Their deaths were announced on Friday although they died on Tuesday, their daughter Bettina von Brauchitsch confirmed. They were both 83.
“My parents took this step in the light of continuing worsening of their health condition, and acted at a time suitable for them. Due to their serious illnesses, they would not have been in a condition to be able to act on their decision later,” she said in a statement according to Focus magazine.
Helga von Brauchitsch was suffering from advanced Parkinson’s Disease, while her husband had chronic emphysema.
“My parents knew each other for 70 years, they were married for nearly 60 years, experienced life with all its ups and downs together, and therefore decided to take the last step together,” she said.
Brauchitsch was one of the most powerful figures in German industry in the 1970s and became known as a crucial figure in the Flick affair which shook the country in the 1980s.
Then general manager of the Flick empire, he paid out around 26 million Deutsche marks to political parties, institutes and many politicians, including Count Otto Lamsdorff and Hans Friderichs who were fined heavily when the scandal broke. Lamsdorff also had to resign as economy minister as a result.
Brauchitsch himself was later given a suspended sentence and a fine for tax evasion, but was never convicted of bribery, Der Spiegel reported.