Carl Friedrich von Siemens

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Carl Friedrich von Siemens (before 1916 on a photograph by Jacob Hilsdorf )

Carl Friedrich Siemens , from 1888 Siemens (* 5. September 1872 in Charlottenburg ; † 9 July 1941 in his country house Heinenhof in Fahrland in Potsdam ) was a German industrialist and politician from the Siemens family .


Carl Friedrich Siemens came from the old Goslar city ​​family Siemens (mentioned in a document in 1384) and was the youngest son of the inventor and entrepreneur Werner von Siemens (1816-1892) and his second wife Antonie Siemens (1840-1900). Father Werner Siemens and his descendants were raised to the Prussian nobility on May 5, 1888 in Charlottenburg .

Carl Friedrich von Siemens around 1900

Siemens married hastily and without their parents' knowledge for the first time in 1895 in London. This met with little understanding in the family. The marriage ended in divorce in 1897 after his wife was exposed as an impostor.

His second marriage was on June 14, 1898 in Berlin, Auguste (Tutty) Bötzow (* February 2, 1878 in Berlin; † March 22, 1935 there), the daughter of the large landowner and owner of the Bötzow brewery Julius Bötzow and Elisabeth Henze . This marriage was divorced on November 11, 1923 in Berlin. The children Ernst and Ursula (married Countess Blücher) come from her .

In his third marriage on November 19, 1929 in Berlin-Charlottenburg, he married Margarete (Grete) Heck (born December 11, 1890 in Berlin; † November 17, 1977 in Munich ), the daughter of the Grand Ducal Hessian Privy Councilor Ludwig Heck , director of the zoological department Gartens Berlin , and Margarethe Nauwerk . Margarete Heck had previously been divorced from her first husband, Wilhelm Siemens (1882–1945), in Dresden .


Act as an entrepreneur

From 1893 Carl Friedrich von Siemens studied natural sciences, mathematics and technology at the University of Strasbourg , the TH Munich and the Technical University Berlin-Charlottenburg . At the end of 1895 he went to London and undertook study trips to the USA and France. He had been with Siemens & Halske AG since 1899 and headed the heavy current department of Siemens Brothers & Co. in London from 1901 to 1908 . From 1912 he worked as chairman of the board of directors of Siemens-Schuckertwerke , in 1919 he succeeded his half-brother Georg Wilhelm von Siemens (1855-1919) as chairman of the supervisory boards of Siemens & Halske AG and Siemens-Schuckertwerke (today Siemens AG ) and thus as " Head of the house ”.

Siemens headquarters building in Berlin-Siemensstadt , Nonnendammallee
Carl Friedrich von Siemens (right) in 1928 with the President of the Audit Office of the German Reich , Friedrich Saemisch

After the losses of the First World War , Siemens was again one of the world's five leading electrical companies in the mid-1920s. Later, individual product areas were spun off into specialized subsidiaries and affiliated companies. Thus, among others, the Osram GmbH KG (1920), the Siemens-Bauunion (1921), the Siemens-Reiniger-Veifa Gesellschaft für medical Technik mbH (1925, from 1932 Siemens-Reiniger-Werke AG (SRW)) and after the takeover of the Railway signal building institute Max Jüdel & Co in Braunschweig founded the United Railway Signalwerke GmbH (1929). Siemens & Halske played a major role in the technical modernization of the telephone system after the First World War. The technical lead achieved during this time was successfully pursued in an intensive international business. International cartels for Europe and South America were concluded in the telephone business with ITT , General Electric , AT&T and Ericsson , nationally with the Reichspost . The building of the company's head office on Nonnendammallee in Siemensstadt founded by his brother , built by Karl Janisch between 1910 and 1913 , was expanded by Carl Friedrich von Siemens in 1922 by Friedrich Blume and Hans Hertlein .

The global economic crisis after 1929 led to considerable losses in sales and layoffs, but after the National Socialist seizure of power in 1933, the increased armament of the Wehrmacht, Air Force and Navy soon led to an increase in incoming orders. In 1939, Siemens was the largest electrical company in the world with 187,000 employees. New areas of application such as medical technology , radio technology , electrical heating and household appliances or the electron microscope quickly gained in importance for the company. In 1936 there were 16 production sites in Europe (including in Vienna, Budapest, Milan and Barcelona); outside of Europe, production joint ventures were established in Tokyo and Buenos Aires. A number of major international projects also took place in the interwar period.

After the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Siemens' capacities were fully utilized with war-critical orders. In the course of the war, production facilities were relocated to all parts of Germany and the occupied territories, where Siemens also employed a large number of “ foreign workers ” and forced laborers .

Carl Friedrich von Siemens' successor as chairman of the supervisory boards of the two Siemens parent companies was his nephew Hermann von Siemens (1885–1986) after his death in 1941 , and his successor as head of the house in 1956 was Carl Friedrich's only son, Ernst von Siemens .

further activities

Carl Friedrich von Siemens (right) in 1931 with former Reich Chancellor D. Wilhelm Cuno , CEO of HAPAG , on his way to America

In 1919 Siemens took part in the right-wing Anti-Bolshevik League # Anti-Bolshevik Fund . In 1921 he became Dr. Ing. Eh. At the TH Munich , and in 1927 he received an honorary doctorate . nat. at the University of Halle . In 1923 he became President of the Provisional Reich Economic Council , in 1924 President of the Administrative Council of the Deutsche Reichsbahn and in 1927 headed the German delegation to the Geneva World Economic Conference.

From 1920 to 1924 he was a member of the Reichstag for the German Democratic Party . In 1929 he joined the Society of Friends . For the election to the German National Assembly in 1919, he founded the Board of Trustees for the Reconstruction of German Economic Life for Party Financing.

From 1926 until his death he was a senator of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society . In the same year 1926 he was elected a member of the Leopoldina . In 1933 he was a member of the " General Council of Economy " (which only met once); in the era of National Socialism , he was a member of the National Socialist, founded in 1933 Academy of German Law .

The Carl Friedrich von Siemens Foundation bears his name; likewise the Carl-Friedrich-von-Siemens-Gymnasium in Berlin-Siemensstadt .

His final resting place is in the family grave of the Siemens family in the south-west cemetery in Stahnsdorf .


Individual evidence

  1. Jörg-R. Mettke: The big smear. Der Spiegel, December 3, 1984, accessed on August 13, 2019 .
  2. ^ Ernst Klee : The dictionary of persons on the Third Reich. Who was what before and after 1945 , Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, second updated edition, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 978-3-596-16048-8 , p. 583.

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