BUSINESS
02/13/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Adolf Merckle, German Billionaire, Mourned In Hometown

BLAUBEUREN, Germany -- When the body of Adolf Merckle was discovered on the railroad tracks here last week, authorities ruled the German billionaire's death to be a suicide.

The Merckle family walked to a service in Blaubeuren on Monday: Ruth Merckle, center, Adolf Merckle's widow; her daughter, Jutta; and sons Ludwig, Daniel Philipp and Tobias, left to right.

They said he had thrown himself in front of a train, just a day before it was announced that the company he had founded 34 years ago was being sold.

But for Jorgen Wiedenmann, the owner of a sporting goods store here, Mr. Merckle's creditors were responsible even if they were not present by the tracks on that snowy night. "The banks pushed him to it, I'm sure," Mr. Wiedenmann said.

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