles from Germany." “I appeal to every citizen and also to you, dear employees, to consider who you will vote for in the various elections,” the letter continues.

With his clear words, Würth joins a whole series of managers and entrepreneurs who have recently taken a position against right-wing extremism, including VW and Porsche boss Oliver Blume, SAP CEO Christian Klein and Weleda boss Tina Müller. Previously, the great silence from the business community had been repeatedly criticized in view of the rise of the AfD and right-wing extremist positions.

It is no coincidence that Würth chose the form of a letter for his appeal: the entrepreneur is a passionate letter writer and regularly writes to his employees, but also to his family. His letters are respected and feared in the company and in the family. He had already revealed to Capital that he numbers his letters in a three-generation interview in 2022. “The standard is the letter, that’s my tradition,” said Würth. At that time he said he had received 189,000 letters; the anti-AfD letter now has the number 192,542.

Normally, the patriarch's letters are not about big politics. Strategic questions are often an issue, and sometimes banalities too - for example, rooms in a representative office that are not ventilated or broken soap dispensers. “That is inappropriate for our house and then gives a letter,” said Würth in the Capital interview. The Würth employees are used to receiving mail from the boss, who joined his father's two-man business in 1949, turned it into a billion-dollar company and now heads the foundation's supervisory board.

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