1 July 1933
Congratulatory address marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Gebrüder Becker glove company in Chemnitz
But a closer look at the address makes clear that something is wrong. The director Arthur Becker (1893–1988) was not in Chemnitz on this “special day.” Due to “current conditions” he was unable celebrate with his employees and accept their gift. In April 1933 members of the Chemnitz SA had brutally murdered a member of the company’s supervisory board—the lawyer Dr. Arthur Weiner—and Arthur Becker and his brother Karl had fled to safety in the Netherlands with their families.
In the address the employees express their desire to have their director back with them as soon as possible “as the highly esteemed pioneer of the fabric glove industry in Germany.” However, their wish was never fulfilled. The Beckers remained in the Netherlands and managed to escape to Canada before the German army invaded the country in 1940. In 1938 the company was 'Aryanized' and after the war it was nationalized and run as two separate state-owned enterprises in East Germany.
The Chemnitz-born children of Arthur Becker and his wife Charlotte —Fred Becker and Liesel Becker Sabloff—were among the first donors to the Jewish Museum Berlin to come from families outside Berlin. Liesel Sabloff made contact with the museum in August 1999 after reading an article about the institution in the Canadian Jewish News. She donated the Becker family’s papers—including this album—in honor of her mother, Charlotte Frank Becker, who died at the biblical age of one hundred in 2001, and in memory of her father, Arthur, and her grandparents Lina and Eduard Becker, who are buried in the Jewish cemetery in Chemnitz.
On this day,
the fiftieth distinguished anniversary of the company
we greet our highly esteemed director Arthur Becker with heartfelt devotion and respect and offer him our sincerest congratulations. We also respectfully remember the accomplished founders of the company, now deceased,
With farsightedness, a clear understanding of what is most important, a diligent, industrious disposition and an honorable, loyal spirit, you, Herr Becker, have worked for your company with great enthusiasm and elevated it to the proud, impressive heights it commands today. For us, the undersigned
employees, you have always brought out the best in us and have been a shining example of the strictest sense of duty and responsibility and the maximum application to the task at hand. The welfare of your employees has always been a matter close to your heart, for which we owe you a deep debt of gratitude. Now and in the future our constant goal will be to strive for the very best results and to help promote the well-being of the company with complete dedication. Even if, due to current conditions, you are unfortunately unable to be with us on this special day, we nonetheless shake your hand in spirit and sincerely hope to see you back with us as soon as possible as the highly esteemed pioneer of the fabric glove industry in Germany that you are. At the end of this first half-century of the firm’s progressive development and on the threshold to a new multitude of years, let us conclude by stating our wish that despite the storms of the changeable times the continued ascent of the company will lead to new success and bring rich blessings!
Chemnitz, 1 July 1933.