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Schloss Wildeck
Schloss Wildeck 109405 Zschopau

Phone: +49 (0)3725 287170

Fax: +49 (0)3725 287180

opening times castle & museums:


11 am - 6 pm


11 am - 6 pm




11 am - 6 pm


11 am - 6 pm

closed 24./25./ 31.12.


opening times castle gardens:

Mai - Sept.

10 am - 6 pm

Oct. - April

10 am - 4 pm

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.

  • Rasmussen


  • Ausstellung07


  • Ausstellung03


  • Classic-Zuverlaessikeitsfahrt


  • Enduro02


History - 1932 bis 1950

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.




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