top of page
1914 - 1945


Outbreak of the First World War


1915 / 1916

August Theisen falls seriously ill in November.

The company founder dies just a few weeks later, on January 16 of the following year.

Speech at the funeral

August Theisen



After returning from the war takes over

Georg Theisen took over the operational management of the company.

After completing his studies in 1925, his brother Dr. Max Theisen joins the company.

The brothers share the departments:


  • George Theisen

takes over the tool department, later also the construction machinery department


  • dr Max Theisen

the steel and machine department

Dr. Max und Georg Theisen

Left: Georg Theisen       right: Dr. Max Theisen     



Due to the turmoil of the revolution and inflation with its crazy numbers, the post-war period brings many hardships both internally and externally - the inexorable decline of the economy on the one hand and the horrible increase in unemployment figures.





1922 inflation


Within 10 months the dollar has risen more than 30 times against the mark. Almost overnight, the general situation in the Reich deteriorated radically. They paralyze the badly battered economy even more.

Rechenmaschine Triumphator 1920
Rechenmaschine Triumphator 1920

Calculator "Triumphator"



the company becomes a public limited company. A special list of hammers, picks, blacksmith's and stonemason's tools will appear.




the company opens a branch in Munich,

Thalkirchnerstrasse 14.




A list of appears

Screws, washers and cotter pins.










There is a catalog about track construction machines and superstructure equipment.

Logo Gebrüder Theisen
Aktie Gebrüder Theisen

Share of the Theisen brothers




The year turns into a cruel year of fate for millions and millions of people in almost the whole world. It begins October 25   in the US. with the so-called Black Friday.

Banks and entire economic empires are collapsing, the well-off have become destitute overnight, millions of those who are less well off are losing their modest savings and often their jobs as well.

In order to be able to continue running the company, the property at Frauentorgraben No. 12 is sold.


The global economic crisis reached a new peak on July 13th. Banks collapse, the army of unemployed grows to almost 5.5 million.


The employees of the company are only employed with daily termination. Salary is only paid when there is money in the till.

Logo Gebrüder Theisen



Unemployment reaches a record high of 7.5 million.





Adolf Hitler seizes power. If it was previously a frightening reality that one existence after the other shattered, the shelves that had become empty are suddenly filling up again. In the short term, a basis for further development will be created. At that time, one had no idea what misfortune this man had over all Europe will bring.

On September 18th   my brother Georg starts his apprenticeship at Gebrüder Theisen as a wholesale merchant. From March 9, 1936, after completing his apprenticeship, he worked in the shop operating the telephone, taking inventory and as a salesman.


On March 31, 1938, he was drafted into labor service.

Zeugnis Georg Seiffert

Testimony of my brother Georg Seiffert



50 years THEISEN BROTHERS 1886-1936


On Saturday October 31st the company celebrates her

50th company anniversary.

At this time the company employs 90 people, including:


  • 6 jubilees who can already celebrate their 25th service anniversary and are still active in the business

  • 11 employees with more than 20 years of service 

  • 11 employees with more than 15 years of service 

  • 11 employees with more than 10 years of service  

  • Retired anniversaries with  36 or 37 years of service















Speisekarte Gebrüder theisen
50 Jahre Gebrüder Theisen
Belegschaft Gebrüder Theisen1.jpeg
Vorspruch Gebrüder Theisen

Preface, performed by Hilde Theisen (daughter of Georg Theisen)



On September 1st   World War II breaks out.


The company opens a branch in neighboring Austria. The address in Vienna is Schwarzenberger Straße. 





In June   a new extensive catalog with 845 pages will appear. This is a catalog work that is unique at the time






With its overall content, technical information, hints and tables, the catalog is a valuable guide for purchasing and operations.

1940 Werkzeugkatalog Gebrüder Theisen

Catalog 1940



The shortage of raw materials is having an effect. By order of the Reich government in Berlin, a special office is set up here to ensure supplies to the armaments industry. A Mr. Bayer comes from Berlin to run the special office.


