The “Brunsviga Maschinenwerke A.G.” in the post-war era

“The Brunsviga Maschinenwerke Grimme, Natalis und Co. A.G. Braunschweig, which assumes an exceptional position concerning the manufacture of calculators, has operated satisfactorily in the 73rd year of its existence (…) The factories have only been damaged unsignificantly by the war incidents. This means that operation can be resumed in the middle of May, with the consent of the military government; currently, two thirds of the former personnel are again employed. Due to the difficulties to secure coal and energy, at least for the next few months we must keep in mind there will be measures limiting the production.” (Translation of an article in: Braunschweiger Neue Presse, Nov. 23rd 1945).

Hans-Joachim Runte returned from the war in 1945 and was again put in charge of commercial activities in June. On the initiative of the British occupying forces, he subsequently spent 14 months in an internment camp. In the mean time, Gustav Wrede was hired as a commercial director in 1946. In February 1947, Runte junior resumed his work at “Brunsviga”.

From 1945 to 1948, Brunsviga made wall clocks out of the remaining explosion timers. Until the manufacture of calculators came back up to speed, about 1000 can openers were built, that cost 2 RM each.

From 1946 on, adding machine manufacturing (AS and ASE) was moved to factory II. The number of calculators built in the Kastanienallee amounted to two thirds of the former production in 1946. “Brunsviga” could not easily continue its former success, among other things due to serious conflicts of the board of directors and the commercial direction with the technical director Dr.-Ing. Gustav Schenk. The latter had estimated to need another two years in 1945 for the development of a new model (the “electric model R”). This seemed too long to the board of directors, as after the war, a modern machine as a “relatively cheap battle or competition model” was needed.

Apart from this, in 1946, Schenk harvested lot of criticism from the board and the work leaders due to his technical methods and the way he treated the workers. His work as technical director should be limited from then on to the further development of the constructions.

Behind these differences also played that Karl Runte pleaded for a broad assortment, whereas Schenk saw the necessity of a radical limitation to the number of machine types that were made.

As the new model was not ready in 1947, from the end of 1947 on, Ditwald Bremeier was hired as a second technical director. Schenk resigned in the middle of 1949, and was very succesful later, in the development of the Monroe calculators. The BRUNSVIGA 13 R only took over from the 13 ZK as the standard model in 1949 (as 13 RK since 1951).

In the post-war period, the company participated several times in actions to the aid of the homeless. E.g. in 1947, a burnt-out piece of real estate in the Kasernenstrasse 8 was bought as a refuge for bombarded people and refugees. For the rebuild, 60.000 DM was set aside.



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