Krupp family


Krupp family

German steel-manufacturing dynasty. Friedrich Krupp (1787–1826) founded a steel factory in Essen in 1811. On his death his son Alfred (1812–1887) took full charge of the faltering concern at age 14. He made a fortune supplying steel to the railways and manufacturing cannons; the performance of Krupp guns in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71 led to the firm's being called “the Arsenal of the Reich.” At Alfred's death he had armed 46 nations. The rise of the German navy and the need for armour plates further enriched the company under his son Friedrich Alfred (1854–1902). By the time Friedrich Alfred's elder daughter, Bertha (1886–1957), inherited control of the firm, it employed more than 40,000 people. Her husband, Gustav von Bohlen (1870–1950), affixed Krupp to the beginning of his name; an ardent Nazi, he ran the Krupp empire until 1943, when he was succeeded by their son Alfried Krupp (1907–1967). The Krupp works used slave labour during World War II and were a major part of the Nazi war machine; Alfried was later convicted of war crimes at Nürnberg. An Allied order to break up the company in 1953 languished for lack of a buyer, and Alfried eventually restored the Krupp fortune. See also Thyssen Krupp Stahl.

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