The number of employees is now around two hundred.


DAF "German Labor Front"


After the union was broken up in 1933, the NSDAP founded the Deutsche Arbeitsfront DAF as an institution to bring workers and employers together in the spirit of the "national community". and leisure activities. "Sham companies" for apprentices and young employees are set up in the companies. In addition, they exercise once a week. Mr. Rohr, correspondent in our tool department, devotes himself to vocational training. Since he is so successful in running advanced training courses, technical and commercial training work for young employees and apprentices, our front company receives


"NORICA tool trade Adolf Braun, Nuremberg"


an award for outstanding achievements in the context of training.

My membership book of the "German Labor Front"


Weekend training in Schillingsfürst


On August 15th and 16th   the company is holding a weekend training course for young employees and apprentices at the "DAF" boarding school in Schillingsfürst.

On August 29 - a Saturday - Nuremberg experienced the first real large-scale air raid. From 1:00 a.m. to 1:40 a.m. British aircraft, of which only 50 reach the actual city area, drop 12 air mines, 112 heavy explosive bombs, about 9,700 phosphorus bombs and 5,000 incendiary bombs. The old town is also hit. Our company remains undamaged, with the exception of a few broken windows.

Gebrüder Theisen0735 (1).jpg

Weekend training of the "DAF" in Schillingsfürst


Three heavy air raids on Nuremberg


February 25-26, March 08-09  and August 11

cause significant damage to the city. Our company was also spared from these air raids - apart from a few small damages.


During the attack on August 11   the British scout planes initially had difficulties marking the target point with marker bombs, as there was only a slightly broken cloud cover over Nuremberg. The focal points of the impacts were in the north of Nuremberg. The suburb of Wöhrd was almost completely destroyed in this attack.



On April 11, I begin my apprenticeship as a wholesale merchant, which I will successfully complete in 1947 after thorough training in the various departments.

My first year of training is all about the war. I still remember the first day at the company. 6 new apprentices were hired - Erwin, Willi, Hilde, Anneliese, Lilo and I. We are divided into the different departments. Erwin and I will initially be in the shop/warehouse department for six months. The head of department is Mr. Müller, a wonderful person who is very popular with all employees in the company. In these first six months, I've learned a great deal from this highly experienced man.


At that time I would never have dreamed that I would be Mr. Müller's successor in 1959 when he retired.



My first day at work


At 10:04 a.m. the air raid sirens sounded "air raid alarm". All clear is at 10:47 a.m. Already with the "pre-alarm" all files, typewriters, accounting and calculating machines have to be taken to the air-raid shelter by the staff. The same every evening after hours and back to the offices in the morning.



In the next few weeks and months, the number of air raid warnings increases to such an extent that working in the company becomes more and more complicated. From February to December 1944 alone there were 11 bomb attacks on Nuremberg. From September 1944, Nuremberg was also attacked during the day by the US Air Force. And so it goes on until the end of the war in April 1945.



Under the impression of the knowledge and experience gained during the intensifying air war, the structural air protection measures are improved. In the air-raid shelter, the ceiling is supported by strong beams. The city of Nuremberg gave the company permission to use bricks from the ruins of the "Weltkino" on Josefsplatz to barricade our shop windows. Everyone is involved - from Mr. Georg and Dr. Max Theisen to the apprentices including the female employees. Before starting the masonry work, the bricks must first be removed from the old cement remains.

In late summer, the regime ordered total warfare measures, which, in addition to the increasing number of air raid warnings and the consequences of the air raids, once again radically changed the everyday life of the population. The regular working hours in offices and administrations will be extended to 60 hours per week.



On September 1st I will be transferred to the machine tools and welding equipment department. Department manager and authorized signatory is Mr. Faber. He is not very popular and feared by his employees. Personally, I can't say anything bad about him - on the contrary - for me Mr. Faber was almost like a father.


When the regular working hours are extended to 60 hours a week for employees and 56 hours a week for young people in September, Mr. Faber makes sure that I don't work more than 56 hours.




