1956 – 1957

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The beginning of a new era – reconstruction of “Neudörfler Möbelfabrik Karl Markon”

Remembering the 1950s

Late mayor and deputy of Landtag Josef Posch still remembers the atmosphere of change in the 1950s: “I had started in the old business, where we still had drying chambers. That was the most uncomfortable work imaginable, you had to sort wood at a temperature of 70, 75 degrees – but the Neudörfler factory provided chances for several families – me included. We queued, and the boss came and said ‘today I need five people, or no one, or fifteen people.’ – I think there is no one that has made a career like myself, from waiting in the courtyard, then the frictional vehicle, up to the moulding department; I was a private driver, I drove the furniture van for a year, I was a furniture packer, and at the end I was manager of the Viennese branch office – and at the very end, I was chairman of the board.”

Gertraud Gabriel, who was an authorised representative from the 1970s until the end of the 1990s and the “right hand” of Karl Markon: “I entered the company on December 15th in 1952, in the old building, the ‘Rawe-Bau’, as a temporary office worker – that is what it was called back then– and I was supposed to stay for six weeks. Well, these six weeks have turned into 46 years and much more. I have almost completely witnessed the company’s development; I used to work in a small, technical office, with a small room at the end of the hall, and the management at the other end.

Then came the big move, and I kind of went through all divisions we had, and then I became secretary, and in 1970/71, I was made single authorised representative, which was a big deal for a young woman. My areas of responsibility simply grew with the position.”

Until the mid-1950s, improvising was done at the old location. Conditions got more crammed as the company, which by now counted 137 employees – and the rental agreement also constituted a latent problem for the company, which was registered in the trade register with the name “Neudörfler Möbelfabrik Karl Markon” in 1955. Municipality Neudörfl supported the project of a new building, the government of Burgenland decided a governmental guarantee of over 4 million shilling, and with this financial support, between September 1956 and May 1957, the construction of a modern manufacturing site for office furniture at the current location was made possible.

The reconstruction similarly marked the beginning of large-scale industrial serial production. A dining hall for 190 people and a factory canteen that guaranteed regular lunch meals for employees, were also established in 1961. Freshly prepared lunches were available for 5,- shilling; this extraordinarily low price was not changed until the withdrawal of Karl Markon in the mid-1990s. The social attitude of passionate social democrat Markon is still pointed out by everyone who personally knew him.

Mayor Dieter Posch remembers: “He used to buy whole shows at the Raimundtheater, and went there with all his employees, because he used to say: ‘Workers also need culture!’ And long before drunk driving became an issue, he arranged transports for his employees after the Christmas parties.”


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