German Dynasties – The Ottos

In 1949, Werner Otto left behind a bankrupt company to start a new mail order business. He had three employees, the first catalog was bound by hand, and it offered customers a selection of 28 pairs of shoes. In the next 10 years, “Otto” moved from its humble beginnings to become one of the leading German mail order companies. Today, “Otto“ is an international company with sales in the billions. It is the number one online retailer for fashion and lifestyle in the world. The family is one of the richest in the entire world, but the Ottos are rarely in the public eye. Even when they act as sponsors and patrons, they usually remain in the background. Who are the people behind the company name? Two of the sons have joined and are executives of the company, but the other three have made their professions in the arts and media. Few people even know that they belong to the Ottos. “The Ottos“ – a family history without hatred or intrigue. A success story from post-war Germany.

Broadcast date:7. Mai 2012 23:30 Uhr in der ARD
Written and directed by:Dagmar Wittmers
Editorial advisor:Silvia Gutmann (NDR)
Production:Ulrike Römhild
Line producer:Anke Meyer
Producer:Brigitta Schübeler
Executive producer:Hartmut Klenke
Filming location:Hamburg, Berlin, München