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And war again

The so-called ‘Anschluss’ (annexation) took place in 1938 and Austria became part of the German Reich. Many people attached great hopes to the National Socialist regime and did not realize that terror and war would be the result. Kapsch was active in an industry which was important to the war effort and became, like other radio and radio equipment manufacturers, an important supplier to the armed forces and state authorities. The great need for radio equipment, radios as well as batteries and capacitors was reflected in the number of its employees: more than 3,000 people worked at Kapsch in 1943.

Kapsch ‘400P U’


A change in trends came at the end of the 1930s: the loudspeaker was now located next to the adjustment scale instead of above it, allowing the device to become more compact. The ‘400P U’ could receive three wavebands from 15 to 2000m. The grained housing made from molded materials was also new.

People’s Radio

around 1940

All radio producers in the German Reich were obligated to manufacture the so-called ‘Volksempfänger‘ (people’s radio). The first model was developed as early as 1933. The regulated price of 76 Reichsmarks corresponds to approximately € 320 today.

Morse Code Training Device


As the description stated, this device could be used by ‘future telegraph operators’ to practice Morse Code. It was recommended for the military, police, schools and boy scouts.

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W tabletop telephone


An original bill of sale for the telephone from April 1, 1940 was preserved. The device featured a built-in direct current buzzer and was designed for one primary telephone connection and three extensions.

Fieseler Storch


The armed forces also contracted development orders, such as for the construction of radio direction finders. Since Kapsch had not been involved with radio equipment up to that point, it is likely that experienced external high frequency range experts were hired.

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Work Regulations


Deliveries to the armed forces began as early as 1938. This increased the pressure to maintain secrecy at the factory; there were departments that could only be accessed by selected persons with special authorization.

Field Telephone FF 33


This device was produced in multiple varieties between 1933 and 1945. A crank inductor generates the voltage to make the call. These devices were also used by the Reichspost (postal service) as portable telephones.

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Air-Oxygen Element Type ENL


The oxygen element delivered 1.5 volts with a maximum load of 300mA.

Factory II after Bombing


Vienna was increasingly exposed to the bombing raids of the Allies since the spring of 1944. Many of the employees were forced to run across to the 6th district to find vacant spaces in the bomb shelters. Some parts of the production were moved to the countryside, including the Waldviertel region and close to lake Attersee. At the beginning of April 1945, Soviet troops ended the National Socialist regime in Vienna and eastern Austria.

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Johannes Mario Simmel

around 1950, Photograph

Johannes Mario Simmel, a young chemistry student, began working at the Kapsch battery factory in October of 1943. He would later become famous as a best-selling author. Simmel lived under difficult circumstances. Of his time at Kapsch, he says: ‘Everyone was always very friendly to me.’ Despite ‘Nazis and war’ the atmosphere remained ‘very humane’ until the end. At the end of the war he was almost arrested at the company, but one of his managers gave him his bicycle to escape.