German President Joachim Gauck praised the late Berthold Beitz as a “man of the century” at a commemoration in Essen today.
Beitz, a banker and industrialist who rescued Jews from the Nazis during World War II, “has made our country better,” Gauck said in a speech attended by Bundestag President Norbert Lammert and Deputy Chancellor Philipp Roesler.
The 99-year-old, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday today, died on July 30. In 1942 he hid Jews in his home in Poland and saved hundreds of men and women from a train destined for the Belzec death camp by claiming them as workers.
Beitz later helped rebuild Fried Krupp GmbH, a predecessor to ThyssenKrupp AG (TKA), Germany’s biggest steelmaker.
To contact the reporter on this story: Tino Andresen in Dusseldorf at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at email@example.com