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Friedrich Alfred Krupp

Friedrich Krupp.
Friedrich Alfred Krupp, 1900.
Via Krupp on Capri

Friedrich Alfred Krupp (17 February 1854 – 22 November 1902) was a German steel manufacturer of the company Krupp. He was the son of Alfred Krupp and inherited the family business when his father died in 1887. Whereas his father had largely supplied iron and steel, Friedrich shifted his company's production back to arms manufacturing. Friedrich greatly expanded Krupp and acquired the Germaniawerft in 1896 which gave him control of warship manufacturing in Germany. He oversaw the development of nickel steel, U-boats, the diesel engine, and much more. He died in 1902 after being accused of homosexuality; it is unclear whether or not he committed suicide. His daughter Bertha inherited the company.


Krupp was born in Essen, Germany. His father was Alfred Krupp, who turned the small local ironworks of Krupp into one of the most powerful companies in the world. In 1887, Friedrich took over the leadership of his father's company. He married Baroness Margarethe von Ende. They had two daughters: Bertha and Barbara (married Tilo, Baron von Wilmowsky).

Whereas his father had largely supplied iron and steel for railroads in America[1], with the rise of Carnegie Steel Friedrich shifted his company's production back to arms manufacturing. During his time he greatly expanded Krupp, acquiring Germaniawerf in 1896 which gave him control of warship manufacturing in Germany. He oversaw the development of nickel steel, U-boats, y 1966.[1], the diesel engine, and much more.

In 1902 he died, apparently by suicide. His daughter Bertha inherited the company and shortly thereafter married Gustav Halbach, the grandson of Henry Bohlen.

Krupp increased and diversified the output of the Krupp Works, which he extended by the incorporation with them of other enterprises. A member of the House of Lords of Prussia and Council of State, he also sat in Germany's Reichstag from 1893 to 1898.

He loved the Italian island of Capri, where he often lived for some months in each year. He stayed at the hotel Quisisana and had two yachts, Maya and Puritan. His hobby was oceanography. He met Felix Anton Dohrn and Ignazio Cerio on Capri.

The Krupp Scandal

On 15 November 1902 the Social Democratic magazine Vorwärts claimed in an article that Friedrich Alfred Krupp was homosexual,[2] that he had a number of liaisons with local boys and men and that his fondest attachment was to Adolfo Schiano, an 18-year-old barber and amateur musician.[3] This article had reached the German press months after stories of Krupp's homosexual orgies were printed in local and Neapolitan papers demanding an inquest. Capri locals were aware of Krupp's homosexual activities, but those in positions of power turned a blind eye, including the then-owner of Quisisana who had a certain influence over a local political party, of which Krupp contributed funds. The Neopolitan paper Mattino were the first to publish an article on Krupp's homosexual activities (keeping him anonymous in the article) after being contacted by a disgruntled teacher in Capri who considered Krupp an enemy after seeking Italian language lessons with another teacher. This teacher had also been heavily criticized by the same political party that had the support and patronage of Krupp, causing the teacher to support the opposing political party.[4]

Krupp returned to Germany, waiting for events to calm down. But they never did. Articles continued to be published in Italian newspapers mentioning a wealthy foreign capitalist, and reached Germany in August 1902, when the first to speak was the Catholic newspaper Augsburger Postzeitung, citing reports of two Italian newspapers, without stating the character's name.[5]

In October 1902 the wife of Krupp, Margarethe von Ende, received anonymous letters and, it is said, compromising photos of her husband's orgies. Margarethe contacted Kaiser Wilhelm II, a family friend, asking him to take action against Krupp, for the reputation of the firm. The Kaiser, alarmed by the boldness of the woman and wife of its fixed supplier of weapons of mass destruction, had her seized upon arrival at her home and locked up in an insane asylum to shut her mouth forever.[6]

The newspaper Vorwärts then published their article titled "Krupp in Capri", stating: "If Krupp continues to live in Germany, he will be subject to penalties of article 175 of the Code. When certain illegal practices lead to a public scandal, the police have a duty to promote legal action."[7]

In the Second Reich, homosexuality was considered one of the worst crimes. Under paragraph 175 of the German Penal Code it was punishable by years of hard labor.[8]