On September 10, the first daytime bombing raid on Nuremberg


We never really believed that Nuremberg would be attacked by enemy bombers even in broad daylight, but we will be taught otherwise on Sunday September 10th. At 10:47 a.m. the pre-alert was sounded, and just one minute later the air-raid alert. 450 four-engined American bombers and 150 fighter planes attack Nuremberg and Fürth in 8 waves


347 explosive bombs a' 500 kilos

509 explosive bombs a' 250 kilos

439 incendiary bombs

and 35 cluster bombs each weighing 130 kilos




The US Air Force attack lasted 34 minutes. The so-called "carpet bombs" are typical of the American attacks. The planes fly side by side and one behind the other and drop their load in such a way that they cover the overflown area like a carpet. But this attack costs the Americans heavy casualties, debris from downed planes can be found everywhere. In view of the success of our air defenses, the "whisper propaganda" spread the fairy tale that another daytime attack on Nuremberg was no longer to be expected. However, three weeks later, on October 3, the unfoundedness of this assertion was clearly demonstrated.


At the end of September, the air warnings during the day and at night are constantly increasing. Again and again the sirens wail "Alarm".


In view of this situation, "air raid squads" are set up within our company. Each squad consists of two men, equipped with air protection helmets, gas masks, fire swatters and water guns. Your task is to search for possible sources of fire in the area assigned to you between the individual attack waves and to extinguish them.

Our dispatch manager August Rottenbacher and I are assigned the three-storey machine house in the backyard. Such an operation in March 1945 almost cost us both our lives.


In mid-September   I get the message from the Hitler Youth (HJ) that I will be used to harvest hops in Spalt. It is pointed out that this is an important mission for the sustenance of the Reich!


My head of department, Mr. Faber from the machine department, obtained the release for me from the HJ operations management. The background is my work in


"Special office A 4".

Unit (A4) is die Type designation of the world's first functional large rocket (V2) with liquid engine in 1942. Designed as a long-range artillery ballistic missile, it was the first man-made object to break through space on June 20, 1944.

The rocket is 14 meters high and has a full launch weight of 13.5 tons. It consists of around 20,000 individual parts. Our company is involved in the delivery of tools.



03 October - Second daylight raid on Nuremberg


October 3rd is a sunny, warm autumn day. Not a cloud is in the sky. And nobody in Nuremberg thinks that enemy bombers would dare to "visit" Nuremberg with this clear view.


At 10:47 a.m. the pre-alert was given. As always, we bring the typewriters, calculating machines, files, etc. to safety, ie to the air-raid shelter, when the alarm is raised.

At 11:00 a.m. full alarm. The anti-aircraft guns are firing on all cylinders and now the "bombing concert" begins. The impacts of the bombs cover everything. Several bombs fall very close to us. One detonation after another makes our air-raid shelter tremble, limescale trickles from the ceiling. At around 11:35 a.m. the bombing suddenly died down. Now it's time for the air raid squads to start their work to search for possible sources of fire in their assigned areas. But there isn't much time. At 11:48 a.m. the second wave of the bomber formation reached the city area and dropped their deadly burden on Nuremberg. At 12:08 p.m. the signal "pre-clearance" comes. However, when bombs fell again between 12:09 p.m. and 12:11 p.m., the air raid alarm went off again.

As we leave the air-raid shelter, all we see is rubble and fire in the old town - as far as   the eye can see. In our neighborhood, the cultural association is on fire, the opera house, the Hotel Deutscher Hof and the main train station are also on fire.


Very close to us at the Plärrer, the bombs made a terrible noise. A carpet of bombs has fallen here and penetrated the primitive splinter ditch. Over 100 dead  here alone in one fell swoop. The splinter ditch was also fatal to a 60-strong SS team. The young SS soldiers were surprised by the attack while swimming in the public baths and in their haste they sought shelter in the splinter ditch on the Plärrer. The dead and injured are taken to the medical bunker diagonally opposite our company.

