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Falke factory background - and why it was short-lived (plus pics of the factory)

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Falke factory background - and why it was short-lived (plus pics of the factory) 


For this we are indebted to Volker, whose detective work has uncovered the following:


<b>Hi there,

after many months I have managed to get in contact with the son of Albert Föhrenbach.
He is a very friendly man at the age of 62 now. I have talked to him on the phone for almost an hour and will try to post as much information as I could gather. (actually Albert Föhrenbach has had 2 sons but one has died already in 2000 at the age of 69)

But there is one thing I have to point out. Don´t try to find out who or where he is! He does not want to be called or even visited by millions of gun collectors. I think that is understandable for everyone + it took me months to find out how to get in contact. If you have questions, post them here.

Albert Föhrenbach was born in 1907 in the south of Germany in Mahlberg, district "Baden" as one of seven children. Later he worked as a sheet metal worker in the "Arado Flugzeugwerke GmbH" in Friedrichshafen where he might have gotten his sense for quality.

His supervisor there recognized Albert Föhrenbachs´ talent to organize things and gave him the possibility to get his engineer degree supported by the "Arado Flugzeugwerke GmbH"
With this organizing talent and the engineer degree at the beginning of war he was sent out to different sister plants to change their production to warfare relevant goods.

One of those plants was a sugar refinery in Bennigsen which somehow belonged to several companys in relation to the "Arado Flugzeugwerke GmbH"
During war he stayed there and took care of the production of warfare goods until the end of world war II.

After the end of war the area there was in control of British Allies. Albert Föhrenbach had good relationship with the officer from the british army which was in charge of making decisions for production goods after war. Later that turned out to a friendship between both families until the 1980s.
Albert Föhrenbach was never in the Nazi party altough he was supported by the regime with additional food, cigarettes and so on for his high production outcome during war.

Shortly after war the allies declared that he was not a Nazi and so the production in the sugar refinery started again in 1946. In production was household stuff like metal cases, soup dippers, shovels, different brushes,.....

Due to his good relationship with the british allies he was allowed to start production of air rifles already in 1947. Probably also in that year he bought out the former sugar refinery from the several owners that existed until then.
Also in 1947 he displayed his products at the "Hannover Messe" the first time. [NOTE: this information has since been proved inaccurate. See the post on Falke and the Hannover Messe here and the post on 'more Falke factory history'.]

From 1946/1947 on it was named the "Albert Föhrenbach GmbH"
1948 Albert Föhrenbach has settled in Bennigsen and has built a house somewhere near Bennigsen.

The "Albert Föhrenbach GmbH" had from the 1950s on about 300 employees. It probably was the biggest or at least one of the biggest companys in Bennigsen as there were only 3800-4000 inhabitants in those days.
The order books were full in the following years.

In 1957 Albert Föhrenbach had a heart attack which was, due to his son, caused by too much work and not wanting to give his body a chance to rest.
He survived the heart attack but he wasn´t able to work anymore. His sons were still too young to do something and so production started struggling because the organizator was missing.

In 1958 the Albert Föhrenbach GmbH had to declare bankcruptcy and got dissolved until 1960-1961.
The production finally had stopped in 1959.

Albert Föhrenbach died in 1966 because of his heart disease, his wife died in 2005.

His son was not able to tell me much about the production order or other things but he told me 2 interesting things:

The produced number of rifles is probably several thousands if you count all models. That would fit to the e.g. several hundreds of Modell 80 and several hundreds of Modell 90 we know of.

He said he is pretty sure there was a Falke Modell 100. I was excited to hear that. What a find that must be if someone is lucky.

Maybe I will ask him about that next time I call him.

So far. I don´t say everything I have found out is 100% right, but still better than what we knew until now I think.

@ Garvin, you can wake up now wink.gif



Contemporary photo of a factory outing, followed by screen captures from Google maps and pics of the Bennigsen sugar factory today: