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My first urban exploration let me to a former scarf and plush factory.
Founded in 1880 by Alfred and Anton Lehmann as A&A Lehmann – Fabrik von Mohair und Seidenplüschen, Nouveautes, Shawes und Wollenstoffen. Fabrik mit Spinnerei, mechan. Webstühlen, Färberei, Druckerei, Appretur in Schöneweide bei Berlin.
They had success with their company and in 1888 the son of Anton, Richard Lehmann, started working as department chief. After his father’s death, Richard started managing the company and got involved in local politics and public departments like being patron of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft (today Institute of Max Planck).
The world economic crises in the 1920s also effected the textile industry of Berlin. Buildings were rented to other companies.
After the Nazis gained political power and because the Lehmann family were jews, although it didn’t play a big role in their life, they escaped to England in 1939.
All family members but Richard and his wife, migrated.
Later on, when the Nazis established anti-jew laws, the Lehmann property was claimed property of the Reich. In December 1942, Richard and his wife were picked up by Gestapo and were deported to Concentration Camp Theresienstadt.
After the war, the VEB (Volkeigener Betrieb, public company) Metallhütten- und Halbzeugwerke (factory of steel work and wrought material) was founded 1st Jan 1951.
The VEB employed around 2300 people in 3 shifts and the products ranged from copper wire, pure aluminium and red brass mountings.
The damage of the environment due to emissions and impurified cooling water was really high.
In the 1950s the cultural centre “Ernst Schneller” and a kindergarten for the employees’ children had been built.
After the reunion of Germany, the production was giving up and the cultural centre was used as a discotheque “CISCH” for some more years.
I was told by different men I met on the area, that the NVA (the army of East Germany) ran a print shop and that there would be a huge tunnel system under the area.
Concerning the tunnel system I can say that it seems to be flooded...
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