Our company buildings suffered relatively little damage. There is glass damage and most of the roof has been covered by air pressure. In this attack, the use of our air raid squads has proven itself. A source of fire was already extinguished as it started. The attack lasted only 45 minutes. It claims 365 lives.

In December, during the vocational school lesson, a recruiting officer comes to our school and gives a lecture, at the end of which he asks the class which of us will volunteer for the SS Hitler Youth Division. None of us answer. He then turns the question around and asks, "Who is against?" Of course none of us dares to oppose it, whereupon the recruiter concludes with "So everyone volunteered". Our personal details are recorded and we have become "volunteers" in the SS Hitler Youth Division. 14 days later is the pattern.

In order to save heating material, our operations will remain closed from Saturday, December 23rd. until Thursday 28.12. closed, only the post office is occupied alternately by apprentices.

I was looking forward to enjoying some peaceful Christmas holidays. But already on Saturday, December 23rd. is five air warnings, from half past six in the morning to nine at night.

On Christmas Eve, a Sunday, five air warnings and three air raid warnings, on Christmas Day, 

five times air warning, no rest on holidays.

In the freezing cold on December 29th and 30th. my first inventory. I've been assigned to inventory counting in the construction equipment basement in this cold weather. The room is not heated due to lack of fuel. You can't touch any metal parts in this cold without gloves, because your fingers immediately stick to the metal.

Unbelievable, but also in our company   there are employees who still believe in the "final victory" at the end of 1944.


Two examples:

Morning on the way to my workplace I meet my colleague Mr. E.* and greet him with the words:"Good morning Mr E."He then turns to me and says:"You come here - are you in the Hitler Youth?"I answer with"YES"and asks me:"Do they greet there with -Praise be Jesus Christ_?"I answer:"No - with Heil Hitler". He says:"I want to hear that from you in the future, too."

This gentleman "*E" - deliberately not written out here - carried "heaven" through the city at the first Corpus Christi procession in Nuremberg after the end of the war. He was also a member of the Catholic Kolping Society.

2nd case

When we met in the morning at Einem Air raid alarm in the air raid

When we meet Keller, we greet each other with "Good morning". Suddenly our colleague Mr. R. starts screaming: 

"Our soldiers fight at the front and defend our fatherland and THEY greet each other with "Guten Morgen!" instead of "Heil Hitler".

My apprenticeship contract

Karl Seiffert

Me in 1944, aged 14

Aggregat 4 - V2 Rakete

Big Rocket "V2"


On January 2nd, a Tuesday, there are four air warnings. In the late afternoon I am assigned to the mail handling in the post office. Erwin and I, who is also assigned to handle mail, have decided to go to the revue film tonight


"The woman of my dreams" with Marika Röck,


currently running at Phoebus Palace. But as is so often the case, the mail from Messrs. Georg and Max Theisen comes very late to the post office. We apprentices still have to take the mail to the main post office at the train station. As we exit the post office at the train station, a public air warning is given.


It is 6:33 p.m. when I board the tram to Mögeldorf. Just 10 minutes later, at 18:43, the air raid alarm went off. The tram stops at the "Arminiusstrasse" stop. I have to walk the rest of the way to Marthastrasse.

The anti-aircraft batteries are already beginning to fire. The first reconnaissance aircraft have broken through the ring of barrage and are in the middle of the city area. Suddenly it becomes daylight over the city. The reconnaissance aircraft dropped the first magnesium flares, popularly known as "Christmas trees". It's 7:18 p.m. on my watch. The four-engined bombers roared dully, coming on a broad front from the south to the south-west. When I reach our apartment on Ostendstrasse, there is a bright flash. An explosion shows me that the first bombers are over the city area.


Now begins the greatest catastrophe in the worldHistory of the city of Nuremberg.

High-explosive bombs, aerial mines and incendiary bombs fall into the city by the thousands, deliberately thrown into the residential areas of the old Noris.


The attack ended at 8:13 p.m., and the all-clear was given at 8:24 p.m.


