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Citizen Office / Tourist Information
Altmarkt 209405 Zschopau

Phone: +49 (0)3725 2870

Fax: +49 (0)3725 287222


opening times:


09.00 - 3.00 pm


09.00 - 6.00 pm


09.00 - 2.00 pm
(city offices closed)


09.00 - 5.00 pm


09.00 - 2.00 pm


09.00 - 11.00 am
(the registration office open by appointment)

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, the Community Office between 12.00 - 1.00 pm clock are closed.

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Motorcycle Exhibition


In an impressive way, the motorcycle exhibition at our castle presents its visitors with the foundation of the DKW Factory by Jorgen Skafte Rasmussen at the beginning of the 20th century.

With his own economic foresight and side by side with other clever allies, he managed to entrench the two-stroke engine and bring various motorcycle models on the market. Thus, the company turned into the world’s biggest motorcycle factory only two decades after its foundation.

The exhibition’s main highlight is the recently re-designed “Collection Rasmussen” presenting precious historic
motorcycles, stationary engines as well as unique items and personal belongings from the beginnings of DKW. The exhibits are the result of the long-lasting collecting and restoring by Mr Jorgen Skafte Rassmussen in order to remind of his grandfather and founder of DKW. The collection serves as a reminder of the skills of the engineers and workers in our region. Thus, Mr Rasmussen handed the collection over to Zschopau, to bring it back to its roots and too be sure that he found a trustworthy place to cherish and keep alive the lifework of his grandfather.

Furthermore, the exhibition presents major parts of the MZ products – such as most of the well-known serial produced motorcycles, as well as Enduro and street racing machines.

A special feature is the video screen on which the visitors can choose between several documentaries about the history of DKW, MZ and Zschopau to enter the fascinating world of motorcycles.









Motor Racing

MZ (MuZ) and Motor Racing


Street motor racing has been closely connected with the manufacturing of motorcycles in Zschopau ever since. Even before the start of the production of the "Reichsfahrtmodell” (lit. a model created for the Reich Rally), Rasmussen's drivers won laurels on the AVUS course (automobile traffic and training road) in Berlin when they gained places 1 to 3 in this popular competition.
After World War II, some diligent people took up their interest in motor racing again, even though there has been no possibility for a serial production until 1950.  One of the first three motorcycles, which were produced under huge effort, was turned into a racing machine immediately.

A similar situation took place when the MuZ company was founded on 1st July 1992. In December 1992, two new motorcycle models "Skorpion Sport" and "Skorpion Tour" were presented on a motorcycle exhibition in Birmingham. Already 10 months later, without a sight of a serial production, the "Skorpion Tour" took part in a competition in Donington Park in Britain.
Business executive Petr-Karel Korous handed a - by a designer modified - motorcycle "Skorpion Sport" to an English tuner. After only three weeks, the English driver Mike Edwards participated in the European Supermono Championship in Donington Park with the first racing Skorpion. It was a stunning moment to have a motorcycle produced in Zschopau taking part in a competition after so many years went by.

As a consequence, many English supporters became curious about the motorcycles made in Zschopau. England's most famous course commentator for motorcycle competitions at the time, Fred Clark, announced loudly to the audience at a race: “They are back!” Afterwards, a comprehensive list of famous names such as Walter Kaaden, Ernst Degner, Mike Hailwood and Alan Sharp was given. Finally, Mike Edwards became 7th in the European elite and the constructers of the motorcycle could be more than satisfied. The start was accomplished.
With modified vehicles, the MuZ team took part in the motor racing season in 1994 and with the help of Mike Edwards, the first victories in Brands Hatch, Cadwell Park, and Truxton were celebrated. Finally, they finished as runners-up at the end of the season.

In Germany, Hans Peter Meyer from Crailsheim succeeded in competitions in Brno and Frohburg. The beginning was made. The racing Skorpion was modified again for the season in 1995. Unfortunately, this season was to be an ill-fated one. At the beginning, the MuZ driver Hans Peter Meyer had an accident on the Nürburgring and was not able to take part in competitions for several months. To cover him, a young woman named Elli Bindrum, from Hambach in Franconia, was spontaneously asked to drive the MZ motorcycle. She finished a race in Barcelona as runners-up and at the end of the season she was able to present the high level of performance of the racing Skorpion. For the season in 1996, a new racing machine had been developed.  The chief executive decided that the design specialists should have more freedom for the new construction. Thus, the new racing motorcycle was not supposed to correspond with all parts of the Skorpion Sport.

Rennsport02The winter in the Ore Mountains was as long and hard as usual and both pre-season tests in Spain and Italy failed more or less because of rain. When taking part in the first European Supermono Cup in Misano/ Italy in that season, the racing team did not know what to expect.

Nonetheless, Elli Bingrum achieved a respectable 7th place. In the second race, Mike Edwards left his competitors far behind and gained the first victory in the season for MuZ. Again, Elli reached the 7th place. During the 3rd run in Hockenheim, Rigo Richter from Hohenstein-Enstthal takes the pole position with his MuZ. Elli Bindrum used her knowledge of the track and sensationally started from the second position. Due to a failure of the clutch during the viewing run, Rigo Richter was not able to start in the race.  Elli Bindrum, however, was obviously not intimated by her male competitors. Nobody expected her to win silver after the well-known "Superbiker" Michi Rudroff. The fifth run within the European Supermono Cup took place in Brno. Again, it was Rigo Richter from Hohenstein-Ernsttahl who took his chance superbly.

