Fritz Schlumpf

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Federico "Fritz" Filippo Augustino Schlumpf (born February 24, 1906 in Omegna near Milan , † April 18, 1992 in Basel ) was a Swiss textile manufacturer and automobile collector from Mulhouse in Alsace , France .

Schlumpf was the son of the Swiss textile engineer Carl Schlumpf and his Alsatian wife Jeanne Becker. The textile manufacturer Hans Schlumpf was his brother. In 1908 the family moved to Mulhouse, Alsace, and Schlumpf lived there until the brothers fled into exile in Switzerland in 1977. Between the 1930s and 1970s, the brothers succeeded in gaining a monopoly on combed yarn in France, which they helped with their three factories in Alsace and one in northern France fully dominated the market.

Automobile collection

Between 1945 and 1977 the brothers Fritz and Hans Schlumpf put together a huge collection of around 500 classic automobiles, including several dozen Bugatti and two of the six surviving “ Bugatti Royales ”. To finance this hobby, they burdened their companies so much that they became insolvent in 1977 and as a result more than 2,000 employees had to be made unemployed. The automobile collection, which was previously unknown to the public, was discovered by the former workers of the textile factory during riots during a strike.

With the proceeds from the sale of the vehicles, the claims of the creditors could have been met, but the collection was preserved in its entirety - mainly thanks to the intervention of the French government under François Mitterrand . This also met a demand of the unemployed workers (including a large number of women): They would have been defrauded a second time with the sale, because they wanted to preserve the collection at least in the region.

The former workshop of one of their textile factories in Mulhouse now houses the Musée National de l'Automobile of France , also known as the Schlumpf Collection .

The efforts and work of the Schlumpf brothers can be assessed as contradicting each other: completely disregarding their economic and social responsibility - both towards themselves and towards their employees - they left one of the largest and most fascinating automobile museums in the world for posterity.

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