Krupp Foundation initiates research project on the position of its founder Alfried Krupp towards National Socialism
Independent investigation led by Prof. Dr. Eckart Conze to identify relevant sources and examine the topic using current research perspectives.
Essen, 24 February 2022. – Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach’s entrepreneurial action under National Socialism have already been discussed in the context of the Krupp trial and in later academic studies. However, a comprehensive study of his relationship to National Socialism has not yet been conducted, which is especially true for the period after his pardon in 1951. What did the National Socialist past actually mean for his work at executive level? Did he ponder his responsibility? Did he take into consideration his actions while establishing the Foundation? An academic biography focusing on these questions has yet to be published.
These and other questions are explored within the scope of the research project “Alfried Krupp and National Socialism” which was initiated by the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation and presented to the public at Villa Hügel today. The project aims to take a nuanced look at Alfried Krupp as a person and his relationship to National Socialism in order to provide a thorough scientific review of the subject matter.
“The Foundation bears Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach’s name. This leads to the responsibility to deal with our founder’s biography,” says Prof. Ursula Gather, Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of the Krupp Foundation. “In order to assume this responsibility, we are now purposely looking into the past again – from the perspectives of current issues and new research. With this research project, the Foundation is continuing on its chosen path of independent studies of Krupp history.”
The Krupp Foundation commissioned the renowned historian Prof. Dr. Eckart Conze, Professor of Modern and Recent History at Philipps-Universität Marburg, to independently realise and steer the project. “There is a great, more than justified social sensitivity for both the history and impact history of National Socialism as well as its meaning in the present. The Krupp Foundation’s project provides an opportunity to gain a more accurate image of its founder and to make an important contribution to research into contemporary history at the same time,” says Prof. Conze.
The project initially encompasses identifying, reviewing and analysing available sources on Alfried Krupp and his position to National Socialism since the 1920s. It deliberately extends the 1933-1945 period of the “Third Reich” in order to include both Alfried Krupp’s (1907-1967) position to National Socialism during the Weimar Republic and his dealings with the National Socialism past, including his own, in the Federal Republic. Within nine months, new sources as well as sources that have not yet been examined systematically will be evaluated in both national and international archives, also including the Krupp Historical Archive. The objective here is to look beyond Alfried Krupp’s entrepreneurial activities taking into account further dimensions, such as political positions and opinions or private statements.
The research findings will be discussed by the Foundation and external experts and evaluated with regard to possible next steps. The outcome of the research project is expected to be presented to the public in early 2023.
For decades the Foundation has been committed to throw light on of the history of the Krupp company and family. It has, among other things, initiated scientific projects and publications that have been successfully implemented by renowned historians such as Lothar Gall and Harold James. At the Foundation’s headquarters, the Krupp historical exhibition at the Kleines Haus of Villa Hügel provides information on both the role of Krupp in the “Third Reich” and Alfried Krupp as a person. Holding substantial material on Alfried Krupp, the Krupp Historical Archive is open to all interested parties and regularly supports scientific and other projects.
About Prof. Dr. Eckart Conze
Prof. Dr. Eckart Conze has been Professor of Modern and Recent History at the Seminar for Modern History at Philipps-Universität Marburg since 2003. Professor Conze heads the ICWC (International Research and Documentation Centre for War Crimes Trials). In 2005, he was appointed by then Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer to the Foreign Office’s Independent Commission of Historians which investigated the history of the Foreign Office under National Socialism and how the latter was dealt with after 1945.
About the Krupp Foundation
Since 1968, the non-profit Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation has been supporting people and projects in art and culture, education, science, health and sport. To date, the Foundation has supported projects with more than 680 million euros. The last sole owner of the Fried. Krupp company, Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, is its founder. His assets were transferred to the Foundation established by him. Being the largest shareholder in today’s thyssenkrupp AG, the Foundation uses its shareholding revenues exclusively for non-profit purposes and aims to stimulate new developments. With its work, it places emphasis on the development of science and higher education and strives to contribute to international understanding and to improve the education of younger generations.
More information: www.krupp-stiftung.de/alfried-krupp-englische-version
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Phone: +49 (0)201 188-4809