ThyssenKrupp, one of the world’s largest steel companies, said that former chairman Berthold Beitz, who was credited with saving hundreds of Jewish oil Workers during the Holocaust, has died at 99.
According to the BBC, between 1942 and 1944, Beitz rescued hundreds of Jewish oil field workers from Polish trains destined for the Belzec death camp. He and his wife also hid Jewish children in their home.
In a statement, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Lehner, chairman of ThyssenKrupp’s supervisory board, said: “During World War 2, together with his wife, he set an impressive example of courage and humanity by saving hundreds of persecuted Jews from the SS, risking his own life in the process. He played a key role in the post-war reconstruction of Germany. He is held in high esteem both in Germany and abroad.”
The company said that Beitz, born on September 26, 1913, was brought to Krupp, as the company was known at the time, in 1953 by Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach to be his personal chief executive. After Alfried Krupp died in 1967, his son Arndt von Bohlen und Halbach renounced his inheritance, clearing the way for the establishment of the non-profit Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation and the conversion of the firm into a stock corporation. Beitz was named executor of Krupp’s will and in 1968 became chairman of the board of trustees of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation, which today owns 25.3 percent of ThyssenKrupp.
On Krupp’s bicentenary in November 2011, Beitz’s achievements in particular were recognized by the German Federal President and by the State Premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, the company said.