Headline Aug 22, 2015 / That Doctor of Civil Law


HE ATTENDED school for only 5 years, but he spoke  fourteen languages, and Oxford University honoured him with the title of Doctor of Civil Law.

The first time he appeared in London, he was jailed as a thief. Thirty years later, he was knighted by the  King of England.

ZAHAROFF  -that was the name of one of the richest, one of the most mysterious, and one of the most bitterly condemned man on earth. Many, many years ago, a reward of hundred thousand dollars was offered to anyone who would kill him.

When Zaharoff was  twenty-eight years old, he got a job selling ammunition for $25 a week and commissions. He was living in Greece at the time and he knew that the only way to sell guns was to create a demand for them.

Having made several million dollars in commissions out of many deals, Zaharoff once ran over to the Turks and said, ''Look what the Greeks are doing. They are getting ready to wipe you off the the face of the earth.'' So the Turks bought two submarines.

Bands played . Flags waved. Orators harangued the crowds; and Greece increased its army and bought guns from Zaharoff, and one of the first war submarines ever built.

And with that the arms race was on, and Zaharoff had launched himself on a career that was destined to net him three hundred million dollars, all drenched with blood.

Born in the most terrible poverty, Basil Zaharoff lived to amass, one of the greatest fortunes on earth. And he did it by selling machine and cannon and high explosive.

For more than half a century Zaharoff fattened on International fears, arming traditional enemies and helping to foment wars. During the Russian-Japanese conflict, he sold ammunition to both sides.

During the Spanish-American war, he sold bullets that killed American soldiers. During the world War 1, he owned stock in munition factories in Germany, England, France and Italy; so his wealth mounted and skyrocketed at a rate that staggers imagination.

He was said to have employed two men who looked precisely like him. Their sole duty was to appear in public so that the newspapers would report him in Berlin or Monte Carlo when in reality he was on a secret mission to some other city.

He never willingly posed for a photograph. He never granted an interview, and he never defended, never explained, never struck back, never answered the scathing denunciations that were heaped on him.

Until his death, he spent his summers in a magnificent chateau near Paris; but he was born in far-off Turkey in a mud hut that had no windows. As a child he slept on a dirt floor, tied rags around his feet to keep them warm, and often went hungry.     

One day in the summer of 1909, this mystery man of Europe was walking through the famous Zoological Gardens of Paris, and he was shocked to see that the moneys in the zoo were mangy and hungry and that-

The most famous Lion in the zoo was suffering rheumatism. Everything about the place seemed to be going to rack and ruin. So Zaharoff called for the manager and scolded him sharply. The manger didn't know that he was talking to one of the wealthiest men in the world.

The manager replied rather tartly that he didn't have the half a million francs necessary to take care of the animals properly. Zahroff said, ''Well, if that's all you need, here it is,'' and this man whose bullets had killed a million men, wrote out a check for a hundred thousand dollars to care for some animals.

The manager unable to decipher the signature, thought the stranger was trying to play a trick on him; so he tossed the check on to a pile of other papers and forgot all about it. 

Months later he showed it to a friend and was astonished to learn that it was real, and it was signed by the wealthiest man in France.

Zaharoff, died at eighty-five, a lonely tragic figure, broken in health. He had been writing his diary for half a century; it filled fifty-three books, and rumour has it that he ordered all those secret records to be destroyed at his death.

Befittingly, one of his biographies began with these words:
''The gravestone of a million men shall be his monument   -their dying groans his epitaph.''

With respectful dedication to all the the  ''Leaders of the Free World.'' See Ya all your Excellencys' on !WOW!   -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' The New World  '''

Good Night and God bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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