He was the fastest rider in all training runs and won the race itself masterfully, whilst Elli Bindrum reached the 4th place. The 6th run in Brands Hatch/ Britain marked the peak of the season.
Mike Edwards set new records in each lap, won the race and set a new track record for the Supermono. After the thrilling race, Elli finished as 6th. Within the 7th run in Assen, however, Rigo Richter won the gold medal and Elli was able to strengthen her good position in the overall ranking with a well-done 3rd place. At the end of the season in Albacete/ Spain, the winner of  European Supermono Cup was at anybody's guess.  The Japanese Minoda, the British Cathcart and Ruth and the German Elli Bindrum were supposed to be the most promising competitors.  Thus, the decision was made upon clever tactics and ideas. Finally, the race was won by Rigo Richter and marked his third successive victory. Minoda became second and Elli third. For Minoda, this was enough to win the Cup in the overall ranking before Alan Cathcart end Elli Bindrum. A respectable and unexpected success for the young woman from Germany. Within eight runs, MuZ had five victories and presented the fastest motorcycle of the season.

Rennsport01In 1997, the European Supermono Cup took part within the Superbike World Championship. In the overall ranking, André Friedrich from Hohnstein-Ernsthal became 2nd, followed by Elli Bindrum. Alan Cathcart from England succeeded in the "Single Grand Prix" on a MuZ motorcycle in Daytona/US. From 1997 until 2002, MuZ, renamed into MZ in 1999, organized a Cup for Skorpion motorcycles within the International German Championship.   The winner of the first season was Rony Wehran from Hohenstein-Ernsthal. In 1998, the Bavarian Paul Maria Listl succeeded, and in 1999 Jan Stecher took the prize. In 2000, the decision was made at arm’s length when the Danish intern with MZ, Rikko Stendevad, was able to beat Christian Nau from Fulda. In 2001 and 2002, Carsten Freudenberg from Bischofswerda gained both victories. The press release of MuZ taking part the Grand Prix with 500 cc motorcycles came as a real bombshell. Furthermore, from 1998 the World Championship runs were supposed to take place in Saxony (on the Sachsenring) - for the first time after 25 years!

Doriano Romboni, from Italy, drove to a fantastic 12th place in Suzuka/Japan and gained the first 4 points for the MuZ team in the World Championship ranking. Tragically, he got injured during the second race in Malaysia and had to remain sidelined for the rest of the season due to a broken scaphoid bone. Thus, he was replaced by the Swiss test driver Eskil Sutter who became 13t on Sachsenring and was celebrated like a winner by his fans. In Brno, he gained another two points by becoming 14th.
During the season in 1999, the Dutch Jürgen van de Goorbergh and, occasionally, Luca Cadalora were called into action.  Van de Goorbergh managed to sensationally set the pole position in Barcelona and Brno on a four cylinder two-stroke engine motorcycle from MZ. However, he was not able to translate his outstanding training results into the race. Cadalora managed a very good 3rd position in the training. However, during the race he was completely over motivated and had a spectacular crash.  During the season in 1999, Simon Crafar, Anthony Gober and Noriyasu Numuta were employed as drivers. Overall, 64 points were achieved, which brought MZ the 5th rank in the World Championship of the Brands. At the end of the year, the assignment to Gran Prix competitions ended.

With the introduction of the Baghira on the market, Enduro racing became important again. In 1996, Mike Heydenreich took part successfully in the Novemer Enduro race "In and around Zschopau" with a prototype of the new Baghira. In 1997, Jörg Hübler participated in the race "Around Zschopau" (German: Rund um Zschpau) with a serial produced Baghira and finished as second in his class. With a prototype of the Enduro 400, he took also part in the Offroad Challenge and in the German Cross Country Challenge. At the same time, he is promoted to the chief examiner at MZ. During the most difficult "Around Zschopau" taking place in 2002, he triumphed in the race on a MZ 400.

Günther Scheidhauer wins also on an MZ Baghira a cup in Rachau/Austria and becomes "Mountain King" (German: Bergkönig). In 2002, MZ advertised a completely new Youngster Cup within the Supermoto competition. Drivers from the age of 12 (sometimes already from the age of 10) with a J licence of the DMSB (German Motor Sports Association) are eligible to participate in the cup. Technical basis: motorcycles MZ 125 SM - cup edition.
Already in the first year, the cup is a huge success and the 13-years-old Joshua Sommer was a worthy winner. In the future, MZ will keep on with the "MZ Youngster Cup" and therefore contributes essentially to the support of talented youngsters within motor sports.

The Revival of Enduro Racing in Zschopau - A Story of Success

Rennsport04With the organization of the 1st World Championship of "Around Zschopau" in June 1990, just one week before the German Mark was introduced on the area of the former GDR, the idea of "Around Zschopau" died for many fans for good. Too many economic changes in the area caused this sad end. Who would be capable of taking such a high risk? However, it were three youngsters keen on motor sports from Witzschdorf, the founding members of the future "Enduro and Mountainbike Club Witzschdorf", who had a fulminant idea. After the political situation, due to the reunification, had settled, they organized an off-road race for young people with serial produced motorbikes. Initially, the motorcycle-loving youngsters went out on a limb with their spontaneous idea, not knowing what was about to happen to them.

Against all odds, prejudices and bureaucracy, they managed to establish a legal and authorized testing course for Enduro and Motocross racing during the following years.
In November 1993, the second competition of the cross country race in Witzschdorf took place. Already 50 drivers started the 20 km long course between Witzschdorf and the neighbouring village Dittmannsdorf. Thus, the organisational effort rose tremendously and there were still some structural difficulties which needed to be overcome. The young organizers had not yet the experience, but their enthusiasm carried everyone away and the drivers ignored the small imperfections. The November Enduro in 1995 became a real touchstone for all who took part and will be remembered by them for a long time. The organizers had chosen a 40 km long course including a variety of challenges.

