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Germany Nobleman Fuerstenberg Dies

July 10, 2002

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BERLIN (AP) _ Joachim Egon Fuerst zu Fuerstenberg, a member of one of Germany’s oldest noble families, died Tuesday night at his home in southwestern Germany. He was 79.

Fuerstenberg died after ``a long, difficult illness,″ his family said in a statement. It didn’t elaborate.

Fuerstenberg was the oldest surviving member of a noble family dating back to the 11th century. He helped manage several family businesses, including a lumber and wood processing company and a brewery founded in 1470 in the family hometown of Donaueschingen.

Fuerstenberg was born on June 28, 1923, in what is now the Czech Republic. He served as a lieutenant in the German army in World War II and was eventually captured by the French.

In 1973, he took over control of the family businesses. In the early 1990s, he began handing over some duties to his son Heinrich.

In recent years, the Fuerstenbergs made news by selling off rare books and artworks, including a collection of manuscripts the state of Baden-Wuerttenberg bought in 1992 for $24.5 million.

Fuerstenberg is survived by his wife Paula and six children.

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