German billionaire commits suicide
Diagnosed with incurable illness, Otto Beisheim takes own life
They say that the world's wealthiest man would give away all his many millions for a single day of health. German billionaire Otto Beisheim was the 344th richest person in the world and the 22nd wealthiest person in Germany. Co-founder of the largest German retail group, Metro AG, Beisheim has taken his own life after being diagnosed with an incurable illness.
Otto Beisheim's image has been clouded by his role in the Second World War. German media reports have said that he was a member of Hitler's Waffen-SS. The spokeswoman for the Beisheim Group said only that he was a low-ranking member and switched to a different division in 1942.
Last year was a tough one for the group, which issued a profit warning, lost its place in the Dax index of leading German shares and received downgrades to its credit ratings.
Declining spending by shoppers in Europe worried about the euro zone debt crisis and the rise of internet retailers have also contributed to its shares losing 15 percent of their value over the past year.
Beisheim apparently committed suicide shortly after learning from doctors about his illness. "Otto Beisheim was a pioneer and a legend in the German and international retail world . with innovation, courage and ambition, he founded one of the world's leading retail firms," a statement from the Otto Beisheim group reads. "He was suffering from an incurable disease and departed this life due to the hopelessness of his health situation."
A spokeswoman for the Beisheim Group said "there were no plans to sell the billionaire's near-10 percent stake in Metro. He was the third-largest shareholder behind the Haniel and Schmidt-Ruthenbeck families, which together own 45.78 percent."
Beisheim's wife of 50 years, Inge Beisheim, had died in 1999. Since the couple had no children, Beisheim's assets will be divided between two foundations to foster cultural and business projects. Through his charitable foundation, he supported schools and set up sports clubs and play areas for children.
Beisheim's image has been clouded by his role in the Second World War. German media reports have said that he was a member of Hitler's Waffen-SS. The spokeswoman for the Beisheim Group said only that he was a low-ranking member and switched to a different division in 1942.
© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Europe News
- El Papa: Si las palabras cristianas son palabras sin Cristo se recorre
- Christians of East and West Must Give Common Witness: Pope Francis Writes Patriarch Bartholomew
- Turkish churches get radical makeover - by being turned in to mosques
- Francis Xavier, Pope Francis and the Missionary Transformation of the Catholic Church
- Domestic abuse thrust into open in Greece
- Papa Francisco expresa su oración y solidaridad por víctimas de tragedia en Escocia
- Best-selling author links Jack the Ripper to Royal Family
- Con referéndum Croacia protege matrimonio entre hombre y mujer
- Fatima and the Conversion of Russia: Pope Francis Meets President Putin
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?