Helmut Springer is the leader of the Purple Gang, a Mafia syndicate operating out of Detroit, Michigan.
At some point in his career, Springer made friends with Jed Midnight, the leader of the Shadow Syndicate in Miami, Florida. During his career, Springer's second-in-command was a man named Slappy Hapgood.
By 1957, Springer's daughter attended Vassar College, in Poughkeepsie, New York.
In June 1957, Springer travelled to New York City and collaborated with gangsters Billy "The Grinner" Ring, Jed Midnight, Jack Strap, Mr. Solo, and Pussy Galore. All of the gangsters had been selected by Auric Goldfinger, codenamed as "Mr. Gold", to rob Fort Knox in Kentucky. Although most of the gangsters agreed, Springer backed out of Goldfinger's plan, as he feared his proposal "would not find favor" with his gang in Detroit.
For this, Goldfinger ordered his Korean manservant Oddjob to murder Springer and Hapgood, who had joined him on his visit to New York. As Springer and Hapgood were exiting the building, Oddjob shoved both men down the stairs, breaking their necks; Helmut died instantly, while Hapgood survived but later succumbed to his injuries. Goldfinger later claimed that they died in an "accident".
Springer is described as a "man of distinction", having glazed pale blue opaque eyes resembling cold, glass marbles, and wearing an immaculate pin-striped suit, a piquéd weave C.F. Hathaway dress shirt, and Aqua Velva grooming products.
- The Purple Gang was a real-life Mafia syndicate; they were Jewish-American Mafia gangsters who operated in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Paradise Valley in Detroit, Michigan in the 1920s.
- In the film, the role of Helmut Springer - the gangster who wants out of the plan and is killed by Oddjob because of it - was filled in by Mr. Solo.