Suddenly, the onset of winter came over night with 20 cm of snow, and the competition seemed to be in danger. However, the organizers improvised and turned the race into a "Winter Race" with a shorter course and the tournament was still a success for both, drivers and audience. The fortune obviously smiled on the organizers.
In 1996, the EMC (Enduro and mountain bike club) set new standards.  Overall, 180 competitors started - an absolute record. The implementation followed the rules of the highest German Motor Sports Commission. The track was extended to 60 km per lap.  The cooperation of several clubs, such as for example MC Amtsberg e.V., MSC Zschopau e.V, the Offroad Club Hilmersdorf, the MCV MZ Zschopau and the AMV Chemnitz made it possible to split the tasks in hand in order to organize this rather big event. The 25.000 onlookers finally exceeded all expectations.

For the year 1997, a request for organizing the final run of the German Enduro Championship was made at the OMK (Highest Motorsport Commitee). This implemented an even higher challenge for the organizers. The official name of the event: 5th International November Enduro, Finals of the German Championship A/I Licence and Race of the Ore Mountains Cup. 250 drivers started on a 65 km long circular course which had just "the high standard of Zschopau".  As the Saxonian Championship took also place within this event, a high number of regional Enduro drivers participated as well.
Within the race of 1998, which was also a final run, the title of "November Enduro" was used for the last time. The "Trophy Senior Competition" was included in the event for the first time.
In order to meet the rising requirements, the motor sports club "Around Zschopau" e.V. was established within the ADAC on the 6th of June 1999. This club was a unification of the different local clubs and established as an element to organise, prepare and host motor sports events.

For the first time, the name "Rund um Zschopau" (lit. Around Zschopau) is used. With the title "International German Enduro Championship", the event is even more appreciated and, thus, even more international top performers came to Zschopau.  Within the Trophy Senior Competition the former GDR Trophy team met the teams of western Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy and Austria - a selection of the best teams in the world. For the first time, there is also a tournament solely for women.
The final run for the German Championship takes place in Zschopau in 2000, again. The starting area was further extended. Nearly everybody of distinction within the international Enduro racing took part: Swedish, Finnish, Italian, Czech, Australian and of course German top riders.
It is just important to take part in this competition in Zschopau. For the first time, transponder time recording was used in order to guarantee exact time measurement and to provide the prerequisite for a fast announcement of the results.

Rennspoert05Cross country racing has by now been a tradition for several decades and stands perfect organization, challenging courses and an enthusiastic and fair audience. It is Enduro racing at its best and, today, this is known anywhere in the world of Enduro.  
At least since the year 2000, the three motorcycle lovers from Witzschdorf should be proud of themselves as it was them who started a tradition, even though nothing is left from its beginnings. Today, there is a quick and battle-tested team of organizers and hundreds of supporters who all really have their heart in.  The organizers are supported furthermore by the administrative district office, the town Zschopau and most important, by the land owners.
The event "Around Zschopau" has grown consistently throughout the years and thus it is not surprising that the Enduro World Championship took place in Zschopau in 2004 again.


Dear Motorcycle Lovers,
dear guests of our motorcycle town Zschopau,


I would be delighted to welcome you at the exhibition "Motorcycle Dreams" in the historical building of Wildeck Castle. Our town, once birthplace and stronghold of the manufacture of motorcycles in Germany, is proud to present you with such a beautiful and representative part of the history of the two-stroke engine production.

Nobody could imagine what the future would bring to this place and which masterpieces would be developed, when Jörgen Skafte Rasmussen founded his engineering factory in the Dischau valley  in 1907:

1915 the construction of a steam-driven car under the label of DKW (German: Dampfkraftwagen, lit. steam-driven car), the two-stroke engine for toys "The Boy's Desire" in 1918 and its development into the motor-supported bicycle "The Small Wonder".

The factory had its finest hour in 1922, when the first two-stroke engine was produced. It was the beginning of a tradition of a car which is more than a vehicle to its owners, rather it is a philosophy and a passion connecting its followers.

The output of 60.000 bikes in 1929 or 92.000 in 1975 had the factory grow temporarily to the biggest motorcycle factory in the world. Furthermore, the motorcycles were also well-known for their success in several sport events which reached its height with the victories of the Six-Day-Races 1963-67/ 1969 and 1987.

A selection of different exhibits offers interested visitors the opportunity to learn about the history of the motorcycle and all the people connected to it who are said to have "petrol" in their veins.

By now, many things have changed and the factory does not exist any longer. Nonetheless, even today many people closely connect the town and the development of motorcycles. Today, MZ (German: Motorradwerk Zschopau, lit. Motorcycle Factory Zschopau) made its own history. Thus, I think it is tremendously important that this tradition is kept alive in our region with all those people still being keen on motorsports.

At this point, I also want to take the chance and say thank you to all those people who contributed to the success of this "dream-like" exhibition with their engagement, ideas and their loan of objects.

