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Saving a Life is Like Saving the World

else Beitz dpa
Else Beitz, beside her late husband Berthold, received an honorary award several years ago in North Rhine-Westphalia. Ms. Beitz passed away at 94.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Else Beitz, typical of her generation was often in the shadows of her husband, Krupp steel boss Berthold Beitz. But she made some rare choices, including to pursue higher education in her late 50s.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Else Beitz helped save hundreds of Jews in eastern occupied Europe, in part by hiding them in her home.
    • She has received numerous awards, including the “Righteous Among Nations” award from the Israeli Holocaust Center, Yad Vashem.
    • She returned to school in 1978 at the age of 58 to get her high school diploma and continued her education, eventually earning a doctorate.
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    Audio

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Else Beitz, the widow of German industrialist Berthold Beitz, passed away on September 14 at the age of 94, leaving behind a legacy that included saving hundreds of Jews in Nazi-occupied eastern Europe.

Many of her activities were overshadowed by her husband, who was dubbed “the last Krupp.” Mr. Beitz, as head of the Krupp steel conglomerate in the 1950s, was considered one of post-war Germany’s leading industrialists.

The two met at a tennis club in Hamburg in 1938 when she was 18 years old. They married the next year and were together for nearly 75 years until Mr. Beitz’s passing last year just three months short of his 100th birthday.

She is credited with numerous post-war volunteer efforts and received the highest state level award in 2011 for her civic support in North Rhine-Westphalia, where she lived. She also received the Bundesverdienstkreuz or the Federal Cross of Merit in 2012.

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