The End of All Illusions

AEG-Telefunken's sudden collapse jolts West Germany

AEG-Telefunken was the very symbol of the postwar West German Wirtschaftswunder. When the giant company began to rebuild in the late 1940s, it found that the destruction of battle and the loss of property in East Germany had wiped out more than 90% of its factories. But a combination of hard work and a buoyant economy helped AEG-Telefunken to restore itself and become the second largest electronics manufacturer in West Germany after Siemens. In 1981, it employed 120,000 workers worldwide and had sales of $6.6 billion.

Thus it...

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