Themes/Otto Weidt's Workshop for the Blind/The Workshop for the Blind 1945 - 1952

The Workshop for the Blind 1945 - 1952

The workshop was closed briefly towards the end of the war. Most of the Jewish workers had been murdered. Alice Licht, who had survived by escaping from Groß-Rosen concentration camp, worked as a secretary in the Workshop for the Blind until she emigrated to the USA in the summer of 1946. Siegbert Lewin and Simon Weiß, who were both protected from deportation because of their non-Jewish wives, continued working for Otto Weidt.

Bristles and horsehair were still in short supply after the war. Otto Weidt developed a chemical process for making substitute bristles out of reeds. He leased extra office space at Rosenthaler Straße 37 to house the requisite machines.

After the death of Otto Weidt in December 1947, his wife Else Weidt took over as manager of the workshop. In 1952 she was arrested by the East Berlin police for alleged “offences against trade regulations between East and West Germany”. The Mitte District Authority revoked her business license. On April 22, 1952 the Provisioning Office of East Berlin City Council shut down the Workshop for the Blind.

Simon Weiß’ tax card