J.A. Topf and Sons (J.A. Topf und Söhne)
was a former German
engineering company, notorious for designing and manufacturing the crematoria
used by the Nazis
at concentration camps such as Auschwitz
The company of J.A. Topf & Sons, was founded in 1878, in the town of Erfurt
, in East Germany
. The company began as a manufacturer of furnaces and malting
During the 1920s the company began manufacturing crematoriums designed by chief engineer Kurt Prüfer.
Topf and Sons was asked by the SS
to design special crematoria furnaces capable of cremating very large numbers of bodies. The company and its chief engineer Kurt Prüfer obliged.
Kurt Prüfer was captured by the Americans
, but released after questioning. The Russians
however, arrested Prüfer, and sentenced him to 25 years imprisonment. Prüfer died in a Russian gulag
Ludwig Topf, one of the owners of the company, committed suicide in May 1945, whilst his brother Ernst-Wolfgang Topf, fled to West Germany.
The company of Topf & Sons, was nationalized by the former East German Communist regime and remained in business until 1996.