Germany: The discreet lives of the Super-Rich | DW Documentary

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  • Published: 09 June 2019
  • The rich in Germany been never been as well-off as they are today and assets have never been so unevenly distributed. But who are they? How do they live? And what do they think of their country? A journey into the discreet world of the super-rich.

    One percent of Germans own over a quarter of the country's assets, whilst half of the country’s citizens have no assets at all. But while the German media report on the growing poverty in the country on a daily basis, little is known about the super-rich. They keep a very low profile and can walk the streets unrecognized. "Manager Magazin” says there were around 200 billionaires living in Germany in 2018, and their numbers are increasing. The documentary "Top of the World" asks why rich Germans are so unwilling to talk about their wealth. Its author immerses himself in the discreet world of big money and meets financial advisors with 800 years of family tradition behind them and billionaires such as drugstore king Dirk Rossmann and mail-order company heir Michael Otto - as well as a self-made businessmen such as Rainer Schaller. They talk about their notions of money and justice, the origins of their wealth and their fear of social envy.


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Comments • 2 763

  • Felichia Ritter
    Felichia Ritter  30 minutes back

    Wealth inequality is a global problem.

    • Tore Foncello
      Tore Foncello  10 hours back

      Già si ricomincia la vecchia storia degli immobiliari ma sipuo assorbire tutte le chiacere degli altri e non si stancano mai

      • Justmyopinionlol
        Justmyopinionlol  11 hours back

        The Germans control Europe so they are rich with influence. Italians rich don´t exert this much power due to their preoccupation with foods and women. I tell my rich Italian friends to think like Germans and they tell me to stop speaking English.

        • m l
          m l  11 hours back

          Not to show off your wealth is a form of protection from the masses

          • terrylovesenegal
            terrylovesenegal  13 hours back

            When those few are so rich ultra rich there is something totally wrong with a nation on its whole if the basics of hard working poor cannot meet ends. Filthy rich are truly filthy, no admiration for those people at all. An undeserving shameful group of humans. That is why they live in the shade, ashamed and rightfully so.

            • acan thus
              acan thus  21 hours back

              At such a vulgar gathering only the pseudo and temporary rich were present

              • MARC ALCOBER
                MARC ALCOBER  22 hours back

                Thats only because you keep bringing in shitholers to go on welfare.

                • NajibMohamed 21
                  NajibMohamed 21  22 hours back

                  What a great country, Germany

                  • hello is it me youre looking for

                    Room full of pedos

                    • YV-HE W
                      YV-HE W  1 days back

                      rich and wealthy people want the money without the fame..people in america want the fame and forget they living paycheck to check

                      • Wan Chin Thai
                        Wan Chin Thai  1 days back

                        Why do they all type one finger at a time

                        • éliás tóbiás
                          éliás tóbiás  1 days back

                          I've spent 60Euros today at Rossmann tho. It feels good to give. LMAO!

                          • ARELA彰
                            ARELA彰  2 days back

                            Rich people busy work hard 😓 ,and they help poor people, it’s a balance, , Money is just only a piece of paper, and make trouble, , I don’t have much money,but my heart ❤️ is rich, God bless and peace,love to all of us,

                            • Tom Schiffer
                              Tom Schiffer  2 days back

                              Germans just don't like to show-off - which is a total opposite to americans who are super rich and acting as if they own the world, making them look like vulgar snobs.

                              • monica loni
                                monica loni  2 days back

                                Can somebody buy me a house please lol

                                • Elizabeth Start
                                  Elizabeth Start  3 days back

                                  They might not want a rich tax there but in the US we need one desperately. The wealthy own more like 50 percent of assets, and the upper-middle class and the middle own the rest. Our tax system is so out of wack it works for no one. You also pay a higher all income tax then we do.

                                  • Irving Kurlinski
                                    Irving Kurlinski  3 days back

                                    The old saying "the rich get richer the poor get poorer." While I'm sure there are decent people who are rich, the power and privileges they enjoy is corrupting and insulates them from the realities of economic inequity. Greed is a quality that afflicts rich and poor alike.

                                    • Sangita Das
                                      Sangita Das  6 days back

                                      Indian billionaires should learn from these people,,,

                                      • dennis flynn
                                        dennis flynn  7 days back

                                        The people I know which are very well off are conservative with their wealth.... wealth is made by saving money (people call this selfish) and they invest it for the best return whatever that investment may be..so if you want to be rich...do the same...don't be mad at those that live this way....be yourself not what others want you to be.

                                        • s
                                          s  7 days back

                                          andddd the rich just keep getting richer...

                                          • bouyant
                                            bouyant  1 weeks back

                                            THANK YOU FOR SHARING

                                            • Margot Hilaire
                                              Margot Hilaire  1 weeks back

                                              At least we know that they kick the bucket just like us.

                                              • Richard Mays
                                                Richard Mays  1 weeks back

                                                As wealth increases, empathy decreases...... these people are profoundly damaged and can insulate themselves from caring and consequences. There can be no billionaires without criminal exploitation. Having no conscience seems like a necessary precondition.

                                                • Ashton Al.
                                                  Ashton Al.  1 weeks back

                                                  I wonder how much German wealth has been built upon was equired during the war.

                                                  • Khush Gupta
                                                    Khush Gupta  2 weeks back

                                                    Is the person in 7:58 Raghu Ramrajan in the magazine

                                                    • Pallav Dwivedi
                                                      Pallav Dwivedi  2 weeks back

                                                      Love to all Germans... Lots of Love from Incredible India... Coming To Germany Shortly For Educational Purposes...