Krupp sued the journal and set in motion his friendships in the highest places, including the Emperor Wilhelm, seizing editions of Vorwärts everywhere, even in the homes of subscribers. It seemed that Krupp had decided to give battle, however by now his nerves were shot, perhaps because of the suspicion that this time the scandal was so big and well-grounded that even his wealth and his friendships couldn't save him if due process occurred.[9]

A week after the German article was published, on 22 November 1902, Krupp died. It is uncertain whether he committed suicide[10] or died from illness.[11][12]

In a speech at Krupp's burial, Emperor Wilhelm II attacked the Social Democratic politicians, insisting that they had lied about Krupp's sexual orientation.[10] Krupp's heirs began a suit against Vorwärts, but soon abandoned the action.


  • A. Sper, Capri und die Homosexuellen: eine psychologische Studie, Orania Verlag, Berlin s.d. ma 1903.
  • Guido Podrecca, La tavola rotonda in Germania, Mantegazza, Roma 1919, pp. 102–109.
  • Norman Douglas, Looking back: an autobiographical excursion, Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York 1933. Chapter about Dottor Salvatore Lo Bianco.
  • Roger Peyrefitte, Les amours singulières, Paris 1949; L' exilé de Capri, Flammarion, Paris 1959.
  • Edwin Cerio: Capri. Ein kleines Welttheater im Mittelmeer, München, 1954, pages 135-143.
  • Willi Boelcke, Krupp und die Hohenzollern in Dokumenten, 1850-1918, Athenaion, Frankfurt 1970, pp. 158–162.
  • William Manchester, The Arms of Krupp, 1587-1968, Little & Brown, Boston 1968.
  • Humbert Kesel, Capri. Biographie einer Insel. Prestel Verlag, München 1971, pp. 264–268, ISBN 3-7913-0007-5.
  • Angelo Cerino, I Krupp e la guerra come industria, Cremonese, Roma 1974, pp. 59–61.
  • James Money, Capri. La storia e i suoi protagonisti [1986], Rusconi, Milano 1993, pp. 82–85, 91-96, 240-241.
  • Carlo Knight, Krupp a Capri - Uno scandalo d'altri tempi (e uno dei nostri), Civita, Napoli 1989.
  • Robert Aldrich, The seduction of the Mediterranean. Writing, art and the homosexual fantasy, Routledge, London and New York 1993, pp. 127–128;
  • Tito Fiorani, Le dimore del mito, La Conchiglia, Capri 1996, pp. 99–106.
  • Carlo Knight: Die Capri-Utopie von Krupp - L'utopia caprese di Krupp. 2002, Capri, La Conchiglia Edizioni.
  • Enrico Oliari, L'omo delinquente. Scandali e delitti gay dall'Unità a Giolitti, Prospettiva editrice, Roma 2006.
  • Michael Epkenhans, Ralf Stremmel (Hrsg.): Friedrich Alfred Krupp. Ein Unternehmer im Kaiserreich. Beck, München 2010, ISBN 978-3-406-60670-0.
  • Wikisource-logo.svg Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Krupp, Friedrich Alfred" . New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.


  1. ^ a b Humboldt, Alexander von; Rodríguez, José Angel (1 January 1999). Alemanes en las regiones equinocciales: libro homenaje al bicentenario de la llegada de Alexander von Humboldt a Venezuela, 1799-1999 (in Spanish). Fondo Editorial Humanidades. ISBN 9789803540715. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  2. ^ Bernd-Ulrich Hergemöller, Mann für Mann, page 449
  3. ^ Robert Aldrich, The Seduction of the Mediterranean, page 127
  4. ^ []
  5. ^ []
  6. ^ []
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  10. ^ a b Willi Boelcke, Krupp und die Hohenzollern in Dokumenten 1850-1918. Frankfurt 1970. pages 158-162
  11. ^ Michael Epkenhans, Ralf Stremmel: Friedrich Alfred Krupp. Ein Unternehmer im Kaiserreich. München 2010. page 14
  12. ^ Julius Meisbach: Friedrich Alfred Krupp - wie er lebte und starb, Verlag K.A.Stauff & Cie., Köln ca. 1903


  • Who’s Who in Gay and Lesbian History from Antiquity to World War II. Routledge; London. 2002. ISBN 0-415-15983-0. |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)

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