Looking back on Topf & Sons


Topf & Sons

The company Topf & Sons was founded in 1878, in the town of Erfurt, Germany. The company began as a manufacturer of furnaces and malting equipment. During the 1920s the company began manufacturing crematoriums designed by chief engineer Kurt Prüfer.

Topf and Sons was asked by the SS to design special crematoria furnaces capable of cremating very large numbers of bodies. The company and its chief engineer Kurt Prüfer obliged.

Kurt Prüfer himself was captured by the Americans, but released after questioning. Ludwig Topf, one of the owners of the company, committed suicide in May 1945, while his brother Ernst-Wolfgang Topf, fled.

The Russians later arrested Prüfer, and sentenced him to 25 years imprisonment. Prüfer died in a Russian gulag in 1952.

The company of Topf & Sons, was nationalized by the former East German Communist regime and remained in business until 1996.


A memorial site and educational center opens tomorrow week on International Holocaust Remembrance Day (27.1.2011) exhibiting documents from the German maker of the crematoria ovens in Auswitz.

Hitler planned the horrors of the Holocaust, but without the support of German engineers and industrialists like Topf & Sons, he and his band of gangsters would never have succeeded in murdering millions.

Through the technology developed by and the products built in the Topf & Sons factories, Auschwitz was equipped with four crematoria that functioned las part of death-factories where as many as 8,000 corpses could be burned in a day.

The new memorial site uses original documents and artifacts to expose the production of the Auschwitz ovens crucial to herr Hitlers massmurder. The exhibit opens in Germany Thursday 27.1.2011

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