Becher, Kurt Andreas Alexander Ernst (1909-1995)
            SS Standartenfeuhrer - Colonel 

In 1948, upon his release from the Nuremberg detention and trials which found him to have been merely a ‘fellow traveler,’ the supposedly penniless Becher went back to his Hamburg birthplace  where he had apprenticed and where in the early 1930’s he had become a manager in the Hamburg Jewish grain merchant company Simonis.

Suddenly came into funds with which he proceeded to buy a grain trading company. He operated it under that company’s old name rather than under his own name. The Marshall Plan and Point-Four economic assistance programs for Europe, found him at the right place to exploit his pre-war expertise in grain and foodstuffs trading. He moved to Bremen where he established his growing business enterprise. Under the guise of yet another company he owned, he became one of the largest importers of Hungarian foodstuffs. Conagra, the giant American agribusiness companies became partners in his holding company, Kurt A. Becher GMBH. His business prospered and grew with branches all over Germany, in major European cities, in the United States, and South America. Deposed in Germany for the Eichmann trial, he refused to travel to Israel.

Nominated to many prominent German corporate boards. He employed many former SS officers. Given his own history he had to resign from some of these boards. The Dutch refused to do business with him. He operated under different business names. His importing firm became one of the largest food importers from Hungary. The Hungarians knew full well with whom they were dealing. Still pending in the Hungarian courts was the accusation that Becher robbed the country to the tune of at least $3 billion. From Cologne, another one of his firms did extensive foodstuff business with Israel. When elected to the board of Hapag-Lloyd, one of the leading German shipping companies in Hamburg, press attacks hauling out his SS past, forced him to resign once more.

A respected pillar of his community and a member in good standing of the German economic establishment. He amassed great wealth estimated at over thirty million dollars. He died, in Bremen, honored, feted and respected, in 1995 at the age eighty-six.

 

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