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* 22. 10. 1879, Trieste, Italy
† 18. 12. 1957, Rome, Italy


C., son of a Rabbi completed his training in the exchange office. Even before the First World War he moved to Vienna, where he, among other things, worked as a consultant in the Anglo-Austrian Bank and became director of Semperit-Werke in 1904. During the war he bought larger share packages through the Depozitbank and thus gained impact in well-known companies such as Oesterreichische Daimler Motoren AG, Puchwerke AG, Brown-Boveri-Werke, Felten & Guilleaume AG, Leykam-Josefsthal AG, Schoeller-Werke and Feinstahlwerke Traisen. Via Banca Commerciale Italiana in Milan C.'s group managed to gain influential role in the Edison Company in Milan, the company FIAT in Turin and the Italian woodworking company Feltrinelli. Based on C.'s war and inflationary profits after the war, his sphere of influence ranged well beyond the Austrian and Italian industrial companies, i.e. all the way to concerns in Germany, Hungary, the country SHS, Romania, Czechoslovakia and Poland. At the time of inflation he was as an influential sponsor of the arts in Austria. He bought and renovated the Josephstand theatre for Max Reinhardt and offered him financial support for the organization of the Salzburg festival (Salzburger Festspiele). When C. planned the purchase of Styria joint-stock company Steiermärkischen Wasserkraft-und Elektrizitäts-AG, he in 1923 for the first time felt the pressure from the public and had to be satisfied with only 50 percent of the ownership share. In the autumn 1923 Karl Kraus in his newspaper "Die Fackel" named this mighty speculator, who was then at the height of his influence, the "Shark". A year later, due to large speculative transactions, he found himself in trouble when his speculations in relation to the French frank were unsuccessful. This occurred due to the fact that the Rothschild family prevented his predicted currency devaluation. After this debacle he sold all art treasures which he had accumulated in the Vienna palace Palais Kinský and all shares he possessed in Austria. After the four months long legal process held against him as President of Depositenbank he moved to Berlin. In Germany he collaborated with Hugo Stinnes, which had been a friend of his since 1921. Precisely at that time FIAT sold 200,000 shares of Alpine Montangesellschaft to Stinnes which he, together with C's 50,000 shares, invested in the Swiss Promontano. Stinnes died in 1924 and two years later, the newly established Vereinigte Stahlwerke company took over the Alpine Montangesellschaft. At the end of the 1920s C. was a majority share owner of the Bayrische Motorenwerke (BMW). At the time he strived for the concentration of the German automobile industry. He left Germany because of the National Socialism in 1934 in and went to the USA, where he worked for large banks as financial advisor for their European operations. After World War II, which he spent in Switzerland, he got asylum in Trieste, Italy. Until his death in 1957 he was no longer seen in public, except when he assisted in obtaining loans for Josip Broz Tito after 1945.

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