Franz Fritz

From Atlas
Franz "McFritz" Fritz
Mcfritz.jpg
Franz Fritz days before the Bauer Putsch
Born
Franz Fritz

(1889-04-20)April 20, 1889
DiedJuly 7, 1977(1977-07-07) (aged 88)
Resting placeSchloss Fritz
NationalityVazandian
OccupationBusinessman
Known forFounding McFritz
Net worth$34 billion (1977)

Franz "McFritz" Fritz (April 20, 1889 – July 7th, 1977) was a Vazandian war hero, then fascist political dissident, chef, and eventually entrepreneur and the richest man of the 20th century. After earning many commendations for his service during the First Great War, Fritz struggled for years with haunting memories of the Eastern Front before joining the ultra-nationalist Social Nationalist Vazandian Patriot's Party. Rising through the ranks of the party through the 20s, Fritz came to lead the party during the failed Bauer Putsch just before the Second Great War. While imprisoned and then on house arrest, Fritz wrote voraciously on Vazandian nationalism, but picked up cooking as a passion project. After the war, Fritz worked in various high-end restaurants before pursuing his own venture with the founding of his first McFritz location in Altstadt. Eventually abandoning and renouncing his former politics entirely, Franz Fritz went on to achieve unprecedented success with his McFritz chain of restaurants.

Early life[edit]

Fritz was born in Saarheim to Vazandian father Wilhelm Fritz and Tennish mother Marie McDonough on April 20th, 1889. Wilhelm and Marie were unmarried at the time of the birth, but wed shortly afterwards despite local judgement that marriage between a Tennish woman and Vazandian man was improper. The family continued to live in Saarheim for all of Franz's childhood- Wilhelm worked in a steel plant and Marie taught Vazandisch to local Tennish immigrants. It was during this rather plain childhood that Franz acquired the nickname "McFritz" for his mixed parentage. While at first the boy was hostile to the nickname, he eventually grew to embrace it. During his teen years, Franz spent much of his time studying and doing odd jobs around town and was described as "industrious" by his teachers and friends.

The Great War[edit]

When the Great War began and the Belovar League invaded eastern Vazandia, Franz enlisted almost immediately in the infantry, ending up as a corporal in the 4. Kasierliche-Saarheim Jaegerdivision. Sent east to fight in Ostrovia, the young corporal was wounded almost immediately during a skirmish outside Leverbrücken. After recovering in a field hospital, Fritz was sent back to the front where he distinguished himself as a soldier with his patriotism, bravery, and willingness to volunteer for the most dangerous tasks. When the war ended, Fritz was left jobless and disappointed; having hoped for a great victory like many of Vazandia's soldiers, the veteran was surprised when so little was gained in the peace negotiations.

Political Career[edit]

Post-war, Fritz spent years in a PTSD-induced depression from the many horrors of war he'd witnessed during his time on the Eastern Front. Upon return to Saarheim, Fritz was greeted by the news that virtually all of his childhood friends had been killed during the war, and to make matters worse, his mother was dying of cancer. Reduced to a crippled alcoholic after an accident at the steel plant, Wilhelm Fritz could barely take care of his wife and Franz struggled with his pension and oddjobs to support his parents.

Outraged by what he perceived to be an uncaring government and a pointless war fought over the egos of monarchs and inspired by the Stasnovan and Gorbatovic revolutions, Franz made his way into the ideals of revolutionary communism for a few year, taking part in numerous local organizations. It wasn't long before Franz was left jaded by what he saw as a lack of patriotism in the miniscule Vazandian communist movement (a movement that had never recovered from the pre-Civil War suppression) and moved on to the fledgling fascist movement. In 1923 and shortly after the death of his parents, Fritz became a prominent and outspoken member of Social Nationalist Vazandian Patriot's Party. Embroiled in the National Bolshevik wing of the party, Fritz's charisma and intelligence made him a prime candidate for the inter-party elections, resulting in his eventual domination of the movement. By 1934, he'd taken over the party almost entirely and was in the process of purging virtually all opposition to his agenda. Coincidentally, during this time period he attained the nickname "Head Chef" due to his constant micromanagement of the food at party functions.

By 1942, the party was at its zenith and represented as a minority party within the High Senate. With the Second Great War in full-swing across Vesperia, one of the chief topics of debate in the Senate was Vazandian intervention. Fritz and his Social Nationalists (and in particularly the National Bolshevik wing of the party) were extremely critical of any proposed intervention on the side of the Entente. Instead, the Social Nationalists endorsed friendly and open diplomatic relations with both the eastern fascists and communists.

Bauer Putsch[edit]

In February of 1942, the High Senate was set to vote on whether to support Acronia in its war when a battalion of troops from the local 1. Altstadt Infantrie Reservedivision was personally led by Oberst Norbert Bauer into the High Senate chambers and arrested all opposition Senators. A separate detachment led by General­major Adolf Freimann moved to arrest the Emperor and force abdication, but was fought off by the Republican Guard in a prolonged street battle. Fritz, for his part, had been aware of the plot by Freimann and had promised to support such a move and to endorse a temporary junta in exchange for being given the High Chancellorship once the dust had settled. Fritz, however, had demanded that such a coup be bloodless.

