The victims are commemorated by a memorial stone on the outskirts of Straßlach, near Munich. In addition, a memorial column was erected on the Siemens corporate campus in Munich-Perlach, where a building is also named after Karl Heinz Beckurts and a walkway is named after Eckhard Groppler. The Managing Board of Siemens lays commemorative wreaths at both locations in honor of the 25th anniversary of their deaths.
The crime has not been solved to this day. The Federal Prosecutor’s Office considers it a foregone conclusion that the assassination was committed by the Red Army Faction. It is still investigating. DNA testing of the letter claiming responsibility was carried out in 2009, but has yielded no conclusions to date.
Karl Heinz Beckurts joined Siemens AG in 1980 as a member of its Managing Board and as the head of the Corporate Office of Research and Technology (known today as Corporate Technology), having previously been the Chairman of the Board of the research institute known today as Forschungszentrum Jülich. Widely respected for his charismatic powers of persuasion and leadership skills, Beckurts advanced the technological transformation of Siemens, which was driven by information technology and micro-electronics. Under his leadership, for example, Siemens launched its campaign to catch up in the field of semiconductor technology. He also considerably expanded the company’s centralized software research and broke new ground with the establishment of venture capital activities. Beckurts successfully advocated for the implementation of targeted German and European research programs in order to close the growing technology gap with the United States and Japan.
Thanks to his straightforward personality, Karl Heinz Beckurts knew how to motivate people and win them over to the causes of science and research. The fact that Siemens’ research activities are among the most advanced in the world today and that Corporate Technology has laid the foundation for many current and future pioneering advances can be largely credited to his work. Siemens AG owes him a great debt of gratitude.
After his death, the federation of research institutions known today as the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers established the Karl Heinz Beckurts Foundation. One of the goals of this foundation is to promote partnership between science and business. It awards prizes annually and supports scientific research that bridges the gap between natural and applied sciences, on the one hand, and between science and the humanities, on the other. The foundation also organizes inter-disciplinary symposia. Siemens is represented on the foundation’s Board of Directors by Klaus Helmrich, the current Chief Technology Officer of Siemens.