Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach

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Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach (right), with President Sylvanus Olympio of Togo, while visiting Villa Hügel on May 17, 1961

Alfried Felix Alwyn Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach (13 August 1907 – 30 July 1967), often referred to as Alfried Krupp,[1] was an industrialist, a competitor in Olympic yacht races and a member of the Krupp family, which has been prominent in German industry since the early 19th century.

He was convicted after World War II of crimes against humanity for the way he operated his factories; served three years in prison, and was pardoned.

The family company, known formally as Friedrich Krupp AG Hoesch-Krupp, was a key supplier of weapons and materiel to the Nazi regime and the Wehrmacht during World War II. In 1943, Krupp became sole proprietor of the company, following the Lex Krupp ("Krupp Law") decreed by Adolf Hitler. Krupp's wartime employment of slave labor, resulted in the "Krupp Trial" of 1947–1948, following which he served three years in prison.

At Alfried Krupp's behest, after his death in 1967, control of the Krupp company passed to the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation, a philanthropic organisation.

Olympic medal record
Men’s Sailing
Competitor for  Germany
Bronze 1936 Berlin 8 Meter Class

Family and early life[edit]

Krupp's mother, Bertha Krupp, inherited the company in 1902 at the age of 16 when her father, Friedrich Krupp, committed suicide.[2] In October 1906, Bertha married Alfried's father, Gustav von Bohlen und Halbach, a German diplomat and member of the nobility in a Lutheran ceremony,[3] who subsequently added the Krupp name to his own by permission of Emperor William II. Alfried was born almost a year later.

Alfried Krupp attended grammar school, after which he trained at the Krupp company workshops and studied metallurgy at technical universities in Munich, Berlin and Aachen.

The company profited significantly from the German re-armament of the 1920s and 1930s. Gustav Krupp, in spite of his initial opposition to the Nazi Party, made significant personal donations to it before the 1933 election, because he saw advantages for the company in the Nazis' militarism and their opposition to independent trade unions.

From 1931, Alfried Krupp was a supporting member of the SS (förderndes Mitglied der SS). He was a member of the National Socialist Flyers Corps, where he reached the rank of Standartenfuhrer and from 1938 he was a member of the Nazi Party. In 1937, Krupp - like his father - was appointed military economic leader (Wehrwirtschaftsführer). He was also a deputy of his father in his capacity as Chairman of the Board of the Adolf Hitler Fund of German Trade and Industry (Adolf-Hitler-Spende der deutschen Wirtschaft).

Krupp received a Diplomingenieur (Master of Engineering) from the Aachener Technische Hochschule in 1934, with the acceptance of a thesis on melting steel in vacuums.

During the Berlin Olympics of 1936, Krupp participated in 8 Meter Class sailing and won a bronze medal.[4][5]

In the same year, after undergoing financial training at the Dresdner Bank, Krupp joined the family company. In the following year he married Anneliese Lampert, née Bahr (1909–1998) and a son, Arndt, was born in 1938. His family disapproved and their pressure may have influenced the divorce that followed soon afterwards.

World War II[edit]

During World War II, the company's profits increased and it gained control of factories in German-occupied Europe.

Alfried became more active in controlling the company as his father's health declined. He became de facto head of the firm in 1941 when Gustav Krupp suffered a stroke. Under Alfried, the company used slave labor supplied by the Nazi regime and thereby also became involved in the Holocaust, assigning Jewish prisoners from concentration camps to work in many of its factories.[6] Even when the military suggested that security reasons dictated that work should be performed by free German workers, Alfried insisted on using slaves.[7]

He officially replaced his father as head of the family firm under the Lex Krupp ("Krupp Law"), proclaimed by Adolf Hitler on 12 November 1943, which set aside the usual laws of inheritance and preserved the Krupp firm as a family business. Under this law, Alfried formally added the Krupp name to his own. He was also appointed Reichsminister für Rüstung und Kriegsproduktion ("Minister for Armament and War Production"). The transfer of ownership was a gesture of gratitude by Hitler and was to be one of only a few major Nazi laws that survived the fall of the regime.

During the war, he was responsible for the transfer of factories in the occupied territories to the German Reich. Alfried Krupp was awarded the War Merit Cross, Second and First Class.

Krupp worked closely with the SS, which controlled the concentration camps from which slave labor was obtained. In a letter dated 7 September 1943, he wrote: "As regards the cooperation of our technical office in Breslau, I can only say that between that office and Auschwitz the closest understanding exists and is guaranteed for the future."[8]

According to one of his own employees, even when it was clear that the war was lost: "Krupp considered it a duty to make 520 Jewish girls, some of them little more than children, work under the most brutal conditions in the heart of the concern, in Essen."[9]

Post-war life[edit]

Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach reading a document, seated in the dock, as a defendant at the Krupp Trial

After the war, the Allied Military Government investigated Krupp's employment of slave laborers. He was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment and the forfeiture of all property. However, after three years, John J. McCloy, the American High Commissioner for Germany arranged for Krupp to be pardoned and the forfeiture of property was reversed.[10]

His second marriage on 19 May 1952 to Vera Knauer, née Hossenfeld (1909–1967), just after his release from Landsberg Prison, ended in a scandal and an expensive settlement in 1957.

Prior to Krupp's death from lung cancer, his assistant, Berthold Beitz worked to transfer control of the company to a Stiftung ("foundation"), to be monitored by three members of a supervisory board. Most notably was Hermann Josef Abs, of the former Deutsch-Asiatische Bank A.G. and Deutsche Bank AG. In this agreement, Krupp's son and heir, Arndt, relinquished any claim over his father's businesses, and was to be paid a modest cash amount, in yearly installments, until his own death.

See also[edit]

The Krupp Diamond (owned by Elizabeth Taylor from 1968 until she died in 2011)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Alfried (Felix Alwyn) Krupp (von Bohlen Und Halbach) Biography (1906–67)". Crystal Reference Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 22 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  2. ^ "Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach". britannica. 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Alfred Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach at databaseOlympics
  5. ^ Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach at theEncyclopædia Britannica
  6. ^ William Manchester, The Arms of Krupp, p. 10.
  7. ^ Manchester, pp. 5-6
  8. ^ Manchester, The Arms of Krupp, pp. 10-11.
  9. ^ Manchester, The Arms of Krupp, p. 10"
  10. ^ Manchester,