Klaus Baumann
Mayor of Zschopau



1906 to 1921
Setup of Rasmussen's factory - The Prestage of the Motorcycle Factory

1906 Jörgen Skafte Rasmussen (1878 - 1964) purchases an abandoned clothing factory on behalf of the company Rasmussen & Ernst in the Dischau valley in Zschopau. Valves, household and workshop devices as well as vehicle accessories are produced. 20 employees.
1912 Re-naming into “Engine Factory J.S. Rasmussen Zschopau Corporation”. Foundation of the "Elitewerke Plc." in Brand-Erbisdorf (a small car manufacturing company) together with the owner of the “Presto” factories in Chemnitz.
1914-1918 Production of detonator capsules and grenade detonators. Modification of the factory, electronic operations start. Rise of the number of employees from 40 to 450, amongst them many women.
1916 Development of a steam-driven car with the support of Rasmussen's fellow countryman engineer Matthießen.
1919 Production of two-stroke toy engines constructed by the engineer Hugo Ruppe: “The Boy's Desire”. Foundation of a small engine distribution service in Berlin.
1920 Development of bike engines with 1 horsepower by Rupper: “The Small Wonder”, which went into serial production in 1921. Re-naming into “Engine Factory J.S. Rasmussen Zschopau”.
1921-1922 Building of the DKW "armchair motorcycles" (German: Sesselmotorräder) Golem and Lomos. Hermann Weber is hired as manager of the construction department, Blau becomes technical manager. Due to the employment of former soldiers, the number of employees rises to 600.
1921 The drivers of DKW vehicles gain the first three places on serial models on the 800 km long "Reichsfahrt" from Berlin to Heidelberg .


1922 to 1931
Expansion to “DKW Group”.


The actual manufacturing of motorcycles in Zschopau starts with the "Reichfahrtsmodell". Dr. Carl Hahn becomes manager of marketing and sales.
July 1922: the 20.000th DKW engine and 2.000th DKW motorcycle.

1923 Foundation of the “Motocycle Factory J.S. Rasmussen Plc.” in Zschopau. DKW's success from the "Reichsfahrten" in 1922 and 1923 are repeated. The designer of the successful motorcycles, Hermann Weber himself demonstrates the performance of the machines. With him, Hans Sprung, Hans Winkler, Kurt Friedrich and Richard Blau represent DKW successfully.

With the model "SM" the technical basis for a one of a kind development of the then motorcycle construction is made. The technicians responsible for the customer support are given an instruction course for the first time. Ceremonial opening of the administration building.
The 50.000th motorcycle is produced.

1926 Profound change of the production line: For the first time, a motorcycle is manufactured at a mechanically driven assembly line. It is the model E 206. The abandoned "Moll" factories in Scharfenstein are bought. Production of the first DKW two-cylinder motorcycle and a trial car.

Purchase of the "Rickenbacker Engine Productions" in Detroit / U.S. leading to a failure.
Exhibition of small cargo bicycle with a DKW engine, manufactured by the affiliate company "Framo" in Frankenberg, at the International Motor Show. Foundation of a racing department with August Prüssing as its leader. Hans Sprung wins the German Championship on a 175 cc motorcycle.


Acquisition of the stock majority of the Schütthoff Plc. Chemnitz. Purchase of the iron foundry in Erla and the complete block of stock of the Audi Factories Plc. in Zwickau. The DKW group becomes the biggest motorcycle factory in the world.

Daily output: up to 300 motorcycles and 350 engines.
Yearly output: 43.316 motorcycles; 2.375 employees.


Establishment of the DKW settlement in Zschopau.


Extension of the factory with branches in Annaberg, Chemnitz, Erla, Frankenberg, Marienberg, Scharfenstein, Spandau, Wilischthal, Zöblitz and Zwickau.
Peak of motorcycle production: 60.000.
Every 78 seconds one motorcycle is produced at the DKW factory.
6.000 employees.
Kurt Friedrich wins the German Championship (250 cc), and Arthur Geiss wins the Grand Prix of Germany at the Nürburgring (175 cc). With three DKW 500 cc motorcycles, the riders Klein, Zündorf and Geiss win the "Targe Florio" in Sicily.
With the half litre racing bike PRe 500, reaching 27,8 horsepower with a two cylinder motor (enhanced to 36 horsepower in 1931/1932) thrilling races between the DKW and BMW riders are presented to the audience.

Building of the automobile P15 on the basis on the water-cooled two cylinder motorcycle engine of the model DKW Z 500.


The world economic crisis leads to a decrease in the sales of DKW, too: 36.000 motorcycles. 1932 - 11.000 motorcycles. Partial compensation of the losses by offering various other products, such as automobiles, motorcycles, refrigerators, stationary engines and car accessories.

Mass dismissal of employees: only 850 are left.
DKW's racing cars with charge pump engines set new records in twelve different international classes in France.

1931 Start of the serial production of the front wheel driven compact car DKW F1 (front) at the Audi Factory in Zwickau which was supposed to boost sales.

However, loss at the 31. October in 1931: 3.92 million Reichsmark.


1932 until 1945
Auto Union plc. – Factory DKW


From 01.01.1932 the factories of Audi, Horch and DKW merge into the Auto Union Corp. Additional purchase of the automobile department of the "Wanderer" factories Chemnitz. With factory sites in Berlin-Spandau (wooden bodywork manufacturing), Siegmar (automobile manufacturing), Zschopau (engine and motorcycle manufacturing) and Zwickau (automobile manufacturing) employing 4.500 workers in all factories, a huge German vehicle group has been developed. The different sites and customer support services are combined under that name Auto Union Branches Ltd.

The engineer Herbert Venediger is promoted manager of the development and testing department in Zschopau. With the acqusition of the exclusive license of Schnuerle Porting procedure, DKW has the foundation for a new generation of two-stroke engines.

1933 The rise of sales leads to the recruitment of new employees.1.699 people work at the factories in Zschopau and Rota, 9.300 motorcycles are produced.

