Friedrich Karl Flick PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 21 November 2008 10:02

Friedrich Karl Flick

Born: 3 February 1927, Berlin

Died: 5 October 2006, Auen on the Wörthersee, Austria

Age:  79

Cause of death: Cancer

Notable because: Billionaire son of industrialist Friedrich Flick (who was tried at Nuremburg as a war criminal and sentenced to 7 years for employing slave labor.) In 2008 his grave was robbed and his remains stolen.

 

Friedrich Karl Flick was a German-Austrian industrialist and billionaire, the eldest son of Friedrich Flick, an industrialist tried at Nuremberg for his involvement with the Hitler regime and its war machine.

The father was convicted in 1947 by the Allied War Crime Tribunal for having employed slave labor to produce armaments and motor vehicles in his factories. He was sentenced to seven years in prison, served three and was released in 1950, free to return to what the war had left of his businesses.

The son studied management and banking in Germany and the United States and joined his father’s enterprise in 1957, at first overseeing its automotive, paper and chemical ventures.

The elder Mr. Flick died in 1972 at the age of 89. Friedrich Karl took his place at the top of the family concern and, while still in his 40’s, rebuilt it into Germany’s biggest private holding company, with a worldwide complex of 103 subsidiaries and revenues approaching $4 billion by the early 1980’s.

After his studies, he worked in his father's company. In 1972, when his father died, he inherited the major part of the family business, which had made massive use of Nazi concentration camp laborers.

As the sole owner of the Friedrich Flick Industrial Holding (Industrieverwaltung), he had interests in major companies including Daimler-Benz, WR Grace, Gerling Insurance, Buderus, Dynamit Nobel, Feldmühle and others.

The Flick family has a continuing Nazi legacy, as it has always refused to pay compensation to wartime victims. As a result Flick hired security throughout his life to guard his family, which was increased after his brother and sister-in-law were kidnapped in 1991. The kidnapper was apprehended when the £3.5m ransom was handed over by undercover police.

In 1975 he sold his part of Daimler-Benz to the Deutsche Bank for more than $ 1 billion. Major tax liabilities were avoided through "cultivation of the political landscape", - a process that turned into the Flick Affair in 1983 when it became apparent that about $25 million had been paid to German political parties in return for tax cuts and favorable rulings. Although Chancellor Helmut Kohl benefited from the dealings, he claimed he had "no recollections", while others resigned from their posts. In 1985 Flick sold off the remainder of his companies. When Deutsche Bank announced that it had bought his holdings for about $3 billion German marks, Flick retired in Austria, where he became a naturalised citizen.

He married three times and had two children from his second and third marriages. At the time of his death, he was the wealthiest person living in Austria.

In November 2008, it was reported that an oak coffin containing his remains were taken from his family's mausoleum at a cemetery at Velden am Wörther See, in what Austrian Federal Police believe may be an attempt to extort money from his widow. His widow Ingrid Flick, his third wife, inherited an estimated £4bn. She and his children are now under police guard.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 December 2008 15:43
 

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