Friedrich ('Fritz') Mandl (9 February 1900 – 8 September 1977) was chairman of Hirtenberger Patronen-Fabrik, a leading Austrian armaments firm founded by his father, Alexander Mandl.
A prominent fascist, Mandl was attached to the Austrofascism and Italian varieties and an opponent of Nazism. In the 1930s he became close to Prince Ernst Rüdiger Starhemberg, the commander of the Austrian nationalist militia ("Heimwehr"), which he furnished with weapons and ammunition.
Until 1940, Mandl tried to establish contact with Hermann Göring's office in order to supply Germany with iron.
Mandl was married five times. His wives were:
Helene Hella Mandl, Née Strauss, born 1899, Vienna to whom he was married at the age of 21- the marriage lasted for six weeks.
Hedy Lamarr, Née Kiesler, born 1914, Vienna (see below)They married in 1933 and divorced in 1937 or 1938.
Herta Mandl, Née Wrany, born 1911, Steiermark (The LaVoz article suggests she was also known as Schneider, and was with him in Buenos Aires in 1938) They married in 1939 and divorced in 1951.
Gloria de Quaranta, Née Vinelli, born 1922, Buenos Aires They married in 1951; she died in 1976.
Mandl's last marriage was to his secretary Monika Brücklmeier, daughter of Eduard Brücklmeier, an accessory executed for his involvement in the July 20 plot to assassinate Hitler.
Marriage to Hedy Lamarr
From 1933 to 1937, Mandl was married to Austrian actress Hedwig "Hedy" Kiesler, who would later become known as Hedy Lamarr in Hollywood. Both Hedy Lamarr's parents were born Jewish, but her mother converted to Roman Catholicism and Hedy was brought up Catholic. Her first "serious" film was Algiers for which she was highly acclaimed at the time. Mandl is rumoured to have attempted to bring a halt to her acting career in Germany and to purchase all copies of her infamous film Ecstasy (1933), in which she appeared nude.
Following incorporation of Austria into Nazi Germany with the Anschluss of 1938, Mandl's remaining property which had not yet been transferred to Swiss ownership was seized, since he had supported the separatist Austrofascism. His then-wife Lamarr wrote in her autobiography Ecstasy and Me, that both Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and German dictator Adolf Hitler attended Mandl's parties. Lamarr described Mandl as extremely controlling, and wrote that she escaped only by disguising herself as a maid and fleeing to Paris, where she obtained a divorce.
Mandl later moved to Brazil and then to Argentina, where he became a citizen and remarried. In Argentina he served as an advisor to Juan Perón and attempted a new role as film producer. He also founded a new airplane manufacturing firm, Industria Metalúrgica y Plástica Argentina. Mandl became a leading member of Argentina's social circles. He acquired homes in Mar del Plata, a castle in Córdoba and a small hotel in Buenos Aires. He worked closely with French designer Jean-Michel Frank, who was then artistic director of Comte S.A., who produced most of Mandl's furnishings. In 1955 he returned to Austria, where he resumed running the factory at Hirtenberg.
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