In the 1  1/2 hour of terror as the bombers plow through the city, nearly 5,000 residential buildings are totally destroyed and over 12,000 others badly damaged. Almost 2,000 people killed, more than half of them women and children, over 3,000 people injured. 650 people are still being dug up alive from the rubble, more than 1,600 only dead.


It is estimated that the 594 English bombers


1,000,000 incendiary bombs (479 tons)

100 mines, 6,000 heavy explosive bombs and

428 high-explosive bombs with slow-release fuses,


together about 1,828 tons of high-explosive bombs dropped on the city.

A cloud of smoke hangs over the city for days and it seems as if day will never come. There is no water, gas or electricity for days. Trams and trains no longer run.

In our apartment on Ostendstrasse, all the windows, including window frames and door frames, have been ripped out - and that in the freezing cold. After the most necessary tidying up work in our apartment, I walk to the company on "Schusterrappen". Here, too, I have to state that the company was hit hard. The building at Färberstraße 41 / corner of Karthäusergasse 47, in which our offices for our machine department and the steel warehouse on the ground floor were located, burned down completely.

The machine department, in which I am currently in training is outsourced to Roth. The special office A 4, which is responsible for supplying the armaments industry, is also relocated to Weißenburg.


February 13 


I still remember my first day at work in Roth: the train is very late. We need more than 3 hours from Nuremberg to Roth. At 5 p.m. we take the train back to Nuremberg, which is again late. When we reached Nuremberg-Hohe-Marter train station at around 8:30 p.m., there was another air raid alarm. Despite the overcrowding of the public air-raid shelter at the Hohen-Marter, we are admitted there. Shortly thereafter, the flak opened fire. Bombs don't fall on Nuremberg this time. The English bombers fly their attack on Dresden and only fly over Nuremberg airspace.

The all-clear was not given until around 11:00 p.m., as the bombers were again flying over Nuremberg airspace on their return flight. Then it's back to Mögeldorf on foot in the freezing cold and snow. My head of department, Mr. Faber, who lives in Zerzabelshof, accompanies me to Marthastrasse in Mögeldorf. When I'm in bed, it's already 1:15 am. At 7:30 a.m. we walk back to the train station and take the train to Roth. From Dr. Max Theisen was later instructed that the return trip to Nuremberg should take place at 3:00 p.m.

February 20 


In February I will be transferred from the machine department to the registry for further training. This department is not very popular with us apprentices, we only see this training as a necessary evil. For me, however, the transfer is a joy, because thank God the stress of the daily trip to Roth is finally over.


One of my first jobs is to burn documents from our A 4 office in an open fireplace in our courtyard next to the three-storey engine house. This is a large number of Leitz folders with documents that should probably not fall into the hands of the advancing enemy. After the burning of the individual receipts proceeds very slowly, after a while I always throw the entire contents of the Leitz files into the fire. However, I soon find out that these bundles of paper burn very badly. With a shovel, I try to separate the half-burnt bundles of paper. In the middle of my "war-related activity" the sirens "air-raid alert" suddenly wailed. From the noise of the bombers' engines I can tell that the first planes are already over Nuremberg. I don't have time to put out the fire because the first bombs are already falling. And now there's non-stop bombing. The earth is shaking, our LS basement is shaking. We sit powerless in our seats, heads bowed low.


Due to the bomb impacts in our vicinity, the plaster trickles from the ceiling. Words cannot describe the horror and horror. Anyone who did not witness this attack can hardly imagine this terrible event. The attack occurs in four waves. When the first wave of bombers has completed its deadly task, our air raid protection troops begin their deployment. Equipped with air-raid helmets, gas masks and fire swatters, each squad, consisting of two men, runs to their assigned area to put out any fires that may have broken out. Mr. Rottenbacher and I are responsible for the three-story engine house. We can't find anything apart from broken windows and roof damage. When we leave the building, the second wave of bombers is already over the city. We run across the yard in the direction of the air-raid shelter, then down the steep wooden stairs to the LS room, our colleagues are still holding the iron air-raid shelter open for us. A bomb hit with an explosion wave throws us down the last few steps. A huge cloud of dust rolls over us into the steel door of the air-raid shelter, which is still open. The air is full of dust and dirt that almost takes our breath away and I can feel the sand between my teeth. In the air raid shelter there are water barrels and towels that we slap in front of our faces to save ourselves from suffocation.


