The History of the Pentacon Six
A small amount of German history – as little as possible
At the end of the Second World War, Germany was divided between the four Allied Powers (Great Britain, France, the USA and the Soviet Union). The heart of the German camera industry was centred on Dresden, Jena and the surrounding area, which had been occupied by the advancing American troops in 1945. After the surrender of Germany, the Allies set about implementing the division of Germany into the four sectors agreed in the Yalta conference. In accordance with this agreement, a large part of the area occupied by the Americans was handed over to the Soviet authorities. As the Americans withdrew to the west, they took with them to the American sector large numbers of the top German thinkers, using the phrase “We take the brain”.
This led to the division of many
companies, whose top staff had to re-build the company
from nothing in western Germany, while those left behind
in eastern Germany had the original factory (often more
or less in ruins because of the war) and the original
machinery, much of which was taken off in railway wagons
to the Soviet Union as “reparations”. The Soviets
also took large numbers of the staff as prisoners to the
Soviet Union, where in some cases they had to set up the
equipment that the Soviets had taken. Such was the
case with the transporting of Zeiss Ikon’s Contax
rangefinder camera production from Dresden to Kiev.