Rasmussen is dismissed from the main board without previous notice or adherence to a time limit on 31.12.1932. The board was founded by Rasmussen himself, Dr. Richard Bruhn (Saxonian State Bank) and the Duke of Oerthen (Wanderer factories).
Only in 1938, he gets a partial compensation of 1.3 million Reichsmark by arbitration.
Auto Union employs more than 13.000 workers and members of staff in 12 factories. A huge part of the production is included in the commencing German re-armament. The DKW factory in Zschopau counts 3.340 workers, amongst them a small resistance group.
The 350.000th motorcycle is produced, 23.523 DKW bikes are registered in Germany (31.4 % of all registered motorcycles in Germany).


William Werber (Horch) inherits Rasmussen's position in the main board. The administration and different departments of Auto Union are transferred from Zschopau to Chemnitz.
The number of officially registered DKW motorcycles rises to 36.847 (35,9%).
More than 5.000 motorcycle dealers sell DKW machines in Europe and Overseas.
The DKW team becomes more and more successful in racing competitions. In 1935, twenty victories are gained in both national and international races.
Arthur Geiss becomes German and European master in the 250cc class.


Due to the effort to reach self-reliance by the nationalist socialist Four-Year-Plan and the therfore resulting lack of foreign exchange, major problems within the delivery lines occur - a lack of motorcycle tyres. This leads to temporary short-term work.

43.581 DKW bikes are registered in Germany (34,6%).
38 races are won on DKW racing bikes and in four out of five classes, the riders Kluge,Müller, Braun and Karmann win the German Championship.


The export of DKW motorcycles rises from 11.367 to 15.170 in the year 1938.
Due to the proceeds of foreign exchange, the supply of restricted unmanufactured material rises.
The output of the Auto Union Corp. has been raised from 40 million Reichsmark in the business year 1931/32 to 270 million Reichsmark in 1937/38.
Ewald Kluge sets a new record of 183.2 km/h on his 250 cc DKW bike.


The number of employees of the Auto Union rises to 22.673. The output in export amounts to 38 million Reichsmark.
44.637 DKW motorcycles are registered in Germany (29.3 %). The DKW model NZ 350 is delivered to the Wehrmacht in high numbers. The dates of delivery are in accordance with the plans for a future war.

Start of the construction of a new workers’ settlement for DKW on an area called "Zschopenberg" - "Neue Heimat" (lit. new home). Ewald Kluge wins the German and European Championship on a DKW rotary slide 250 cc machine.

4.316 (3.935 workers and members of staff + 381 trainees) are employed at DKW.


Due to the call-up, the number of employees decreases to 4.100. The by Herman Weber newly constructed RT 125 leads into a new era of motorcycle manufacturing. It replaces the RT 100.
After the end of the war, it will be the most copied bike in the world.
The 500.000th motorcycle is manufactured. The production of civil luxury models stops due to the war in the second half of the year.
The racing department is dissolved.


The production of the RT 100, which used to be the most sold DKW motorcycle, stops in favour of the RT125 and the NZ 355.
The number of employees ceases to 3.900.
Instead of motorcycles, an increasing number of stationary engines for fire-fighting systems and war production are manufactured. The production of parts for aircraft engines for a subsidiary company of the Auto Union Plc. starts.


The sales of the Auto Union Plc. are boosted from 260 million Reichsmark in 1939 to 392 million Reichsmark by war productions. The CEOs Dr. Bruhn and Werner are important leaders of war production and the arms industry.
33.646 stationary DKW engines and 20.254 DKW motorcycles are produced. The RT 125 is produced as special Wehrmacht model.

1942 Only 7.000 DKW motorcycles leave the factory. Instead, the production of parts for aircraft engines rises. Increasing numbers of war prisoners and workers from the countries occupied by the Germans are forced to work in the factory. Out of this reason, barracks are built and former inns are turned into temporary homes.
1943 The sales of Auto Union rises to 540 million Reichsmark. The profit is used to rise the equity capital to 30 million Reichsmark.
1944 The sales of the Auto Union reaches its peak with 740.25 million Reichsmark. The profit is used for the purchase of shares and shareholdings with multiple companies in Germany or in the occupied countries. The number of employees rises to 3.800. Amongst them, 893 so-called foreign workers and, from autumn on, 500 women and girls from Auschwitz - as part of a work force from the concentration camp in Flossenberg.

Fortunately, the factory is not bombed by the allied air forces. However, the DKW residential area is hit badly including several deaths.
On the 14th of April, the women from the concentration camp are deported from Zschopau and Wilischthal in open train wagons. Many of them did not survive the deadly way of transportation.
Due to the approaching Soviet troops, the board of the Auto Union flees from Chemnitz to Zwickau which is occupied by the Americans. The Soviet troops occupy Zschopau on the 8th of May.


1945 bis 1950
Dismantling and New Beginning in Zschopau


On demand of the Soviet occupation force, the dismantling of the DKW factory starts on the 3rd of July. The whole assembly of machines are packed up and transported to the Soviet Union. The controlled detonation of the factory building can be averted by some previous employees and the support of the mayor Heinz Seidel after negotiations with the Soviet administration. A group of engineers around Herman Weber, Heydenreich and Schmidt are brought to the factories in Ishewsk to build up the machines again. They return in 1948. Hermann Weber dies in Ishewsk.

24th September: a group of workers and members of staff founds the "Maschinenbaugenossenschaft (DKW) e.G.m.b.H Zschopau" (lit. Machine Building Cooperation (DKW) plc. Zschopau). With the help of 39 outdated machines, kitchen and bee-keeping devices, oven racks and tools, especially for the production of firewood, are manufactured. A manufacturing site near the railway station repairs damaged train waggons. 

Number of employees at the end of October: 150
At the end of the year, the cooperation becomes part of the "Sächsische Aufbauwerk" (lit.: Saxonian Construction Factory).

