Charles Bracht

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Charles Bracht
Personal information
Born(1915-01-07)7 January 1915
Bloemendaal, Netherlands
Died7 March 1978(1978-03-07) (aged 63)
Oelegem, Belgium
SportAlpine skiing

Baron Charles Victor Bracht (7 January 1915 – 7 March 1978) was a Belgian alpine skier. He competed in the men's combined event at the 1936 Winter Olympics.[1] He later became a wealthy businessman and was kidnapped in 1978. His body was found with a bullet wound to the head.[1]

Early life[edit]

Bracht was born on 7 January 1915 into a wealthy Antwerp family. He was a son of Victor Théodore Bracht (1883–1962) and Dorothée Emilie Bunge (1889–1918).

His maternal grandfather was the Belgian businessman Edouard Bunge of Bunge Limited.[2]


Bracht became one of the wealthiest industrialists in Europe,[3] by running a multinational corporation "dealing in commodities, property, banking, insurance and construction. His companies had interests in Zaire, the former Belgian Congo; Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, Brazil and in West European countries. He also controlled a bank in Antwerp and was involved in an Antwerp insurance concern, Bracht‐Regis."[4][5]

Bracht was created a Baron in 1967 for his services to industry.[4]

Personal life[edit]

On 11 November 1941, he married Geneviève Marie Joséphine de Hemptinne (1916–2010) in Sint-Denijs-Westrem. She was the daughter of Charles de Hemptinne and the former Jeanne Marie Joséphine Surmont de Volsberghe. Together, they were the parents of:[4]


Bracht was kidnapped from his car in an underground garage in Antwerp on 7 March 1978. He was found dead in a garbage dump on 10 April 1978 and his autopsy showed he had "succumbed to injuries apparently suffered while trying to resist the kidnappers."[4] At the time, he was the second Belgian nobleman to be kidnapped that year, the first being Baron Edouard‐Jean Empain, who had been abducted in Paris but was released months later.[8]


  1. ^ a b Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Charles Bracht Olympic Results". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  2. ^ Travaux de l'Institut Bunge (in French). L'Institut. 1963. p. 193. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  3. ^ Gladwin, Thomas N.; Walter, Ingo; Walter, Charles Simon Professor of Applied Financial Economics and Director of Salamon Center Ingo (28 March 1980). Multinational Under Fire: Lessons in the Management of Conflict. Wiley. ISBN 978-0-471-01969-5. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Abducted Belgian Industrialist Is Found Dead". The New York Times. 11 April 1978. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  5. ^ Annual of Power and Conflict. Institute for the Study of Conflict. 1978. p. 24. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  6. ^ Weissweiler, Eva (15 April 2013). Erbin des Feuers: Friedelind Wagner - Eine Spurensuche (in German). Pantheon Verlag. p. 38. ISBN 978-3-641-09460-7. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  7. ^ "Descendants of Count Thierry de Limburg-Stirum (1904-1968)". Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  8. ^ Sancton, Tom (5 April 2022). The Last Baron: The Paris Kidnapping That Brought Down an Empire. Penguin. p. 180. ISBN 978-0-593-18381-6. Retrieved 23 September 2022.

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