Chief Executive Officer of IG Farben from 1935 to 1945, he was sentenced to four years in prison in the IG Farben Trial. In 1898 he began studying at Ahrenbergische Aktiengesellschaft für Bergbau und Hüttenbetrieb in Hessen, and in 1905 he entered the Commerce College in Nuremberg. In 1914 he was required to serve in the army.
He was injured during the First World War and, after recovering from his injuries, he was made Reich"s supervisor for chemical products production in the matériel department (1915).
In 1919, as an expert in fertilizers and nitric salts, he took part in the assembly that negotiated the Treaty of Versailles. There he met Carl Bosch, a chemist of worldwide fame.
In July 1919 Schmitz was hired at Badische Anilin- & Soda-Fabrik by Bosch as his financial advisor. He was promoted to administrator of Badische Anilin- & Soda-Fabrik"s exterior department, a position he maintained after the company became part of IG Farben.
As per his job requirements he maintained contacts with large businesses, such as Standard Oil, with which he took part in negotiations, always having the support of that era"s governments in the interests of IG Farben.
In 1933, he was elected to the Reichstag under the administration of the National Socialist Party and after two years, he succeeded Carl Duisberg as IG Farben"s Chief Executive Officer when he died. In 1938, he became war economy administrator (Wehrwirtschaftsführer). In 1941, Hitler gave him a portrait of him with his autograph as a gift for his dedication to the aims of Nazi Germany.
Schmitz led IG Farben until the end of the Second World War.
He was arrested and tried at the IG Farben Trial, during which he was sentenced to four years imprisonment. Schmitz died in Heidelberg on 8 October 1960.
After completing his studies, he was hired by Metallurgische Gesellschaft (metallurgy company), where after some time he became consultant of Wilhelm Merton, member of the superivosors" council of the company, who helped Schmitz promote his career. He was freed in the end of 1950s and he went on to become member of the administrators" council of Deutsche Bank in Berlin, while he took the honorary president of "Rheinische Stahlwerke AG".