He gave up an inheritance of US$4 billion and wants the State to take over:

The story of Marlene Engelhorn it begins many years before the 29 that it has today. Almost a century before. Is that the young Austrian is a descendant of Friedrich Engelhorn, a man who founded the largest chemical company in the world and managed to generate an unimaginable fortune. Although today Marlene wants to give up billions of dollars.

To learn about Marlene’s life, you have to go back to the year 1800, when Friedrich Engelhorn founded the company Badische Anilin-und Soda-Fabrik, better known as BASF. At the end of the 21st century, Friedrich left the company and invested the money in the pharmaceutical firm Boehringer Mannheim, which was in the hands of the Engelhorn family until 1997.

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This year, Curt Engelhorn -Friedrich’s grandson- sold the firm to the Swiss group Hoffmann-La Roche for $11 billion. At just seven years old, Marlene Engelhorn amassed a fortune of more than $1 billion.

The young Austrian who today studies German Language and Literature in Vienna is the owner of unimaginable wealth. Her grandmother occupies the position number 687 in the ranking of the wealthiest people in the world, according to Forbes magazine.

With all that reality on her back and a life that, a priori, would seem more comfortable than any other, Marlene wants to give up a fortune that exceeds US$4 billion and proposes that the state take over.

Marlene’s unusual resignation: “I couldn’t be happy with so much money”

The company’s more than 150-year history and the unimaginable fortune that Marlene Engelhorn has in her possession were not an obstacle for her to give up 90% of her inheritance share. The reason? Very simple: she doesn’t want to be so rich.

“It should not be my decision what to do with my family’s money, for which I did not work,” explained the young woman in one of the interviews she gave to German and Austrian media. As expected, her definitions caused a stir in her city and many do not understand how she could have given up such a fortune.

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Marlene stands out for leading movements with an important class consciousness and that explains her decision a bit. “Managing that heritage takes a lot of time. That is not my life project. It’s not that I don’t want to be rich, it’s that I don’t want to be so rich.” acknowledged in another interview.

She is not unaware of her privileged status as a “rich girl” and has even once said it publicly. She simply reaffirms that she would not know what to do with so much money and believes that such a fortune can bring more problems than solutions. “I couldn’t be happy with so much money”, declared.

Redistribution of wealth, social justice and taxes on millionaires: their proposals

Along with 49 other billionaire heirs, he founded the Taxmenow initiative -also known as AG Steuersrechtigkeit-, a movement that mutated throughout Europe and consists of heirs of great fortunes renounce them for a higher tax rate for the rich.

“As someone who has enjoyed the benefits of wealth all my life, I know how skewed our economy is and I can’t keep sitting and waiting for someone, somewhere to do something.”he explained in an interview with the BBC.

They also defend that the State assumes the bulk of the fortunes of the billionaires and is in charge of managing them. The young woman not only demands greater redistribution of wealth, but also he wants those who have more money to pay more taxes.

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For Marlene Elenghorn, no one should have unimaginable amounts of money in such an unequal society. “This is not a question of will, but of fairness. I have done nothing to receive this legacy. This is pure luck in the birth lottery and pure coincidence,” she explained.

redistribution of wealthtaxes on millionaires and important structural changes in high positions are some of Engelhorn’s requests to achieve greater social equity.

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