The reclusive 90-year-old tycoon was followed in the list of 500 super rich Germans by the heirs to the fortune of his brother, Theo, who left behind €16 billion after he died earlier this year aged 88.
And proving that the discount supermarket business is nothing if not lucrative, third place was taken up by Dieter Schwartz, head of Aldi rival Lidl, who has amassed €10.5 billion.
The number of billionaires in Germany, Europe's top economy, rose to 103 from 99 last year, according to the survey, published in Manager Magazin. Combined, the top 100 richest people in Germany saw their fortunes rise by 0.6 percent over the year to €287.35 billion.
But the fortunes of the super rich did not go unscathed by the global financial crisis, as the son’s of Theo Albrecht saw their inheritance dip by €750 million last year. The family clan behind luxury carmaker Porsche also took a hit of €500 million and the Schlecker drugstore family lost €450 million in pocket change.
The richest German billionaires
1 Karl Albrecht - €17.1 billion
2 Berthold und Theo Albrecht jr. - €16.0 billion
3 Dieter Schwarz - €10.5 billion
4 Otto family - €8.5 billion
5 Reimann family - €8.0 billion
6 Susanne Klatten - €7.75 billion
7 Reinhold Würth family - €7.0 billion
8 Oetker family - €6.5 billion
9 Günter and Daniela Herz - €6.0 billion
10 Braun family - €5.3 billion