Crespel & Deiters is on Everyone′s Lips
From now on, Crespel & Deiters produces wheat starch products for the food industry in Dresden. The company recognises the high physiological value of wheat protein early on already and processes it in the laboratory. Especially manufacturers of soups and soup seasoning make use of the thus created wheat gluten for improving the flavour of their products. With Weizenin, Crespel & Deiters also produces an own brand product for its end consumers. The pure wheat starch powder guarantees that the goods turn out well and ensures the perfect texture of cakes, tarts, desserts, sauces and soups. Businesses, bakeries and manufacturers of baby food in the whole of Germany source their wheat starch powder from Dresden. It is this successful product of Crespel & Deiters that is subsequently continued in “VEB Weizenin” (people-owned enterprise Weizenin), and which goes on to give the state-managed GDR fabrication its name.
The 2nd World War ends in 1945. Dresden and, as such, also the factory of Crespel & Deiters is now on territory occupied by Russia. Initially, this still has hardly any impact on production. Until the start of the 1950, its business as usual at the Dresden plant. However, with the founding of the GDR, daily life changes dramatically in the Russian-occupied zone. The new government in East Berlin declares war on capitalism and therefore also on the companies located there. The companies are to become publicly owned. The expropriation of private companies begins.
Expropriation and Arrest
In 1952, Crespel & Deiters Dresden is expropriated. The factory, its machines and the premises pass over into the possession of the German Democratic Republic without any compensation for loss. For this, the new regime makes use of a legal ruse. During and after the War many materials were scarce. To ensure that business could be kept going, things were bartered. From a legal perspective, this was called “compensation”. Although it was inadmissible, it was often necessary for productions. The accusation of compensation gave the new state a reason to expropriate the companies.
Crespel & Deiters was also accused of this compensation. As a result, the chief operating director of the Dresdner plant is arrested and sentenced to 15 years in jail in Bautzen. Fortunately he is released again after two-and-a-half years, which is thanks to a mysterious course of fate. As a soldier, he served in the punishment unit 999 during the War. Which is where he saved a prisoner’s life. This prisoner subsequently worked in the Dresden factory of Crespel & Deiters. As a communist arrested during Nazi reign, he gained considerable influence following occupation by the Russians, which he used to release his former lifesaver. Following his release from Bautzen, the former plant manager of the Dresden factory goes to the west, where Crespel & Deiters provides him with fervent support in setting up a new existence.
The Reunification and the End
Weizenin becomes a moneymaker in the East. In VEB Weizenin, the former factory of Crespel & Deiters in Dresden, the innovative wheat gluten is produced further under the government’s auspices and advances to become a typical GDR product. To this very day, Weizenin, which meanwhile is being produced by Unilever, is very popular in East-German nostalgia stores. The reunification in1990 also sees the end of the planned economy in the east of Germany. Many expropriated companies are returned to the original owners again. Also Crespel & Deiters sets off to the east of Germany, to the former Dresden plant. What the Ibbenbüren wheat starch specialist finds on site leaves little hope that a new production era can be started in Dresden. The technical, ecological and financial structures of VEB Weizenin are too desolate. The decades of over-exploitation of the premises and the surrounding nature has taken its toll. The company can no longer be continued. Crespel & Deiters decides against taking back the company. The premises and the building, which today in part are listed objects, are sold to the food producer Zamek and the mineral oil Aral Group by the Berlin privatisation agency. Only Weizenin, the invention of Crespel & Deiters, lives on in the new federal states to this very day.