Shortly after the Republican Guard had fought off the first detachment of Reservists, Freimann was killed by machinegun fire while trying to escape with his men to the Senate. An hour later, Guardsmen stormed the Senate and overwhelmed the Reservists there, killing Bauer. During the day's fighting, 322 Reservists were killed at the cost of 180 Guardsmen, 13 Senators, and 19 civilians.

Fritz was outraged by the violence and moved to blame the aristocratic elements of the military before his complacency was discovered in letters written by Bauer and Freimann. Arrest and tried for aiding treason, he was sentence to life in prison- a death sentence avoided only because of his honorable military service.

Prison and reformation[edit]

When war broke out and the joint Schwardland-Tenburg-Granzery invasion of Vazandia began only months after the Putsch, Fritz was heartbroken at the thought of another pointless war killing millions of Vazandians, and especially saddened by Schwardland and Tenburg being aggressors in it. With as much time on his hands as he could ever want, Fritz petitioned the government for permission to write pro-Vazandian recruitment propaganda, hoping that a quick and decisive Vazandian victory would be the quickest and least blood end to the war that was feasible.

During his time in prison and when not writing, Fritz experimented with cooking and often volunteered in the prison kitchen. Making varieties of Vazandian and Tennish cuisines, he became popular in the prison for his culinary talents and was a favorite of even the guards and warden. Fritz was so well-liked, that in 1945, the warden authorized a detail to escort Fritz to a local restaurant so that he could prepare the wedding dinner of one of the guards at the prison. This time period also saw a resurrection of Fritz's nickname: McFritz.

The nickname became so well-known, that even the propaganda letters and stories penned by the prisoner were signed "McFritz," as it was believed that it established rapport with the Tennish resistance allied to the Vazandian military.

When the war ended in 1947, Fritz felt a great relief and sense of hope, believing truly that no war of such scale could ever occur again. "Now that the whole world has felt the pain of a lost generation as Vazandia did, perhaps as such they will recognize the folly and tragedy in such grand wastes," he was quoted in an interview in 1948.

During his time in prison, his political beliefs has change drastically as well- gone were the National Bolshevik ideals tempered by rage at the Imperial Republican establishment, the Social Nationalist leanings brought about by the suffering of his parents, and the sympathy towards the eastern dictatorships. Writing in his self-penned plea for mercy to the Emperor, Franz Fritz described himself as "a new man, determined only to help his fellow Vazandian, damn war, and prepare the most delicious cuisine possible." The plea was well-received by the Emperor, who pardoned Fritz in 1949.

Founding McFritz[edit]

After years in prison, Fritz had become both a celebrated patriotic writer and chef, though he lacked formal training. Immersing himself into the apprenticeship of world-famous chefs from Acronia and Lyonia, to Merala and Temischa, Fritz made every effort to master the culinary arts. For Franz, cooking was therapeutic- an easy way to forget the tragedy of the First Great War, the mistakes of his political career, and the droning monotony of prison. Upon his return to Vazandia in 1956, Fritz opened a restaurant in Saarheim: McFritz.

The rapid success of the restaurant fueled the opening of four more locations in the city by the end of 1957. By 1960, Franz Fritz was opening a restaurant in Vazandia every week, preferring to personally oversee their initial days in operation. A fortune was flowing into the founder's bank account every day, and soon he couldn't manage to appear at every opening. Instead, he'd appear at one per month, while a series of "McFritz" impersonators (complete with iconic moustache and combover) would appear at all the rest.

Famous for its schnitzel, hamburgers, Acronian sliced and salted potatoes (fries), and much more, the restaurant chain exploded in popularity across Vesperia. By 1970, it was the largest restaurant chain in the world and Fritz was the richest man alive.

While Franz maintained an active role in the corporation right up until his death, the late 1960s and early 1970s were a time of intense philanthropic work for him. The economic collapse, Trang War, Volkan Civil War, and tensions in Verico had sapped public morale. Fritz spent enormous amounts of money building community centers, libraries, schools, and veteran's associations. Billions of Reichshthalers were spent by the aging Fritz as he moved to rapidly deplete his fortune before he died.

Death[edit]

Only a month after his 88th birthday, Franz suffered a debilitating stroke that left him bedridden and nearly paralyzed. With the help of his wife, the dying billionaire wrote his first will since he'd served in the First Great War. On the day of his death, Fritz's last words were reported to be, "Not bad, I would say."

Personal life[edit]

Despite the therapeutic nature of the culinary arts, Fritz was deeply troubled and suffered frequent bouts of intense depression up until the end of his life, was a noted teetotaler, and committed member of the Principalic Church. He is quoted as saying that his "saving grace was witnessing what alcohol did to my father- as awful as anything could be, I'll never drink a drop as long as I can remember his face."

In 1953, Fritz married the Skandish actress Anna Andress in a scandalous affair due to her being 38 years his junior. They remained married for the rest of his life, but had no children. Shortly after his death in 1977, she died in an automobile accident, resulting in the entirety of the remaining McFritz fortune being donated to various charities and establishments.