Topf & Soehne - production for the german mania for extermination
The traditional company Topf & Soehne that, founded 1878 in Erfurt, was actively involved in exterminating the european jews in national-socialist germany through the production of crematories for concentration- and extermination camps.
picture: furnace, used in concentration camps
Economically, the construction of furnaces for crematories had only a secondary meaning in the product range of Topf & Soehne (the domain earned only 3 percent of the whole business volume from 1937 to 1945), but in the 1940s the company started to cooperate with the SS. The company produced deaerators for the gas chambers in Auschwitz and developed capacious, effective cremation furnaces for Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau and other concentration camps of the germans.
More than 100 employees were working on the development and manufacturing of the crematories. Engineers and technicians of the company Topf & Soehne assembled, maintained and improved the facilities at the concentration camps and therefore they knew precisely about the employment and consequences of their products.
After 1945 the company continued under the new name "VEB Erfurt Maelzerei und Speicherbau (EMS)" until it went bankrupt in 1994. The city of Erfurt was not interested in dealing with the history of this important company.