Grete Schickedanz

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Grete Schickedanz (born October 20, 1911 as Grete Lachner in Fürth ; † July 23, 1994 there ) was a German entrepreneur . She ran the Quelle mail order company .


Grete Lachner's family had many children. In elementary school, she is said to have been the best in class, but was still not allowed to change to a higher school or even study because her parents could not finance such an education.

Because of the income of her parents, Grete Lachner later renounced her dream of becoming a kindergarten teacher. Instead, in January 1927, at the age of 15, she joined the wholesaler for haberdashery, white and woolen goods at Moststrasse 35 in Fürth, which Gustav Schickedanz (1895–1977) founded on December 7, 1922 at the age of 15 .

In November 1927, Gustav Schickedanz opened the Quelle mail order business in Fürth at Königswarterstraße 10 (today: Fürther Freiheit). After Gustav Schickedanz's wife Anna, his five-year-old son Leo and his father Leo were killed in a traffic accident in July 1929, Grete Lachner took care of their little daughter Louise.

After completing her apprenticeship, Grete Lachner worked in purchasing, which she soon headed. Gradually she developed into the closest colleague of the boss, whom she accompanied more and more often on business trips.

Marriage and first entrepreneurial activity

On June 8, 1942, 30-year-old Grete Lachner and 47-year-old Gustav Schickedanz married in the St. Pauls Church in Fürth. In August 1943 the company building was destroyed by a bomb attack. On October 20, 1943, Grete Schickedanz gave birth to her daughter Madeleine in the bunker of the Nuremberg Women's Clinic .

Gustav Schickedanz, whose total property in the amount of 9,331,735 D-Marks according to the complaint of the Appeals Chamber Nuremberg-Fürth of February 25, 1949 had flowed over 7 million D-Marks from Jewish property, had acquired the land at the beginning of 1948, which came into his possession through Aryanization were transferred to his wife Grete and daughter Madeleine between 1943 and 1945.

In 1951, Schickedanz had to pay out almost 5 million D-Marks to the three heirs of the late Oskar Rosenfelder and his brother Emil.

After the end of the war, Gustav Schickedanz, who had been a member of the NSDAP since November 1, 1932 and was a NSDAP functionary on the Fürth city council, was banned from working, lost his house and then lived with his family in a two-room apartment in Hersbruck .

In 1946 Grete Schickedanz opened a textile shop in the Hersbrucker Braugasse. In 1948 the shop moved to larger premises on the Eisenhüttlein. After the currency reform on June 20, 1948 , a long-lasting economic boom began in the Trizone (" economic miracle ").

Company source

In April 1949 Gustav Schickedanz returned to the company, whose ban on the profession had been lifted. The Schickedanz couple rebuilt the Quelle mail order company . In 1954 they are said to have already turned over 260 million marks. At that time, Grete Schickedanz became a general representative and member of the Group's advisory board .

In 1974, Quelle is said to have made 6.4 billion marks in sales, and the number of employees climbed to 36,000. At the beginning of 1975, Grete Schickedanz joined the newly formed Gustav und Grete Schickedanz Holding KG as a personally liable partner . Grete Schickedanz was committed to social improvements in her company. The construction of a home for the elderly and a kindergarten in Fürth go back to her initiative . In addition, it implemented a progressive old-age pension scheme for Quelle employees, which was only enshrined in law years later.

When Gustav Schickedanz died on March 27, 1977, his widow took over the management of the Quelle mail order company. In the spring of 1983, Grete Schickedanz resigned from her management and supervisory positions.


She has received numerous awards for her achievements as an entrepreneur. She was awarded the Cross of Merit 1st Class (1971), the Great Federal Cross of Merit (1976) with star (1981) and shoulder ribbon (1991), the Bavarian State Medal for Social Merit (1977), the Bavarian Order of Merit (1979), and the title of Honorary Senator the University of Tübingen (1978), the title of professor of the Republic of Austria (1981), the golden citizen medal of the city of Fürth (1978) and the honorary citizenship of Fürth (1981) and Hersbruck (1981). In addition, after the death of her husband, his title as Greek honorary consul had passed to her.


  • Christian Böhmer: Grete Schickedanz. From apprentice girl to mail order queen. Ullstein, Frankfurt am Main / Berlin 1996, ISBN 3-550-06919-7 .
  • Theo Reubel: Grete Schickedanz. A life for the source . Company documentation for the entrepreneur's 75th birthday, large mail order company Quelle Gustav Schickedanz, Fürth October 20, 1986.
  • Richard Winkler:  Schickedanz, Grete. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 22, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-428-11203-2 , p. 729 ( digitized version ).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Peter Zinke, "He threatened again with the Gauleitung": Gustav Schickedanz and the "Aryanizations", in: nurinst 2008, yearbook of the Nuremberg Institute for Nazi Research and Jewish History of the 20th Century 2008, ISBN 978-3-938286- 34-0 , p. 63
  2. ^ Peter Zinke, "He threatened again with the Gauleitung": Gustav Schickedanz and the "Aryanizations", in: nurinst 2008, yearbook of the Nuremberg Institute for Nazi Research and Jewish History of the 20th Century 2008, ISBN 978-3-938286- 34-0 , p. 68