The fates Mohelnice


gratzer1In 1919 Moritz Gratzer (4th from right with a mustache) established in Mohelnice the factory for manufacturing the precise tools and instruments. By the end of the first year already about forty employees worked there. The operation was very successful and during the 1930s a number of employees grew to almost 180.

The first workshops used to be located on present Zabrezska Street. In 1932 Gratzer brothers - Arnost (3rd from right in a hat) and Richard (3rd from left) purchased a large building on Masaryk Street. Their factory, which enjoyed an excellent reputation, trained many specialists, who were able to transfer their expertise to younger generations for a long time. The factory still exists in its original location and still specializes in manufacturing tools, instruments and machinery.

gratzer2Gratzers were Jewish and therefore before WWII they left for Palestine. Sons of Richard Gratzer - Otto and Kurt joined the Czechoslovak Army Unit and fought Nazis in Africa and Western Europe. In 1945 they returned back to the Czech Republic and later Otto married Felicitas Wolf (sister of Otto a Kurt Wolf). In the 1960s they left for the United States, where they lived under a new name Garda.

Some other enterprises in Mohelnice were established or owned by Jewish families e.g. the Felix Lechner Saw Mill, which used to be located near the railway station. The saw mill included workshops, where wooden boxes and toothpicks were made and around 1920 about a hundred workers found their employment there.

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