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News & Blogs: In Memoriam

Death of pre-WWII alumnus Franz M. Oppenheimer

mardi, 20 janvier 2015   (0 Comments)
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Franz OppenheimerWe learned this week of the death on 28 November 2014 of one of Ecolint's oldest alumni, Franz M. Oppenheimer. He died aged 95 of heart disease; and his wife Margaret passed away nine days later from acute cerebrovascular disease. She was 93 years old.

Franz Oppenheimer attended Ecolint during the 1930s, graduating in 1938. He was born in Mainz, Germany in 1919 to Jewish parents and returned to Frankfurt after finishing at Ecolint. With the start of World War II he was unable to re-enter Switzerland and found his way to the United States.

He had a long career in law that included a stint with the World Bank. His specialty was international banking and finance and he retired only as recently as 1999, from the Washington DC law firm Swidler, Berlin, Shereff and Friedman.

He is remembered well by members of the Ecolint FREESPEECH online discussion group where he often shared his sometimes controversial opinions. Riva Freifeld (LGB '61), who visited him at his home in Georgetown several times, recalls him as "a gentleman, witty and acerbic but pretty tough underneath".

Those interested in learning more about Franz Oppenheimer might enjoy two articles he wrote, one a memoir on the first part of his life (From Mainz to the USA) and the other a reflection following a return visit to Mainz many years later. Both are available (in French) here.

>> Obituary - Washington Post, 17 December 2014


(Photo: Gabrielle Jahn via Washington Post)

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