1946 In spring, the factory is instructed by the Soviet Administration to produce all spare parts for the whole DKW programme. The manufacturing takes place in four factories. The engineers Bang, Bergauer, Prüssing and others, overall 70 people, are busy with new motorcycle constructions and model building. Until August, 632 engines E 203 are produced under the cover of repairs. During the autumn fair in Leipzig, stationary DKW engines are exhibited. After a public referendum in Saxony, Auto Union is dispossessed. With the 1st of July, the DKW factory becomes part of the “Industrial Administration for Vehicle Construction” with the company name "IFA-WErk DKW, Grießbach, Post Wilischthal" (lit.: IFA= Industrieverband Fahrzeugbau, Industrial Cooperation for Vehicle Construction).
1947 The factories 1 and 2 of the Metal Industries Ltd. ("Blauwerke"), which were also dispossessed after a public referendum, become part of the DKW factory by the order of the industrial administration no. 19. Due to the enlargement of the facilities, there are rising problems concerning the mechanical equipment, unprocessed materials and in finance. Development of the lightweight motorcycle L60, which is dismissed as faulty design. A 250 cc machine with a two cylinder flat engine and a drive shaft is constructed in the Soviet construction office.
1948 The resumption of the production of the RT 125 is prepared. Following the monetary reform, the situation concerning the mechanical equipment of the DKW factory improves slowly.

05.09. The Soviet Administration office decides that the motorcycle factory in Zschopau is allowed to produce motorcycles again. Exhibition of three RT 125 motorcycles at the spring fair in Leipzig.
The number of employees rises from 398 to 445. The engineer Kurt Kämpf, who is working at the factory's experimental laboratory, and the former factory driver Herman Scherzer develop the "IFA-RT-125-Racing-Bike". The new motorcycle is tested for the first time at a race in Stralsund in July.




1950 until 1990
A Second Start after WWII until the German Reunification


27th March - Opening of the IFA education centre in the former main factory building in Zschopau. In the course of the year, the production departments from Wilischthal return to Zschopau and take up the production in halls 6, 7, 13, 14 and 15. All in all, 1.700 RT 125 are produced.

12th June - Foundation of the company's sports club "BSG Motor Zschopau" with Albin Henning as its leader. For the first time, 110 RT 125 are exported to the Netherlands, another 150 go to Norway. Trial models of the BK 350. A third place is gained with an RT 125 in the German Street Racing Championship.


Erhart Krumpholz succeeds as top rider within several races with his RT 125. From the 1st of October, the company name of DKW is prohibited.


Start of the production of the BK 350 (two cylinder, two-stroke flat engine with an universal joint, 15 horsepower) - initial series.
728 workers and members of staff. 8.135 motorcycles (8.104 RT 125, 31 BK 350) are produced. Bernhard Petruschke wins several races on a RT125 ZPH which was improved by Daniel Zimmermann.

1953 The education centre is connected with the main factory. Establishment of a racing department under the direction of Walter Kaaden and the riders Erhard Krumpholz, Horst Fügner, Siegfried Haase and later on Bernhard Petruschke. Four victories are gained in the 125 cc class by Fügner, Haase and Kaden.

A fully automatic assembly line for the production of half casings starts to operate. Construction of an improved RT 125/1.
Five victories on 125 cc racing machines by Krumpholz and Fügner. Siegfried Haase takes part in a competition on the Sachsenring on a 250 cc two cylinder racing machine for the first time - at first without success.
Building of kindergarten for the employee's children.


9.06. Rudolf Meixner (GDR Motorcycle Cross Country Champion) has a fatal accident in Isny/ Allgäu.
16.10. motorcycle cross country event "Around Zschopau". Horst Fügner becomes GDR champion in the 125 cc class and runners up with a 250 cc machine. Furthermore, he is also internationally successful.


The model RT125/2 is introduced on the market at the beginning of the year. The company name "MZ" short for "Motorcycle Factory Zschopau” is also introduced. A huge serial production of the ES 250 starts in June, followed by the ES 175 and the sidecar vehicle E 300 in December. Installation of new assembly lines for engine and tyre production, as well a conveyer belt running through all departments. The installation of running-in testing benches replaces the running-in of engines on the streets.
Besides Krumpholz and Fügner, Degner wins for the first time on an MZ-RE 125. From 1951 onwards, MZ with its two stroke engine machines takes part in cross country events. At the beginning, with the models RT 125 and BK 350, later with models from the ES series, which were adjusted for competitions. Already within the first year, the team wins nine times in different classes due to the drivers Fischer, Sprung, Liebe and Winkler.


The education centre moves to the site at Waldkirchner Straße. 304 trainees are educated in jobs working with metal and another 124 receive business management training. The number of employees has been raised to 3.000 workers and members of staff in the factory.
Production: 35.045 RT 125/2, 5.410 ES 175, 10.050 BK 350 and 4.040 ES 250.
Degener succeeds in seven national and international races in the 125 cc class. Host Fügner wins a competition on an MZ 250 cc in Tubbergen.


Improvement of the 125 cc MZ to the model RT 125/3 and RT 125/4. With the beginning of the year 1959, the foundry in Annaberg is taken over.
MZ takes part in World Championship runs for the first time. Besides Fügner and Degner, the Swiss driver Luigi Raveri starts for MZ.
The old MZ company riders are replaced by Werner Musiol, Walther Brehme and Hans Fischer. Thus, the team wins some talented driver once more.
Fügner succeeds on a new MZ-RE 250 in the Grand Prix and is runners up in the World Championship. Besides 17 gold medals for Fischer, Hermann and Stiegler, Fischer also wins in his class the two-day race in Suhl.


