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Otto Eberhardt Patronenfabrik
Headquarters Hirtenberg and Ronsdorf, Austria
Key people Otto Eberhardt
Industry cartridge and metal fabrication
Parent Gustloff-Werke - Waffenwerk Suhl
External media
Proof mark

P635 headstamp mark
8mm Mauser ammo box

Otto Eberhardt Patronenfabrik (English: Otto Eberhardt cartridge factory) was a Nazi Germany munitions company. The company's Hirtenberger Patronen Zündhutchen und Metallwarenfabrik (English: cartridge and metal fabrication) in Hirtenberg near Wiener Neustadt (proofmark "am")[1] used labor from a sub-camp of the World War II Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp and produced ammunition (most notably 9 mm Para and 8 mm Mauser bullets). The company also had a factory in Ronsdorf near Wuppertal (proofmark "ap")[1] which produced rifles. Additional Gustloff facilities were in Meinigen,[1], Wilhelm[1], and Weimar.[2]

Hirtenberg aircraft

Otto Eberhardt Patronenfabrik also purchased the assets of the Hopfner aircraft company and had continued production of both de Havilland- and Siemens-powered aircraft under the Hirtenberg brand.

References and notes

  1. ^ a b c d "WWII German Ordnance Codes". Retrieved 2008-09-16.  
  2. ^ "Looking for info on Gustloff Werke 5.6x35RWS". German Weapons. Gun Collector Forum. Retrieved 2008-09-16. "

    Gustloff-Werke was originally Simson & Co., an old established firm in Suhl, Germany, founded in 1856. Manufacture of firearms followed shortly thereafter, and they made Nagant military service revolvers for Argentina during the 1890s. They were the sole official manufacturer of Lugers (P.08) and military rifles (Gew.98) from 1923 to 1933. In 1933 or 1934, Simson & Co. was seized (nationalized) by the Nazis because of Jewish ownership. The Simson family escaped Germany and after a short stay in Switzerland, moved to the United States.

    In 1934, Simson & Co. was renamed Berlin-Suhler-Waffen (a name of one of their factories), and in 1939, again renamed to Gustloff-Werke after an anti-semitic Nazi leader in Switzerland, Wilhelm Gustloff (Gauleiter of Switzerland) who was shot by a Jewish student (David Frankfurter) Feb. 4, 1936. The Nazi regime promptly made Gustloff into a martyr, and he was eulogized by Hitler, himself.

    By 1938, Gustloff-Werke consisted of several factories:
    1. Fritz Sauckel Works, Weimar.
    2. Arms Works, Suhl.
    3. Otto Eberhardt Cartridge Factory, Hirtenberg, Niederdonau, Austria. (formally Hirtenberger Patronen Züundhütchen & Metallwarenfabrik A.G.)
    4. Muselwitz Engineering Factory.
    5. Branch Office, Berlin - ‘Thüringia House', responsible for overseas and goverment [sic] sales.

    In 1943, an additional Gustloff factory was built at Buchenwald, at the notorious concentration camp. Political prisoners were selected to work at both factories; Weimar and Buchenwald. Reports indicate that those selected to work in either factory received better treatment than other prisoners. In August, 1944, Allied bombers destroyed the Buchenwald factory, killing many workers. Whatever could be salvaged from the plant was reportedly moved to an underground salt mine in Billroda, where production was planned to resume - with little success.

    The Gustloff-Werke in Suhl was captured by the United States 11th Armored Division, 63rd Armored Infantry Battion [sic] on April 4, 1945. Since Suhl was in the Soviet Zone of Occupation, a couple of months later, the U.S. Troops pulled out and the Soviets moved in. Gustloff-Werke was then renamed Simson & Co. in August, 1945, and arms production resumed! In 1947, the company was renamed again, and in 1952 became VEB, Simson, Suhl.



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