Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Passport
Director of the German Friedrich Krupp AG heavy industry conglomerate from 1909 until 1941. He and his son Alfried would lead the company through two world wars, producing almost everything for the German war machine from U-boats, battleships, howitzers, trains, railway guns, machine guns, cars, tanks, and much more. Krupp produced the Tiger I tank, Big Bertha, and the Paris Gun. His passport was issued on Feb. 15, 1926, in Essen. As expected, the passport contains several dozen visa stamps documenting the vast international travels. Included are visits to Egypt, Switzerland, Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Sweden, and Turkey. Almost all of whom became customers for Krupp products. The passport comes with a signed copy of “The Arms of Krupp” by WILLIAM MANCHESTER, (Boston: Little, Brown & Co.), 1968. 942p. In black cloth with lightly worn dust jacket, signed and dated 1983 on the title page. A 1955 Krupp brochure is also included. The book and passport are presented in a custom presentation one-quarter leather clam box case with a special section protecting the passport. Gustav Krupp Bohlen Halbach
This very interesting travel document was sold at a US auction for $550 (including premium).
By World War I, the company had a near-monopoly in heavy arms manufacture in Germany. At the start of the war, the company lost access to most of its overseas markets, but this was more than offset by increased demand for weapons by Germany and her allies (Central Powers). In 1902, before Krupp’s marriage, the company leased a fuse patent to Vickers Limited of the United Kingdom. Among the company’s products was a 94-ton howitzer named Big Bertha, after Krupp’s wife, and the Paris Gun. Gustav also won the lucrative contract for Germany’s U-boats, which were built at the family’s shipyard in Kiel. Krupp’s estate, the Villa Hügel, had a suite of rooms for Wilhelm II whenever he came to visit. Gustav Krupp Bohlen Halbach
The Versailles Treaty prevented Germany from making armaments and submarines, forcing Krupp to significantly reduce his labor force. His company diversified to agricultural equipment, vehicles, and consumer goods. However, using the profits from the Vickers patent deal and subsidies from the Weimar government, Krupp secretly began the rearming of Germany with the ink barely dry on the treaty of Versailles. It secretly continued to work on artillery through subsidiaries in Sweden and built submarine pens in the Netherlands. In the 1930s, it restarted the manufacture of tanks such as the Tiger I and other war materials, again using foreign subsidiaries.
Krupp suffered failing health from 1939 onwards, and a stroke left him partially paralyzed in 1941. He became a figurehead until he formally handed over the running of the business to his son Alfried in 1943. Krupp industries, under both his leadership and later that of his son, was offered facilities in eastern Europe and made extensive use of forced labor during the war. On 25 July 1943, the Royal Air Force attacked the Krupp Works with 627 heavy bombers, dropping 2,032 long tons of bombs in an Oboe-marked attack. Upon his arrival at the works the next morning, Krupp suffered a fit from which he never recovered. Following the Allied victory, plans to prosecute Gustav Krupp as a war criminal at the 1945 Nuremberg Trials were dropped because by then he was bedridden and senile. Gustav Krupp Bohlen Halbach
He died at his residence near Werfen, Salzburg in Austria on 16 January 1950. His widow died in 1957. He had eight children including Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach (1907–1967), the last owner of Krupp (succeeded by his Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation).
A significant travel document of one of Germany’s key industrialists. Gustav Krupp Bohlen Halbach