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Industrial Commerce under Constraint

Starting during the middle 1930s, the economy under the Nazi-Regime began to show first signs of forced industrial commerce. Those companies wanting to stay in business were forced (either voluntarily or involuntarily) to take part in the countless occupation programs and were eventually integrated into the military armament of the Nazi-Regime.

After the beginning of the Second World War, it became very important to save on raw materials, especially mineral oil. Devices for the purification of oils as well as gasoline pumps were needed in large quantities. Hans Hoffmann also developed and manufactured devices for the processing of plundered gasoline.

Civilian projects even during the war: In 1943, the Westfalia-Factories in Oelde ordered an oil-processing wagon (Photos below and above)

Following the first bombings of Berlin in November 1942, the most important factories and companies began relocation outside of Berlin. During this time, Hans Hoffmann was recruited to repair and maintain fuel-mixing machines damaged during the attack against Russia and established subsidiaries in Sosnowitz/Upper Silesia and in Festenberg near Öls/Silesia with German-Polish workers.


His employees always valued Hans Hoffmann for his humane management style. The current positive business situation did not only allow him to continue to employ many young and older employees, who otherwise would have faced serving in the front line of the war, but also those who were in danger of being persecuted by the NS-Regime.

But then, the subsidiaries had to be given up in January 1945 and the company headquarters in Berlin was completely destroyed by bombs on February 5th that same year. Following the plundering of a wagon Hans Hoffmann had managed to fill with tools and documents and direct north towards Bremen, all was lost. At least all family members, Hans Hoffmann and several employees were able to flee to Berlin.


Polnisch-deutsche Belegschaft im Werk Sosnowitz/Oberschlesien

Die Ecke Moritzplatz - keinen Steinwurf von den alten Fabrikationsräumen entfernt - bot den Anblick einen Trümmerwüste



Ethyl fluid -Mixer

German-Polish employees in front of the factory in Sosnowitz/ Upper Silesia

The Moritzplatz – just around the corner from the factory facilities, was nothing but rubble following the bombing


© Hans Hoffmann GmbH & Co 2000 Text & Layout: Ö/K/O/M GbR, Münster (mst )