                                                      • Kazi Ovi
                                                        Kazi Ovi  1 weeks back

                                                        Please try to be well behaved. I see many Indians here acting like they are in their own country.

                                                    • K d
                                                      K d  2 weeks back

                                                      Is kidnapping that much threat to German rich people

                                                      • scabbycat cat
                                                        scabbycat cat  2 weeks back

                                                        " The rich are getting richer " etc........ Yes but what is happening to the poor ? They are getting richer also ! The truth is EVERYONE is better off by miles than they were 30 or so years ago. Of course their are still poor people. But by comparison a poor person in Germany would be considered comfortable by comparison with say a poor person in India. Capitalism and free trade has brought unprecedented wealth to the masses. The VAST MAJORITY of people in Germany, France , Italy and the UK have NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD

                                                        • Phil 502
                                                          Phil 502  2 weeks back

                                                          I’m working on my second million. I gave up on getting my first .

                                                          • smyd23
                                                            smyd23  2 weeks back

                                                            caught between repulsion of their conceit and appreciation of their taste and discretion

                                                            • LOWE sonia
                                                              LOWE sonia  2 weeks back

                                                              No mention of Climate Change . They Still use Coal and Mine it?

                                                              • Maryam Kim
                                                                Maryam Kim  2 weeks back

                                                                Most of the interiors in this film look cold and sterile.

                                                                • Roza Ispanovic
                                                                  Roza Ispanovic  4 days back

                                                                  Maryam Kim that is because they are like that too. I live in Germany 5 years. Cold and distant people not social all they care about is work and money

                                                              • Gottfried von Bouillon
                                                                Gottfried von Bouillon  2 weeks back

                                                                Worst translation I've heard in a while...

                                                                • DW Documentary
                                                                  DW Documentary   2 weeks back

                                                                  Gottfried von Bouillon, sounds a bit ...generalizing, not positively supporting?

                                                                • Gottfried von Bouillon
                                                                  Gottfried von Bouillon  2 weeks back

                                                                  @DW Documentary Throughout the whole video. Accurate translation is expected from people that call themselves journalists LOL

                                                                • DW Documentary
                                                                  DW Documentary   2 weeks back

                                                                  Hi Gottfried, where exactly? Regards

                                                              • David Hurt
                                                                David Hurt  2 weeks back

                                                                Christ they ain’t renowned economists 🤣

                                                                • ambrazura
                                                                  ambrazura  2 weeks back

                                                                  It's good that nobody except Germans knows German. In the video they talk horrible things.

                                                                  • Goran Sosic
                                                                    Goran Sosic  2 weeks back

                                                                    and why this modest rich people who anyway dont use their wealth dont give deacent sallarys to their employees, like Mr. Rossman lets most of his employees work hard for 10 eur on hour, when he can easily share profit and pay them 20 Eur minimum and still continue to grow his empire if that is what they claim makes them happy...

                                                                    • Johannes DeMoravia
                                                                      Johannes DeMoravia  3 weeks back

                                                                      All Jews are discreet after robbing all their neighbours.

                                                                      • TK Baha
                                                                        TK Baha  3 weeks back

                                                                        communist chinese in Canada loves to show off.

                                                                        • Lizzy S
                                                                          Lizzy S  2 weeks back

                                                                          You can’t buy class, they may be rich but they flaunt their wealth which makes them look snobby and tacky.

                                                                      • paulmurphy42
                                                                        paulmurphy42  3 weeks back

                                                                        From approximately 4:30 to 5:07 is exactly what Ferdinand Lundberg wrote in "The Rich and the Super Rich" in 1968...note also the narrator's comments on top managers finding it difficult to reach the very, very top.

                                                                        • thunder881
                                                                          thunder881  3 weeks back

                                                                          Getting rich in that enviroment is really boring!

                                                                          • Yvonne Hyatt
                                                                            Yvonne Hyatt  3 weeks back

                                                                            YouTube: Observation Deck and Agenda 21.

                                                                            • Tender Heart
                                                                              Tender Heart  3 weeks back

                                                                              Dear DW,
                                                                              While I agree flaunting wealth like the kardashians shows poor taste I will never believe Germany is really sorry for ww2 until they investigate and take away the wealth of those who made their money by looting, war and slave labor. C’mon. Do some real investigating and grant some real justice to the victims. Offering little 92 year old minor officials as sacrificial scapegoats doesn’t cut it.

                                                                              • Elizabeth Burke
                                                                                Elizabeth Burke  3 weeks back

                                                                                scrooge mcduck.....

                                                                                • Daniel Messias
                                                                                  Daniel Messias  4 weeks back

                                                                                  Luke 18:24

                                                                                  • Fenja _
                                                                                    Fenja _  4 weeks back

                                                                                    "mir ist das gar nicht mulmig, ich find das gut" hahah der Typ ist ja sympatisch

                                                                                    • Jayne Aikens
                                                                                      Jayne Aikens  4 weeks back

                                                                                      They keep quiet as they don’t want to share with others..

                                                                                      • Earla Weese
                                                                                        Earla Weese  4 weeks back

                                                                                        Jayne Aikens *DING DING DING DING DING DING DING. Time for a global/modern-day French Revolution.*

                                                                                    • Pedro Centeio
                                                                                      Pedro Centeio  4 weeks back

                                                                                      billionaires or is it trillionaires

                                                                                      • Anne-Marie Bourassa-Simoneau-Yazbeck

                                                                                        I wish every human had a nice cashmere to wear like those successful folks