Since May 14, 1875, the Kruppstrasse has been named after the entrepreneur Friedrich Krupp (1787 – 1826). In 1811 he founded the Krupp cast steel factory, which benefited significantly from the armaments industry in the following years. The family company Krupp also deployed thousands of concentration camp inmates and prisoners of war under inhuman conditions during the Nazi regime.
The history of arms production by the Krupp family goes back to the Thirty Years’ War (1618 – 1648). In the course of the Napoleonic Wars in 1811, Friedrich Krupp founded the cast steel factory. In the following decades, the Krupp company profited significantly from the German armaments industry and maintained close contact with the German Kaiser. Under his son Alfred Krupp (1812 – 1887), Friedrich Krupp AG became the second largest industrial company in Europe and Alfred Krupp became the largest arms manufacturer of his time. In 1844, the Krupp company began producing cannons that were used in the Franco-German War of 1970-71. In the following years the company expanded and the “Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft” produced and delivered numerous warships and submarines to the German military.
During National Socialism, the Krupp company deployed around 100,000 foreign civilian workers, prisoners of war, “Ostarbeiter:innen” and concentration camp prisoners within Germany – a quarter of the workforce. The forced laborers had to work under inhumane conditions and were forced to do heavy labor despite their state of health. Hundreds of prisoners died as a result of systematic undersupply.
After the Second World War, Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach (1907 – 1967), sole owner of the Krupp Group since 1943, as well as manager of the Krupp company, was indicted in one of the three Nuremberg economic trials. Krupp was found guilty of crimes against humanity and violations of martial law and sentenced to twelve years’ imprisonment and the deprivation of his property. The deprivation of property was not enforced in the western zone of occupation.
Alfried Krupp received an amnesty on January 31, 1951 and was released from prison. Shortly afterwards he took over the management of the Krupp Group once more, which in 1958 rose again to become the most successful German company. After the death of Alfried Krupp in 1967, his son Arndt von Bohlen und Halbach (1938 – 1986) dispensed with the company head and the Krupp Group was incorporated into “Fried. Krupp GmbH”, whose shares are held by the “Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation”.