Germany: In Memory of Franz Mack, A Pioneer of the Attractions Industry
On 7 March 2021, Franz Mack would have turned 100 years old. “Be modest and keep on going“ – that was his motto throughout his life. Yet Franz Mack stands for countless technical top achievements and his name is inseparably linked with Europa-Park and the company of Mack Rides in Waldkirch. Together with his sons Roland and Jürgen, Franz Mack was the driving force behind the construction and success of what is today Germany’s largest theme park.
Franz Mack was born on 7 March 1921 as the fifth son of Heinrich and Theresia Mack. He completed his training as a carriage and chassis master constructor. After war captivity and a currency reform, he returned to Waldkirch and got married. In 1948, Franz Mack and his brothers, Hermann and Willi, took over responsibility in their father’s carriage and carousel factory in Waldkirch, which had already been founded in 1780. The premises were moved on site to new, larger grounds. The globe with a wagon and its slogan “The wide world is my field“ became the symbol of quality workmanship from Mack, one of today’s most successful family-owned companies from the Black Forest on a global scale. Today, the Mack company unites a multitude of top technical achievements, which owe their development to the inventiveness of the entrepreneur Franz Mack. Among other things, he designed the “Eurosat“ rollercoaster, which opened in 1989, as well as the high-speed “Euro-Mir“ rollercoaster with its legendary tower lift, which went into operation in 1997 and caused a great stir in the industry. Even at an advanced age, he still designed and developed this coaster model himself…
Franz Mack was a supporter of numerous clubs and associations in the communities of Rust and Waldkirch and was honoured with prestigious high-class awards by the Federal President of Germany for his comprehensive social commitment: In 1984, he received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany on ribbon and in 1997, the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany 1st Class. The IAAPA inducted Franz Mack into the “Hall of Fame“ in 2005, placing him in the same ranks as Walt Disney. On 3 October 2010, Franz Mack died in Rust at the age of 89.
The EAP Trade Magazine likes to remember Franz Mack, the pioneer of the international theme park business. In appreciation of his life’s work, we are publishing in our EAP Digital Reader an interview (in German language) that our Chief Editor Petra Probst had the chance to conduct with Franz Mack in Rust in September 2007. (eap)