Between the second and third wave of bombers we rush back up with our equipment. But Herr Rottenbacher and I have to realize that our area, the engine room, is no longer there. A direct hit left only a pile of rubble. If the two of us had left the engine house just a minute later between the first and second wave of bombers, we would have been buried under the rubble.


At 1:44 p.m. the bombers turned away.


As we leave the air-raid shelter, a peculiar, sweet smell hits us. There is a dead horse in front of our house entrance. Men and women are in the process of cutting pieces of meat out of the horse's carcass with large knives. Their hands are smeared with blood, they transport their loot home in buckets and bowls.

Where there were houses just an hour ago, there is nothing but piles of rubble, smoke and blazing conflagration.


As I make my way home to Mögeldorf, I find that my half-burnt documents from the A 4 office have been thrown to the opera house and main train station in the firestorm that always occurs when there is a major fire. The "war important" secret papers fluttered through the city center - from today's point of view a reason to smile.


21 February -bombing raid-


Almost 24 hours after the previous day's bombing raid, the American force, with around 1,200 bombers and numerous escorts, launched another attack on the city. It is hardly possible to assign the damage to the individual processes. Many objects are hit multiple times. The air raid protection, fire brigade and Wehrmacht forces are still exhausted from the first attack,  da comes down the following day with a hail of bombs from a second attack. The gas, water and electricity supply collapsed. Most streets have become trails over collapsed house facades. Train and tram connections are interrupted. Where there were apartments and factories yesterday, there is nothing but piles of rubble that cannot be overlooked.


After today's air raid, there has been no tram service for a full three weeks. Only then will operations resume on a tenth of the previous network.


A provisional water supply with horse-drawn breweries can just avert the extreme need.


The food rations have to be cut again and reach a weekly ration of at the beginning of April


1,700g bread, 250g meat and 125g fat -


the lowest level during the entire war.


But at that time we had no idea what else awaited us after the end of the war in May 1945 until the currency reform in June 1948   in terms of nutrition. Since this weekly ration is still the purest land of milk and honey!


After these two bombing raids, the management ordered that in the event of an air raid alarm, the employees should go to the Färbertorbunker for safety reasons, with the exception of the "air raid squads".




Not a day goes by without an air raid warning. On some days, the sirens wail up to ten times, announcing an air-raid alert or pre-alert. Sometimes bombs fall without warning. There is often only an hour or two between the all-clear and the air-raid alert. Our workplaces were moved to the air-raid shelter a few weeks ago. Since an air-raid shelter has no windows, we don't see daylight all the time.

After a power failure, we work with carbide lamps. With that stench and the heating of our little food pots on an iron stove in the basement, the air is to cut.


March 16 -Last major attack at night-


Between 8:53 p.m. and 10:40 p.m., our three-storey rear building falls victim to the explosive and incendiary bombs. Was this attack still necessary? There is not much left to destroy, the bombs mostly fall in ruins. Military or industrial facilities important to the war can no longer be hit because there are no longer any of the kind.




On April 5 and 11, the last two daytime air raids took place, wreaking further havoc in the city center.


Nuremberg is dead......! There is no electricity, no water, no coal, no flour and therefore no bread. There is unspeakable misery, unspeakable need. There are many sick and dying people, but there are only a few doctors left.


The war is drawing to a close, and you can already hear the distant thunder of cannons. But one must not say that this is the approaching enemy. The party leaders claim that the noise comes from exercises of their own Wehrmacht.


Our company is shutting down.


April 16 


At noon of that day, "enemy alarm" was given to the civilian population by radio, loudspeaker vans and the few air raid protection sirens that were still intact.


