This drove the settlement and founding of large companies in heavy industry and electrical engineering with names we still recognize, including Borsig, Halske, Siemens and AEG. But Berlin also quickly became a leader in the chemical industry and other sectors with companies like Schering and Agfa.
Berlin developed into Germany’s largest industrial center at the beginning of the 20th century. This upswing was also reflected in the number of jobs. In 1936, the city had 574,000 employees in the manufacturing sector – more than in Württemberg, Baden or Thuringia.
The Second World War brought this progress to an abrupt end. Only 25% of the machine capacities could still be used. This led to a mass relocation of production operations to West Germany, which often meant a change of company headquarters. Both Siemens and Knorr-Bremse AG, a braking system manufacturer based in our immediate area, moved their headquarters to Munich. As a result, the number of jobs for industrial workers in Berlin plunged to 150,000 by 1950. This trend could only be reversed with huge subsidies. By 1961, the number of jobs reached 315,000, but the Berlin Wall unfortunately brought this progress to a sudden stop – despite further increases in subsidies.
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 brought about a rapid structural change in the city’s economy. This also resulted in a loss of industrial jobs: from 378,000 (East and West Berlin in 1989) to just under 100,000 in 2007. Since then, Berlin’s industry has experienced a veritable renaissance with the founding and relocation of new companies – not only in the software and media industries. The Berlin.Industrial.Group. is living proof of this revitalization. Not only in terms of creating new jobs, but also by contributing substantially to the growth of the region and the local district. And by expanding internationally from here to the USA and to China, B.I.G. is also supporting a top-priority political goal: the reindustrialization of Berlin.