German industrialist who was the last of the family to have sole control over the vast manufacturing and armaments empire founded by Friedrich Krupp (1787–1826).
Alfried was the eldest son of Gustav Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach (1870–1950), husband of the founder's great-granddaughter. He studied engineering at Aachen Technical Institute before joining the family business. He was made a member of the board in 1936 and two years later joined the Nazi Party. The Krupp empire comprised an international conglomerate of companies involved in iron and steel manufacture, armaments, munitions, banking, property, and hotels. In 1943 Alfried took control from his ailing father (who had been imprisoned after World War I) by special dispensation from Hitler and immediately embarked upon a ruthless programme of plant seizure in German-occupied countries and the use of concentration-camp inmates as forced labour. An Allied bombing raid devastated the main Krupp factories at Essen in 1945, and after the war Krupp was tried at Nuremberg and sentenced to twelve years' imprisonment and the confiscation of his assets. However, in 1951 his release was secured by the intervention of the US high commissioner in Germany on the political grounds that a change in circumstances necessitated a strengthening of German industry. Krupp's estate was restored to him and he once more prospered with diversification into such areas as industrial equipment, food, and nuclear power. However, the economic recession of the mid-1960s led to a financial crisis and Krupp was forced to relinquish personal control in return for financial help from the Federal German government. Krupp died shortly before an anticipated announcement accepting the deal. His son, Arndt, renounced rights of inheritance and the firm is now a corporation.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).