The production of the BK 350 ends. Overall, 41.000 BK 350 were manufactured of which 6.000 were exported. Of the 35.000 sold in the GDR, only 4.000 were constructed with the possibility to attach side car.
At the end of the year, the small serial production of cross country machine starts. 17 victories are gained on MZ racing motorcycles: five by Degner, two each by Fügner and Brehme. Fügner has an accident in Spa-Francorchamps and has to end his racing career. Also foreign drivers ride the MZ motorcycles: Mike Hailwood, Gary Hocking, Derek Minter. The cross country riders, now with the support of Werner Salevsky, win 37 gold medals.

1960 The MZ racing department is established in Hohndorf. Again, the riders of the MZ street racing machines gain 17 victories: seven by Degner, six by Hans Fischer and three by Werner Musiol who also wins the GDR championship in the 250 cc class. Klaus Halster wins the GDR championship in the 125 cc class. The MZ cross country successes include 4 class victories and 30 gold medals.

01.10. Opening of the two-stroke engine motorcycle museum at Augustusburg castle which was highly supported by the customer support manager Rudolf Hiller.
With twelve class victories and the overall victory at the Austrian Alpine Race by Werner Salevsky und at the international two-day race in Orebro/ Sweden by Horst Liebe as well as 28 gold medals, the Zschopauer riders are paid even more attention to.
After a successful street racing season for MZ until autumn (14 victories by Brehme, Fischer, Musiol and Degner), the hope to win the World Championship is destroyed by Degner at the second last run by the bdestroyed power unit of his MZ.
He leaves MZ and sells important construction plans to Suzuki.


The manufacture of the model RT 125 comes to an end at the beginning of the year. In twelve years 310.800 bikes were produced of which 64.000 were exported. It is replaced by the model ES 125/150. The ES 175/1 is constructed with a stronger engine.
03.12. Commissioning of the new electroplating.
MZ's street racing team manages to win 15 races with the team members Fischer, Brehme, Musiol, the Hungarian Szabo and, for the first time, Klaus Enderlein. Above that, the cross country riders succeed in seven classes and gain the overall victory at the Austrian Alpine Race by Werner Salevsky.

1963 The installation of mechanical polishing devices ends the manual production in the polishing department. The installation of an automatic phosphating system and an assembly line with an electrostatic finishing and infrared drying cabin follows.

The nine victories of the street racing team are gained by the members Enderlein, Fischer, Musiol, Szabo and Mike Hailwood. The winning of the trophy at the International Six-Days Race in Spindlerruv/CSSR by the GDR national team - all members of MZ - with Werner Salevsky, Peter Uhlig, Bernd Uhlmann, Horst Lohr, Hans Weber and Günter Baumann is the beginning of a one of a kind success series and followed by five more victories.

1964 Erfurt - with the same team as in 1963
1965 Isle of Man/England - new member: Karlheinz Wagner
1966 Schweden
1967 Zakopane
1969 Garmisch-Partenkirchen


The most important - among 18 other - victories is the one by Alan Shepherd at World Championship run in Daytona/USA. Two more talented riders join the MZ factory racing team: Heinz Rosner and Dieter Krumphol


After a new production site in Mühlbach (from 1963), a storage building in Niederau becomes part of MZ. The motorcycle factory Zschopau reaches its highest yearly output of motorcycles: 90.000 - ES 125 - 44.000, ES 175 - 15.000, ES 250 - 31.000.
From 1961 until 1971, 256.928 MZ motorcycles are exported.
Many suggestions for improvements by the members of staff increase sales to millions. The time to produce one single motorcycle (ES 250) is decreased from 28,7 hours (1961) to 24,2 hours.


W. Salevsky wins the Alpine Race for the third time after 1961 and 1962.


Peter Uhlig, Bernd Uhlmann and Karlheinz Wagner succeed all in the different European Cups.

1968 Peter Uhlig on a MZ 175 and Werner Salevsky on a MZ 250 become European champions in cross country racing.
1969 Serial production of the improved models ES 125/1 and 150/1. With the same engines as the ES models, the ETS models are produced with an additional new kind of motorcycle forks. With the beginning of the production of the MZ ETS 250, the replacement of the MZ full lever types commences.

21.06. The millionth MZ motorcycle since 1950, a EZS 250 Trophy Sport, is finished.
29.200 motorcycles are exported
The motorcycle factory Zschopau becomes part of the IFA cooperation for two-wheeled engines in Suhl. Thus, the administrative channels are extended instead of shortened.

1971 Fred Willamowski becomes European Champion in the 350 cc class. The MZ team gains the third place at the Six-Days Race. The export of motorcycles reaches 50 percent. Customers in 65 different countries buy the motorcycles made in Zschopau.

The formerly private factories Fa. Grünert, Hetzdorf and Fa. Stoye, Leipzig become part of the motorcycle factory.

1973 Beginning of the serial production of the model TS 150.

The MZ team gains a brilliant second place at the international Six-Day race. Frank Schubert wins the European Cup in the 250 cc class as runners up for the third time after 1971 and 1972.

1975 From 1971 until 1975, 410.000 MZ motorcycles are produced. In 1975, 92.000 bikes are manufactures of which 45.000 are exported.
1976 An improved TS 250/1 with a five-speed transmission is produced.
1977 The models ES 125/150 is not produced any longer after 15 years. With 340.500 bikes, the model ES 150 and ES 150/1 is the model with the highest production number of the motorcycle factory in Zschopau.
1978 The branches in Gornau and Brand-Erbisdorf become part of the motorcycle factory in Zschopau. Manfred Jäger becomes the European Champion on an MZ 500/G.
1981 The serial production of the ETZ 250 starts in April and replaces the TS series which has been built for eight years. The engine of the model has a strength 21 horsepower. This is the beginning of the complete renewal in MZ’s range of products. A first production building is put into service at the new location in Hohndorf. In the years 1981, 1983 and 1984 Jens Scheffler and in 1983, 1984 and 1985 Harald Sturm become European champions in their respective classes.
1982 83.000 motorcycles are produced, of which 58.000 are exported in non-socialist economic areas, 14.000 bikes are sent into countries belonging to the council for mutual economic support and only 11.000 are left for sale in the GDR.

