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Hard times: From the war economy to Soviet expropriation

The outbreak of the Second World War was a caesura in the history of Ernst Curt Loesche’s company. As was the case with many other machine manufacturers, the company was obliged to produce armaments for the German war effort: the Reich Air Ministry soon replaced the cement industry as the company’s largest customer. Following a damaging air raid in 1943, production at the Teltow works very nearly ground to a halt. In 1945, at the end of the war, the Soviet occupation forces insisted that the company’s machinery in Teltow be dismantled and transported to the Soviet Union. Only a few months later, the company was back in business working with out-dated machinery. When the Soviet Military Administration expropriated Curt von Grueber Maschinenbauanstalt without paying any form of compensation in April 1948, Ernst Curt Loesche decided to leave Berlin and rebuild his company in one of the three western zones of occupation.