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DeFaKa house on Tauentzienstrasse in Berlin-Charlottenburg , 1957

DeFaKa (Deutsches Familien-Kaufhaus GmbH) was a German department store chain . She insisted since the 1920s and was most recently expiring department store division without full assortment with emphasis on textiles from the Helmut Horten GmbH operated. DeFaKa department stores had made a name for themselves as pioneers of their own customer credit system, which enjoyed great popularity among the German population, especially in the post-war period.


The DeFaKa house in Essen (left), 1961
DeFaKa house on Wilhelmstrasse in Gleiwitz, around 1940

The Hamburg businessman Emil Köster founded "Emil Köster Textil AG" in 1924 and then took over the "Gemeinnützige Beamtenversorgungs-GmbH". The latter, like Köster AG, enabled officials to buy goods on an installment basis. Both companies were merged under E. Köster to form the "German Family Department Store" (DeFaKa). After the inflation in Germany ended, Jakob Michael , who owned, among other things, the Berlin “Industrie- und Privatbank”, bought the majority of the shares in this department store chain. In order to avoid subsequent harassment as a Jew, he had emigrated to the USA in 1932 and had the company New Jersey Industries Co. Inc. , which he founded himself, registered as the owner of his chain . In 1939 DeFaKa operated 21 branches in Germany. As a US company, DeFaKa was able to avoid "Aryanization". After the end of the war, J. Michael sold the DeFaKa department stores still in existence in the Federal Republic of Germany for DM 60 million to Helmut Horten GmbH . As a result of this acquisition, the number of Horten branches increased by 19 houses. DeFaKa was used as a second brand with the Köster brand (only in Wiesbaden, subgrouped by DeFaKa) for department stores (no full range) and MERKUR (22 branches nationwide) was used for the full range department stores in addition to the Horten brand. With the new or remodeling of the branches, the DeFaKa stores were renamed Horten, so that the brand disappeared in the 1970s. In 1965 the DeFaKa houses achieved a quarter of the total turnover of all after-school facilities.

Branches (selection)

  • augsburg
  • Berlin, Rankestrasse 38 / corner of Tauentzienstrasse 13
  • Bremen, Kaiserstraße from 1933 to 1942 after 1945 Obernstraße
  • Chemnitz, Königstrasse 11 / corner of Brückenstrasse
  • Dresden, Altmarkt 7
  • Gleiwitz / OS, Wilhelmstrasse. After the Second World War it became DT. Ikar.
  • Düsseldorf, Graf-Adolf-Straße 44, from the beginning of the 1930s, demolished in the 1960s, new building as a hoarding (opening March 24, 1966), last until the end of 2014: GALERIA Kaufhof, between 1964 and 1966 the first new building was completed the Oststraße (3,500 m² of the later 11,000 m²) operated as DeFaKa, thus the only new building under Horten as DeFaKa
  • Duisburg, Düsseldorfer Straße (Europapalast), opposite the MERKUR branch, closed after the renovation and reopening of the MERKUR house as a hoarding on April 30, 1965. Sales at DeFaKa in the Europapalast ended on April 29, 1965 at 6.30 p.m., the employees moved with their departments in the two new Duisburg hoarding houses
  • Dortmund, (1929–1964, demolition and rebuilding, then as a hoarding September 30, 1965 to 1993)
  • Essen, Kettwiger Straße 1a, 1977 demolition and new building as Horten (later GALERIA Horten, today: GALERIA Kaufhof)
  • Frankfurt
  • Hagen
  • Hamburg, on the Great Burstah
  • Hanover, Seilwinderstraße. Before the old department store on Seilwinderstraße was demolished in the early 1970s and a new one was built in the same place, a flat-roof building was built as an alternative accommodation on the site of the former court prison on Weissekreuzplatz . The 5000 m² provisional facility was to be demolished after the new building on Seilwinderstraße was completed, but was instead converted into the pavilion culture and communication center in 1977 .
  • Kiel
  • Cologne
DeFaKa branch on Koenigsberger Steindamm
  • Koenigsberg , Steindamm 147
  • Krefeld (new hoarding building from 1970)
  • Mannheim, T1, 1-3
  • Münster, Ludgeristraße 93-109
  • Oberhausen
  • Stuttgart
  • Wiesbaden (belonged to DeFaKa in the Horten group, but was operated as "KÖSTER" until 1966)
  • Wuppertal, Herzogstrasse, 1963 conversion into a hoarding department store (DeFaKa until October 14, 1963)

On November 11, 1965, Helmut Horten GmbH celebrated the opening of its 50th branch. At this point in time 14 DeFaKa stores could be found under their names in the following cities: Berlin, Bremen, Düsseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hagen, Hamburg, Hanover, Oberhausen, Kiel, Cologne, Krefeld, Mannheim (and the DeFaKa department store in Wiesbaden, which had already been torn down - Köster found himself in a provisional facility for so long, a low-rise building with a car park roof).

In the first edition of the employee newspaper “Der Insight” in 1967 (11th year) it was announced: “Outdated Defaka department stores will be replaced by department stores with a full range of products; outdated Merkur houses are being expanded, rebuilt and modernized. At the end of this restructuring phase, our company will only have state-of-the-art hoarding full department stores [...] ”. The end of the second brands DeFaKa and MERKUR was publicly sealed.

Web links

Commons : DeFaKa  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Portal Rhenish History , accessed on September 18, 2012
  2. The mirror. In: Handel / Horten Group . May 18, 1955, No. 21. Online version
  3. ^ In: Address book of the city of Düsseldorf. 3rd part . 1933, p. [953] 146.