Just a month ago, Liliane Bettencourt, the legendary entrepreneur, passed away. heiress of the Loreal company, one of the richest women in the world, whose fortune was estimated at 44 billion dollars. Her personal life has always been under the scrutiny of the press, her name has often appeared in the secular chronicles. Not without political scandals. However, the most damaging to the reputation of Liliane Bettencourt was her own admission that her father collaborated with the Nazis during the Second World War …
Liliane Bettencourt died on September 20, 2017 at the age of 94. Lillian practically did not know maternal love, which died young, from the age of five the girl was raised by her father. Father - Eugene Schüller - was French by birth. He was born in Paris on March 20, 1881. At the university, Eugene paid special attention to chemistry, after graduation he worked as a laboratory assistant, and soon received an order from a familiar hairdresser to develop a hair dye formula that would not contain lead and toxic ingredients. Long experiments were crowned with success, the paint formula was found, and Eugene decided to open a company that would specialize in this product. This was in 1909, and the company was soon renamed L'Oreal.
In his youth, Schüller was fascinated by the ideas of socialism, for three years he joined the Freemasons. On the verge of the Great Depression, he increasingly made public appeals on political topics. One of Eugene's ideas was to change the principle of calculating wages for the workers of his factory: he offered to pay not a fixed salary, but a salary that would be proportional to the volume of production, but these ideas were never translated into reality.
During the German occupation during World War II, Schüller openly supported Hitler and Mussolini and frequently quoted Nazi leaders in his speeches. In addition, Schüller invested in German companies and his fortune grew rapidly.
After the end of the war, Schüller regretted his statements and actions, but it was too late. Hitler was dead, and the Nazis and their accomplices became legally responsible for their crimes. Schüller's accusations were announced on November 6, 1946, however, he managed to partially justify himself, recalling that during the war years he also gave shelter to Jews, financed the treatment of the French and transferred money to the French resistance forces.
Schüller was acquitted, however, many facts indicate that he really helped the Nazis. So, in the post-war years in the L'Oreal company, high positions were taken by former members of the pro-Nazi organization La Cagoule, with which Schüller collaborated. Even the head office of L'Oreal is located in the German city of Karlsruhe in a building that belonged to the Jewish Rosenfelder family before the war. Edith Rosenfelder filed a lawsuit against Schüller in 2001, but she failed to win the case.
Eugene Schüller died in 1957, leaving his only daughter Lillian the heir to the L'Oreal empire and his entire fortune. She has always held a high management position, but tried not to touch production processes.But all her life, Liliane Bettencourt was engaged in charity, transferring money to the development of medicine, education and the arts.
Lillian's daughter, Françoise, also atoned for what her grandfather had done in a peculiar way. She married the grandson of a rabbi killed at Auschwitz and raised her own children as Jews.
During her lifetime, Liliane Bettencourt was recognized one of the most influential representatives of the fairer sex… In the same row with her were Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth, Beatrix …
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