West Germany: End of a Family Empire

In its 155-year history, Germany's Krupp industrial complex has often seemed as much a sovereign state as a business enterprise. Bismarck, the Kaisers and Hitler all courted the house of Krupp. Kaiser Wilhelm I called it "a national institution." Five generations of Krupps have made a proud point of imperiously waving away even bankers' questions about company finances.

No longer. Last week the company's fifth chief, Alfried Krupp, 59, found himself being not only called to strict and public account, but virtually read out of the family fiefdom.

In a Bonn conference room crowded with bankers, aides and newsmen, Krupp sat silently...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!