Fritz Kranefuss

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Friedrich Carl Arthur Kranefuß (born 19 October 1900 in Herford - died 1945), known as Fritz Kranefuß, was a German industrialist and a Wehrwirtschaftsführer (Military Economy Leader) in the Third Reich.

Kranefuss was on the board of Braunekohle-Benzin AG (Brabag), a conglomerate of chemical firms and collieries concerned with the production of syntheitc fuel.[1] He joined the Nazi Party in 1932.[2]

He was one of three directors of the Dresdner Bank, the others being Karl Rasche and Emil Heinrich Meyer, to belong to the exclusive Freunde des Reichsführer-SS circle.[3] Kranefuss had been introduced to Heinrich Himmler by his uncle Wilhelm Keppler's Freundeskreis der Wirtschaft, although it was Kranefuss' idea to make the movement more specific to Himmler.[4] As a consequence it was Kranefuss who was chosen as head of the circle.[5] His involvement in the circle also entitled him to the Schutzstaffel rank of Brigadeführer.[1] He also helped to ensure that BRABAG became one of the leading users of forced labour during the Second World War.[1] Towards the end of the war Kranefuss, a well-connected international businessman, was also used by Himmler to open unofficial channels of contact with the Allies.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Benjamin B. Ferencz, Less Than Slaves: Jewish Forced Labor and the Quest for Compensation, Indiana University Press, 2002, p. 177
  2. ^ Ernst Klee: Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich. Wer war was vor und nach 1945. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Zweite aktualisierte Auflage, Frankfurt am Main 2005, p. 335
  3. ^ G.S. Graber, History of the SS, Diamond Books, 1994, p. 123
  4. ^ Gerald D. Feldman, Allianz and the German Insurance Business, 1933-1945, Cambridge University Press, 2001, p. 104
  5. ^ Feldman, Allianz and the German Insurance Business, p. 340
  6. ^ Heinz Höhne, The Order of the Death's Head: The Story of Hitler's SS, Penguin Books, 2000, p. 518