Karl Markon was born on December 9th 1905 in Graz. The family with eleven children was extremely poor, his father was milk carter. During World War 1, he completed his school education and he began his apprenticeship at a Grazer carpentry on July 16th 1919, already in the first republic of Austria. After his training was completed in 1924, Karl Markon wandered through Austria, Hungary and Italy as artisan assistant, and eventually found his place as a carpentry assistant and foreman at a factory in Vienna. Soon after he completed master’s certificate, Markon went into business for himself. Later, he opened his own construction carpentry in Vienna-Ottakring.
In the 1930s, which were characterised by mass unemployment and poverty, the master carpenter employed several dozens of people, lastly, according to a list of June 1940, a total of 33. On May 5th 1940, Karl Markon was summoned to the armed forces, and until the end of the war, the carpentry did not take up its business again.
Karl Markon survived the second World War. After being released as an American prisoner in April 1946, the now 40-year-old found himself at the very beginning again. His Viennese construction carpentry had ben seized by the French occupying powers. Pre-war acquaintances told him about the place Neudörfl in Burgenland, at which “the Russians had cleared an old and empty weaving mill, which had been used to repair tanks.” Markon deemed the building in question at Sauerbrunnerstraße, the old facility of former weaving mill B. Rawe & Co. (today = 2011: Wohnanlage „Dr. Fischer Hof“), as suitable. Overall, 1.500 square metres were available, and cleaning of the empty rooms started immediately. The government of Burgenland provided vouchers for cement, bricks and glass, and a drying chamber was transferred from the former Viennese facility.
Franz Eitzenberger, one of the first employees and later municipal council of Neudörfl, remembers his first meeting with Karl Markon: “We are in the buildup, Mr Eitzenberger, it is of no use, we have to begin with the shovel and the cramping.’ – ‘No worries, Mr Markon, I am not too lazy to work! And then he said: ‘I will make something out of you!’”
During the buildup, unwelcome obstacles frequently occurred. Sometimes machines were seized, then Markon was accused of bartering away ration coupons and had to take responsibility in front of the Burgenland government and the police, which then discharged him. Eventually, „Neudörfler Türen-, Fenster und Möbelfabrik Ges.m.b.H.“ started its economic activities on June 12th 1946. Karl Markon acted as sole CEO.