Theo Albrecht gibt nach seiner Freilassung eine Pressekonferenz vor seinem Haus

The ALDI Brothers - A German Story

On November 29, 1971, the entrepreneur Theo Albrecht becomes the victim of a kidnapping. The kidnappers demand the highest ransom sum in the Federal Republic of Germany to date. What follows is 17 days of martyrdom. At the time of the kidnapping, it was just ten years ago that the Albrecht brothers had divided the Federal Republic between themselves into North and South. Since then, they have run their businesses separately. For the gripping docudrama "Die ALDI-Brüder" (The ALDI Brothers), director Raymond Ley has made these 17 days of kidnapping the pivotal point of his narrative about one of Germany's most important and at the same time most mysterious entrepreneurial families. In numerous flashbacks to the childhood of the two brothers and the time when they built up their trading empire, the film "The ALDI Brothers" also tells the story of two of the most significant entrepreneurs in the young Federal Republic and thus also a piece of German economic history.

Theo Albrecht (played by Arnd Klawitter) was responsible for ALDI North, Karl (Christoph Bach) for the stores of ALDI South. Frugality has always been the Catholic brothers' recipe for success - both when it came to equipping their stores and their own purchasing. The Albrechts' stores had neither shelves for the items nor sales personnel. This was not a voluntary decision on the part of the two brothers, as Walther Vieth, who opened the first ALDI store as general manager in 1961, explains in the film: "The ALDI principle was born out of necessity. The small stores that the two brothers had built up in the workers' settlements after the war were no longer running. The ALDI discount store really came about as a poor man's store."

With low prices and a narrow assortment, the Albrechts quickly made a million-dollar business and became wealthy men. But by separating their sphere of activity into North and South, the previously inseparable brothers also became competitors: How did this change the relationship within the family? How did the Albrechts differ in their management of the business? And who was more successful? Through many conversations and research, director Ley succeeded for the first time in this film, an authentic character study of the legendary entrepreneur brothers.

  • Director: Raymond Ley
  • Script: Hannah und Raymond Ley, nach einer Vorlage von Mira Thiel
  • Camera: Philipp Kirsamer, Ansgar Krajewski
  • Editing: Florian Drechsler
  • Music: Ralf Hildenbeutel, Steffen Britzke
  • Scene Design: Harald Turzer
  • Costume Design: Heike Hütt
  • Makeup: Heike Ersfeld, Susanne Weiß-Rudat
  • Casting: Mai Seck
  • Production Manager: André Kotte, Lucas Meyer-Hentsche (WDR)
  • Executive Producer: M. Walid Nakschbandi
  • Co-Producer: Alice Brauner
  • Editorial Office: Christiane Hinz (WDR), Marc Brasse (NDR), Silke Schütze (NDR), Gerolf Karwath (SWR)