Sandor's story

S/'andor Deutsch, born 1887 in Nagyszombat, Upper Hungary, (today Trnava, Slovakia), died in Zurich 1959.

The following is his biography in his own words, written for the Swiss police in 1950.

I did not complete my legal studies, but instead I accepted in 1907 a position at the Austrian L"ander Bank in Vienna. The said institution soon transferred me to Budapest, because I was fluent in Hungarian, where I was representative of my bank at the Glue Cartell Office. I worked in this position till 1911, when I left to become an independent entrepreneur. I asked my father for my inheritance part and founded with further family help in Budapest a bone processing factury. Later I transformed this factury into a public company with the name PATRIA, Company for Bone Processing and Artificial Fertilizer AG with paid capital of 2.5 Mio. Goldcrowns. I was the majority shareholder of this company with 60% of the shares. The other 40% were owned inparts by leading members of the Budapest meet industry (Fleischhauer und Selcher), who also provided the needed raw materials, and by the British-Hungarian Bank in Budapest. In 1917 I acquired the majority of the 60 year old First Pezster Spodium and Glue Factury, whith paid capital of 3.6 Mio. Goldcrowns. This company played a leading r^ole in the international glue business. Besides my industrial activities I also acquired great experience in agriculture. In 1916 I bought in Trnava, my birth place, an estate of 2'000 Joch (ca. 900 hectares). After World War I augmented the model farm with a corn starch factury.
In spite of my Hungarian citizenship I was also in Czechoslovakia a dominant entrepreneurial figure. The authorities tried hard to convince me, in view of my birth place, to opt for Czechoslovak citizenship.

[1918:Kozma Nandor publishes the book "The Warmillionaires", in which he calls for nationalization and redistribution of the holdings of the 26 most prominent millionaires, among which Sandor Deutsch, the "Bone Cruncher". The book has a preface by the later prime minister Karoly Huszar, and refers to a trials against war profiteurs. Its tone is social-moralist demagogic and anti-semitic.]

In 1920 these two companies were fusioned and became its chief executive (Generaldirektor). I would like to stress that this position was not given to me as the majority shareholder, but imposed on me by the minority shareholders due to my success in the development of our enterprises. The development of the company after the fusion was fast. We founded a new factury for glue and artificial fertilizers in Lipto, St. Mikulas (Czechoslovakia), and we acquired a substantial share of the companay "Marasesti" in Bukarest (Factory for Sulfuric acid, copper vitriol, artificial fertilizers, glue and other chimicals), with a paid capital of 100 Mio. Lei. I reorganized and enlarged this company in cooperation with its French partners, the Banque l'Union Parisienne. I was the delegate of the administrative council. Furthermore, I founded in Budapest the leather factury "Pannonia" and in Rotterdam the "Holland-East Europe Commerce Matschapai" with two subsidiaries in Vienna.
Due to my successes in the Middle European great industries I became a force to be reckoned with and I enjoyed great influence in the formation of a Middle European chemical industry.

[1922-1927:Appointed for five years member of the "Ungarische Handels-Statistische Wertfestsetzungskomission" with title "Handelsrat".]

In 1928, due to my successes in Middle European chemical industry, the Auzsiger Verein, administered by the Austrian and Czech banks, the former Bodenkredit-Anstalt, Vienna and the Ziwostenka Bank, Prague, fusioned its daughter company HUNGARIA with my Spodium Works. The resulting company had a paid capital of 10.6 Mio Peng"o, and I received for my contribution in the fusion 25% of the new shares. I was first nominated Vice-General-Director, and in 1930 I was nominated General-Director, a postion I kept till my resignation in 1947.
Also in 1928, I liquidated my agricultural possessions in Czechoslovakia. I sold my starch factury to an American company, I had to leave half the estate to the Czech state in taxes, but the other half I sold. From the profits of the liquidation of my estate and starch factury, I bought later an estate in Hungary. I made it into a model farm of intensive productivity. I had stables with 200 milk cows, I was rearing annualy 1000 pigs, and I was breading horses. Additionally I run a factury for drying vegetables.

[1936: Offered to be minister of trade and commerce, which he rejects under pressure of his wife]

In agreement with all the interested parties, I had reorganized HUNGARIA and extended its chemical involvement. The developments under my leadership were particularly successful. In 1941, the Ph"onix-Works in Nagybanya (Transylvania, now Rumania) are incorporated into HUNGARIA. Ph"onix had a leading r^ole in Rumania, as Chemical Factories and Iron Works. At the same occasion HUNGARIA also incorporated Metallochemia, Budapest, in which she had owned a stake. I also founded in 1940, together with Pester Ungarische Kommerzialbank, the first Hungarian factory for synthetic silk.

[1940: Reappointed for two years member of the "Ungarische Handels-Statistische Wertfestsetzungskomission" with title "Handelsrat".]

HUNGARIA, under my leadership, was thriving. In 1944, they employed 7'000 workers and 300 employees, among them 15 directors and 10 procurists. It was the biggest and leading concern in the sector of chemistry, with considerable importance for Europe as a whole. Besides the seven facturies, metal works and mines in Hungary, we had in Rumania five more factories, in Yugoslavia two and in Czechoslovakia also two. Besisdes that, we had lead and zink mines in Bulgaria. Our internation activities had brought us a considerable reputation and we enjoyed international trust, and I can say, that it was mostly my making.
In 1944, I was arrested and then deported by the GESTAPO, to be precise from March 23, 1944 till the beginning of June 1945.

[1944-45: March 1944-October 1944 special prisonner of the Gestapo, under direct control of Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei, Abteilung VI, Schwabenberg, Pension Miranda. October 1944 - May 1945 in Berlin in a "Intelligenzlager" preparing plans for the economic recovery of Germany after the war. This was arranged by the German delegate of the EPIDOS, the European Glue Cartel, Mr. Behmann. F. Chorin did not include Mr. Deutsch and his family in the "famous" deal, although F. Chorin was on the board of HUNGARIA, together with Count Gyula Karoly, Dr. Miklos Kallai, vitez Emil Purgly and others.]

[1945: May, Sandor Deutsch freed in Berlin. June 27, Sandor Deutsch resumes his position at HUNGARIA. Sandor Deutsch supports the Small Holders Party financially, and befriends Antal, father of J. Antal, prime minister of Hungary in 1991.]

The war damages at HUNGARIA were very big, but where repaired already in 1946. Due to the changed political situation, HUNGARIA had to be reorganized, a task which I, unfortunately, ould not complete, due to the nationalization program of the governement.
My farm and estate was requisioned during the Russian occupation and turned into a veterinary hospital for horses. During the German occupation all the life stock was requisitioned. A commisssion had estimated the dammage created by the Germans at 1.8 Mio Peng"o (ca. 1.08 Mio Sfr. in 1951) and promised to pay, but the sum is not to be paid due to the stipulations of the peace treaty.

[1947: Appointed head of the Neolog Jewish Community of Budapest, but he declined]

At the end of 1947, I was forced by political reasons to leave Hungary, and I resigned as chief executive of HUNGARIA. Since February 2, 1948, I live in Switzerland, where I am a partner in a small chemical enterprise.

[In February 1949, Sandor Deutsch and A.H. Meyer found Rhein-Chemie AG, a small chemical factory in Kaiser-Augst near Basel.]