FRIEDRICH ALFRED KRUPP, German armaments heir, born (d: 1902); The Krupp family, a prominent 400-year-old German dynasty from Essen, have become famous for their steel production and for their manufacture of ammunition and armaments. The family business, known as Friedrich Krupp AG Hoesch-Krupp in modern times, merged with Thyssen AG in 1999 to form ThyssenKrupp AG, a large industrial conglomerate.

Brought up like Frederick the Great, to fulfill the ambitions of a father who hated him, the heir to the German munitions empire spent much of his life waiting for his old man to die so he could cut loose. And cut loose he did, particularly in Italy, where he consecrated a “holy” grotto – “the Hermitage of Fra Felice – dedicated to entertaining Italian youths.

Within the grotto, and dressed in the robes of a Franciscan monk, Fritz Krupp would frolic with his favorite boys as sex was accompanied by three violins and orgasms by fireworks. The crowning touch was a delightful bit of Teutonic kitsch: As in a Playboy Club, with all the bunnies adolescent males, “members” were given keys, shaped like miniature golden bullets and designed by Fritz himself. They would have been a laff-riot at Belsen-Bergen.

In 1902 he, and the painter Christian Wilhelm Allers, were caught up in a scandal involving youths Fritz had “procured” in Capri and transported to the Bristol hotel in Berlin (after even the corrupt Capri authorities had had enough of his pederasty). A tumultuous few weeks ensued.

On November 15, 1902 the Social Democratic magazine Vorwarts claimed in an article that Friedrich Alfred Krupp was homosexual and that he had a number of liaisons with local boys and men and that his fondest attachment was to Adolfo Schiano, an 18-year-old barber and amateur musician. A week later, on November 22, 1902, Krupp committed suicide.

In a speech at Krupp’s burial, Emperor Wilhelm II attacked the Social Democratic politicians, insisting that they had lied about Krupp’s sexuality. Krupp’s heirs began a suit against Vorwärts, but soon abandoned the action.