07.07. The two millionth MZ motorcycles leaves the factory.

1985 From 1973 until 1985, 326.000 bikes of the model TS 150 are produced all in all.

Despite of not working to the full capacity, 300 machines leave the factory in Zschopau on a daily basis. The shortage of materials and workers are the reasons why higher output numbers cannot be reached.
At the 62. International Six-Day Race in Jelenia Gora/Poland, MZ and Simson riders of the GDR national team win again the Enduro World Championship. The juniors also succeed.


With the beginning of the production in the new factory building in Zschopau and the start of the operation of the heating house, the new location in Hohndorf is further expanded.

1989 At the 35th "Around the MZ town Zschopau", Uwe Weber wins the overall ranking before Harald STurm. At the end of the year, the test runs of the four-stroke machines start.

05.03. The meeting of trusted people (German: Vertrauensleutevollversammlung) comments on the situation of MZ. The management hopes to keep the jobs of their 3.200 employees and to be able to produce 70.000 motorcycles. However, due to the upcoming monetary reform and the inclusion into the capitalistic economic system, difficulties in sales and thus in the safeguarding of jobs are expected. (However, nobody knew what came instead.) The MZ education centre has its 50th anniversary. Thousands of workers had been trained there. Polytechnic lessons have been taught for 30 years.

09.07. After the monetary reform, the "Treuhand" (lit.: escrow) starts the privatization of the former public owned companies.

01.09. The transformation of the company into a private limited company which is controlled by a single associate of the escrow.
Overall, 2.545.112 motorcycles have been produced at MZ from 1950 untiö 1990. "Around Zschopau" is part of the world championship run. 138 Enduro specialists start in the race. Due to the loss of the markest in Eastern and Southern Europe, the production decreases drastically and many employees loose their jobs.



1991 until 1997
Liquidation of the Motorcycle Factory Zschopau - New Beginning as MuZ and MZ-B


Only 1950 employees are left at the motorcycle factory.
19.11. The by the escrow presented rehabilitation concept intends to employ only 250 workers for the motorcycle production. The management opposes this suggestion as it would mean mass dismissals.
18.12. The escrow decides the liquidation of the company by the end of the year. The management is able to postpone this decision until the 30th June 1992. Condition: The employees have to provide the company with ten percent of their wages as interest-free loan.
01.04. Start of the serial production of the model "Fun".
13.04. Start of the serial production of the model "Saxon Tour".
01.07. Foundation of the "Motorcycle and Two-Wheeled Vehicles Ltd." (German: Motorrad- und Zweiradwerkes GmbH) (MuZ) with 80 employees. The new manager is Petr-Karel Karous. The new range of products is presented in September: the "Silver Star Classic 500", the "Saxon Country" and from October on the "Skorpion" models.


At times, 250 employees. The company's administration moves into the new production and administration building in Hohndorf.

1994 In February, the last motorcycle, a "Saxon Sportstar" 125 cc leaves the factory in Zschopau. At this point, 72 years of motorcycle manufacturing in the Dischau valley ends. From now on the models "Skorpion", “Saxon Country", Saxon Sportstar", "Saxon Tour" and the scooter "Charly" are manufactured in Hohndorf.

The factory is in danger, again. All two-stroke models (except the 125 cc "Sportstar") are sold to Turkey.


The company "MZ-B Vehicle Ltd." moves into the abandoned building in Zschopau. They start with the production of the "RT 125 Classic", the "Horex Chopper Imperator 125" and the "Horex Regent".
The Malyan company Hong Leong Ind. takes over MuZ on the 1st September 1996. They aim at a production of 5.000 motorcycles per year.
With the take-over, a new future had started for the employees, as fresh impulses have been given due to the effort to present a new range of products and to strengthen the company's philosophy during the last years. The new era is signified by highly qualified and motivated employees, future-oriented investments into research and development combined with modern constructions and consistent quality.
MuZ has a range of 13 models. They are based on the construction series with 550 cc and 660 cc one cylinder machines. Consistent sporty motorcycles, bikes suitable for travelling, classic models - including a sidecar - as well as new so-called fun bikes and Enduro machines prove a balanced range.
With the Enduro Cup run "In and around Zschopau" in 1996, an exciting motorsport event is presented to the audience.

1997 MuZ produces the models "Country" and "Tour" only on demand. However, a varied selection is offered by the production of the models "Traveller", "Replica", "Tour", and "Sport" from the series Skorpion 660. They all contain a four-stroke engine. Later, the new Enduro "Baghira" and the fun bike "Mastiff" are serially produced.
1998 On the 9th September, the "MZ-B vehicle Ltd" declares to be insolvent.
1999 The new RT 125 with a four stroke engine is presented in October. MuZ is renamed into MZ.
2000 Start of the serial production of the RT 125 in March. Thus, a in Zschopau developed four-stroke engine is applied for the first time. A study on the MZ 1000 S is presented on the "Intermot" in Munich in September. Above that, the new models MZ 125 SM and MZ 125 SX is presented to the public.
2001 The production of the models 125 SM and 125 SX starts.
2002 The ten thousandth electrical scooter "Charly" is produced.
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