Professor's home raided after funeral

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The Independent Online
BURGLARS who made life a misery for the late Professor Leopold Kohr by repeatedly ransacking his home have struck again, only days after his funeral.

Manning Farrell, a friend who took the professor's ashes to Austria to be buried, returned to find intruders had rifled through Professor Kohr's papers and left his Gloucester home 'an absolute tip'.

Mrs Farrell, 73, said: 'They made his life hell and now they have the gall to do this after he has died. It is absolutely appalling behaviour.'

Professor Kohr, who was deaf, was burgled 14 times in the last year of his life. On one occasion thieves ransacked his bedroom while he was asleep. No one was charged. Friends said the break-ins sapped his spirit and contributed to his death last month.

On this occasion articles such as antique crockery, a clock and a barometer were taken. A bedroom wall was covered with vomit.

Professor Kohr, who developed the 'small is beautiful' philosophy, died on 26 February, aged 84. Mrs Farrell took his ashes to be buried in the family tomb at Oberndorf, near Salzburg, where the professor was born.

Professor Kohr, who was included in the Sunday Times guide to 'Makers of the 20th Century', believed that crime was often the result of 'bigness'. In a small community, he argued, criminals were deterred because they could not evade responsibility for their actions by relying on the anonymity of a big metropolis.

When he put a card in the window of his house naming one of the people allegedly responsible for the raids, the burglars returned and turned the place upside down. His files were left in chaos and he had to abandon hope of completing his fifth book. He reacted as a true philosopher: 'I do not blame them particularly . . . I have always pointed out that people behave only if they cannot misbehave.'