Élie de Rothschild
French banker
Élie de Rothschild
Baron Élie de Rothschild was a French banker, a member of the French branch of the Rothschild family. He followed his father as a partner in the family bank, de Rothschild Frères, and ran the Château Lafite-Rothschild premier cru claret vineyard from 1946 to 1974.
Biography
Élie de Rothschild's personal information overview.
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    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2007
    Age 89
    Died on August 6, 2007.
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  • 2003
    Age 85
    His wife predeceased him in 2003.
    More Details Hide Details He is survived by a son, Nathaniel, and two daughters, Elisabeth and Nelly. He is also survived by an illegitimate daughter (fathered with the Parisian antiquaire Ariane Dandois), Ondine, who bears the family name.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1974
    Age 56
    His nephew Eric de Rothschild, son of Alain, took over at Château Lafite-Rothschild in 1974.
    More Details Hide Details Élie died of a heart attack when on vacation at his hunting lodge near the village of Scharnitz outside Innsbruck in Austria.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1946
    Age 28
    Élie and his brother assisted their cousin, Guy de Rothschild, to rebuild the de Rothschild Frères investment bank, and its Compagnie des chemins de fer du Nord subsidiary. Élie took charge of Château Lafite-Rothschild, the premier cru Pauillac vineyard in the Médoc, in 1946, which he owned jointly with Alain, Guy and their English cousin Jimmy de Rothschild. Élie became president of the family's Compagnie des chemins de fer de Paris à Lyon et à la Méditerranée (PLM) in 1956, diversifying into hotels, motels and restaurants. Élie was a friend of Prince Aly Khan and Gianni Agnelli. In 1954, when Liliane was out of town, Élie was introduced to divorcee Pamela Churchill (later Pamela Harriman).
    More Details Hide Details According to Élie, "She was sweet, charming and pretty. I wanted to go to bed with her and I did." Nevertheless, Liliane quickly saw off her rival. When the Duke of Windsor asked her: "Which Rothschild is the lover of Pamela Churchill?' she replied: "My husband, Sir". This remark undermined Pamela as much as any other retributive strikes and presently the affair receded. However, Elie de Rothschild continued to have a number of mistresses.
  • 1942
    Age 24
    While in Colditz, Élie had written to his childhood sweetheart Baroness Liliane Fould-Springer (a future grandaunt of Helena Bonham Carter) and asked her to marry him, which they did by proxy by 1942 - Élie being allowed to take his marriage vows while imprisoned.
    More Details Hide Details Her mother thought her foolish to take on the Rothschild name with the Nazis in control of France. However, they were not troubled during the Nazi occupation. The Fould-Springers had extensive interests in Austria, and one branch of the family owned Château Beychevelle, a Bordeaux estate close to Château Lafite in Pauillac in the Médoc. After the war, Élie, Alain and their wives shared the family mansion at avenue de Marigny, which had been used as the Luftwaffe headquarters during the war. Élie and his family moved to 11 rue Masseran in the 1950s, where he displayed his great collection of art, including works by Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Dubuffet and Picasso. This collection was described in the book "Great private collections", by Douglas Cooper; when Alvar Gonzales Palacios discovered a Dancer of Canova, he researched its history, and found out that, for a while, it had been in the Hotel Massaran, with the ridiculous attribution to Carpeaux.
  • 1940
    Age 22
    He and his brother served as officers in a cavalry regiment—the Anciens 11èmes Cuirassiers—when Nazi Germany invaded France in 1940.
    More Details Hide Details Both were captured by the Nazis close to the Belgian border during World War II. Élie was taken to the prisoner of war camp Oflag X-B at Nienberg near Hamburg. After being discovered planning to escape, he was taken to Oflag IV-C at Colditz Castle, then to Oflag X-C at Lübeck, one of the toughest POW camps. There, he was reunited with his brother. Despite being persons of Jewish descent, both were treated by the Wehrmacht as captured officers. He was released in early 1944. Elie later recounted that, despite the harsh condition of the prison, he had been treated well and respectfully throughout.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1917
    Born
    Born on May 29, 1917.
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