The collapse of order in April


We are not particularly intimidated by the enemy alarm and also later by the artillery fire and low-flying aircraft attacks. Where there is something to buy, we stand in line and wait patiently for the delivery of food and other things. Some shopkeepers are quick to sell goods to their customers for fear of looting. In some shops, goods appear that you haven't seen in a long time. When the bourgeois order collapses during the fighting and immediately afterwards, i.e. the police no longer protect property, the looting begins. I also take part in it. At the Mögeldorf train station, the railway wagons standing there are broken open. My loot is a box of fake honey and a sack of grapes. We live off this booty for the first few weeks after the end of the war, until there is some food again.



On April 20 Nuremberg is taken by the Americans. For us Nurembergers, the war is over.


Even after the fighting ended, the looting continued. I see it more as organizing food to survive though.


The most important places of looting in Nuremberg after the end of the war are the marshalling yard, the Klöwer and Böhm distillery (the later NORIS wine distillery) and the wine cellar of the Zeltner brewery in Tullnau. Since you are literally wading in wine, this is no exaggeration. The wine is carried home in buckets.

Countless freight wagons have been standing at the marshalling yard for weeks. Some of the cars have been damaged by bombs, others are broken into by foreign workers.

The LINDE cold store in Gibitzenhof was also a place of looting. It is surprising how much high-quality food is stored in the six-storey cold store. The outrage of the population is understandable when people see what has been withheld from them. So they lug away what they can carry. In addition, one does not want to see how the foreign workers help themselves.


Since there is a lack of transport, sacks of sugar and flour are cut open and crates are broken open to take away manageable quantities. If you have a handcart or a bicycle, you can transport larger quantities of goods. But for most of them the means of transport and the goods are taken away from them by the foreign workers on their way home.





On May 8, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel signs the document with which the German Wehrmacht surrenders unconditionally to the Allies on land, at sea and in the air

Nuremberg was a city and is now a dump.


Under the impression that the inner city was almost completely destroyed by the bombing and the life still dead in it, serious consideration is given to not building up the old town anymore, but rather leaving "this valley of rubble" to its condition and building a new Nuremberg next door. Old Nuremberg would then be a sight like Pompeii. A pilgrimage destination for foreigners. It's "God thank you" turned out differently.

The Second World War is over

Section of an aerial view of our company premises in June 1945. Three quarters of our office and storage rooms have been destroyed.


Red = Färberstrasse 41

Office building, shop and tool store


Yellow = rear Karthäusergasse

Ruin office and steel warehouse


Blue = ruin engine house

Bearings for machine tools, etc.


Black = ruin central building (warehouse)











































Collapse and new beginning of the German economy


The Allies agree that Germany must not only be deprived of power militarily, but also economically. The intention is therefore to decentralize Germany's industry, break up monopolies and cartels and significantly reduce the remaining capacities.

The occupying powers order the dismantling of entire factories or parts of the machinery nationwide. What has been worked out over the years is lost without any compensation. The companies have to bear the losses themselves.




Just a few weeks after the collapse, a group of loyal employees return to our almost completely destroyed company, who, like the Theisen brothers, are determined to risk a new start.

First the rubble has to be cleared away, new walls have to be built and the roof has to be re-roofed.


In order to warm the food the employees have brought with them, stones are stacked in the courtyard, a sheet of metal is placed on top and a fire is made underneath. That's the emergency stove.




Three quarters of our office, storage and sales rooms in Nuremberg died in the bombs. Our branch in Vienna was lost at the end of the war.

Due to the loss, the working conditions in the remaining rooms are extremely primitive. We have to work in poorly lit and cold rooms, starving and freezing. Even then, the external circumstances are not exactly inspiring, until the reconstruction of our office building in Kolpinggasse in 1961 and the conversion of Färberstraße in 1964 are completed.



