In 1939, Otto Weidt and his business partner Gustav Kremmert founded the company Otto Weidt’s Workshop for the Blind, which was initially located in basement rooms at Großbeerenstraße 92 in Berlin-Kreuzberg, and moved to Rosenthaler Straße 39 in Berlin-Mitte in 1940. The workshop occupied the entire first floor of the building’s side wing. Jewish employees—mainly blind, visually impaired, and hearing-impaired people—produced brushes and brooms in the workshop. In the new premises, Otto Weidt offered retraining courses, teaching blind people how to bind brushes. The participants were referred to the workshop for the blind by the Jewish Community.
Since the workshop also produced brushes for the Wehrmacht, it was categorized as “important for the war.” By bribing Gestapo officers, Otto Weidt managed to protect his workers from deportation for some time. The workshop continued its production—with a significantly smaller staff after the deportations—until shortly before the end of the war. After the war, Otto Weidt went on running the company until his death in December 1947, when his wife Else Weidt took over its management. The East Berlin municipal authorities closed down the workshop in 1952.
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