In May I will be transferred to the incoming goods department for four months for further training. Department head is Mr. Paul Hollweck. What particularly struck me here was that with almost every goods receipt, a delivery was made to the company "Paul Mirgabe Nuremberg" was there. Later, after the currency reform, it became clear to me that these goods were held back until day X in June 1948 (currency reform). This fictitious address consists of the first name of our incoming goods manager "Paul Hollweck". meant our head of department, Mr. Müller II (shop/warehouse), who had the goods stored in our former air-raid shelter until day "X".





On June 11th   the first tram after the war runs again for the first time on the 3.4 km long route between Plärrer and Muggenhof.


means of transport are missing.


Since our company has no other means of transport, in the first few months of 1945 we apprentices have to fetch goods from suppliers with handcarts to Laufamholz, Stein and Fürth and deliver goods to our customers in Nuremberg and the surrounding area.





Life is slowly starting to get back to normal.

Vocational school classes are resumed.






We must celebrate this first Christmas of peace very lonely. Lonely and in the poorhouse of the world. Despite everything, for the first time in years, Christmas 1945 is a celebration of peace, a celebration of hope. The horrors of war and bombing are a thing of the past. The gifts are modest, but we are glad that the war is over.

Filmprogramm Die Frau meiner Träume
Färberstrasse 1945

Our office building in Färberstraße at the end of World War II

Photo: Ray D'Addario from "Memories of Nuremberg - Volume 4"

Hoffmann Verlag, Nuremberg

Gebrüder Theisen0743-1.jpg

Cramped working conditions after the war

With the death of  August Theisen and the conscription of many employees into the military, the difficulties in continuing the business began. After the death of the owner   the company passed to the two sons Georg and Max. Operationally, it is in the experienced hands of authorized signatory Mr. Krengel.

Umsatzstatistik Gebrüder Theisen

Sales statistics from 1914 to 1918



In August   will appear a Catalog with 150 pages for

Construction machinery, construction equipment and lifting and  tools.


The catalog is for civil engineering, road construction, railway construction, stone industry, sewerage and installation.



Katalog 1938 Gebrüder Theisen

Catalog 1938



From 16.08. - 14.09. There is an exhibition of the industrial painter in the "Franconian Gallery at the Marientor".


Ria Picco-Rueckert

* 1900 in Nuremberg, † 1966 in Nuremberg 


instead of. Mr. Theisen acquires an oil painting that will later hang in my office until I retire.



Die Kunstausstellungshalle am Marientor (Fränkische Galerie) in Nürnberg 1913 (Stadtarchiv Nürnberg A 38 Nr. A38-B-76-16).

The art exhibition hall at the Marientor (Franconian Gallery) in Nuremberg 1913 (Nuremberg City Archives A 38 No. A38-B-76-16).

Ria Picco-Rückert , Gutehoffnungshütte Oberhausen

*Good Hope Hut Oberhausen"

Ria Picco-Rueckert 

Oil on canvas 127cm x 100cm, 1937

private collection



The delivery program is expanded and now also includes tools, machine tools and steel




The video shows the destroyed Nuremberg right after the end of the war. 

From minute 1:53 you can see the Färbertor, from minute 3:24 the Färberstrasse with our destroyed office building on the right in the background.

Bildschirmfoto 2021-06-23 um

My training from 1944 to 1947

6 months from April 1944 to September 1944

  • Tool storage and shop sale

Head of Department Mr. Müller II

5 months from October 1944 to February 1945

  • machine department

Head of department Mr. Faber


2 months from March 1945 to April 1945

  • registry


4 months from May 1945 to August 1945

  • Goods Receipt

Department manager Mr. Hollweg


6 months from September 1945 to February 1946

  • Cash register and accounting

Head of Department Mr. Richter


6 months from March 1946 to August 1946

  • store sale

Head of Department Mr. Müller II


6 months from September 1946 to March 1947

  • tool department

Clerk Mr. Rohr


As a result of my good performance, I was taken on as an employee in January 1947 with a salary of RM 61.00 and a working time of 32 1/2 hours a week.

Lehrvertrag Karl Seiffert

My apprenticeship contract

Lehrzeugnis Karl (1).jpg

My apprenticeship certificate

bottom of page