Anton Loibl GmbH

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Anton Loibl GmbH
IndustryBicycle reflectors
FoundedSeptember 1936
FounderHimmler's Personal Office
OwnerAnton Loibl

Anton Loibl GmbH was a company owned by the SS which was a funding source for the Ahnenerbe research branch and the Lebensborn eugenics programme. It was created to market a bicycle reflector invented by Anton Loibl, a chauffeur for Hitler. It employed slave labour.

Anton Loibl, a former long-term chauffeur for Hitler and a decorated SS-Hauptsturmführer (Ernst Röhm had obtained the driver's job for him in the early 1920s, and he had spent time in prison after participating in the Beerhall Putsch in 1923),[1] was a part-time inventor; while working as a machinist and driving instructor, he invented a reflector for bicycle pedals which incorporated glass chips.[2][3] Heinrich Himmler, who was acquainted with Loibl, ensured that he was awarded the patent in preference to an earlier applicant,[3] and the company was established in September 1936 in Berlin by Himmler's Personal Office in order to market it.[2][4] In his capacity as police chief of the Reich, Himmler had a requirement added to the traffic code on 13 November 1937 which required all newly manufactured bicycles to incorporate these reflectors.[2][5] The bicycle manufacturers had to pay a licence fee, which amounted to 600,000 ℛℳ in 1939.[2]

Loibl was initially a co-director and co-owner of the company, and received 50% of the income, altogether approximately 500,000 ℛℳ;[2] he was removed for incompetence at the end of 1939 or early in 1940.[4][6] (An internal report dated June 1939 pointed out Himmler's use of his power for the benefit of the company and criticised Loibl's personally profiting from it.[2][7]) Additionally, Himmler directed the company to pay substantial sums (290,000 ℛℳ a year) to the Ahnenerbe and the Lebensborn; financing these had been the primary purpose of its establishment.[2] The Ahnenerbe had chronic financing problems for some years and in 1937 the Reichsnährstand had reduced its funding and Himmler set up a foundation to channel funds to it, including from the Loibl concern.[8] The Ahnenerbe's share of the Loibl funds was 77,740 ℛℳ in 1938;[3] the Lebensborn received from 100,000 to 150,000 per year from 1939 on.[9] At the Nuremberg Trials the Loibl company was described as "still earning considerable funds for 'Ahnenerbe'".[10]

Chartered to develop "technical articles of all kinds",[4][11] the company later diversified and also sold other products, such as a patented lamp.[2]

By the end of the 1930s, when Germany had achieved full employment, the SS enterprises were using slave labour, including from concentration camps.[12] In January 1938, Loibl showed a visitor around a testing laboratory for aircraft motors at Dachau.[13]

In December 1963 the reflectors were still required on German bicycles.[5]


  1. ^ Hermann Kaienburg, Die Wirtschaft der SS, Berlin: Metropol, 2003, ISBN 9783936411041, p. 199, (in German)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Enno Georg, Die wirtschaftlichen Unternehmungen der SS, Schriftenreihe der Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 7, Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1963, OCLC 1990667, p. 19 (in German)
  3. ^ a b c Heather Pringle, The Master Plan: Himmler's Scholars and the Holocaust, New York: Hyperion, 2006, ISBN 9780786868865, n.p.
  4. ^ a b c Michael Thad Allen, The Business of Genocide: The SS, Slave Labor, And The Concentration Camps, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2002, ISBN 9780807826775, pp. 34–35.
  5. ^ a b "SS-Konzern: Pfeffer aus Dachau", Der Spiegel, 25 December 1963, pp. 30–32 (in German) (pdf)
  6. ^ Kaienburg, p. 494.
  7. ^ Walter Naasner, ed., SS-Wirtschaft und SS-Verwaltung: das SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt und die unter seiner Dienstaufsicht stehenden wirtschaftlichen Unternehmungen: und weitere Dokumente, Schriften des Bundesarchivs 45a, Düsseldorf: Droste, 1998, ISBN 9783770016037, p. 271 (in German)
  8. ^ Michael Kater, Das "Ahnenerbe" der SS 1935–1945: Ein Beitrag zur Kulturpolitik des Dritten Reiches, Studien zur Zeitgeschichte, Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1974, ISBN 9783421016232, p. 59.
  9. ^ Volker Koop, "Dem Führer ein Kind schenken": die SS-Organisation Lebensborn e.V., Cologne: Böhlau, 2007, ISBN 9783412216061, p. 72 (in German)
  10. ^ Trials of war criminals before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals under Control Council law no. 10, Nuremberg, October 1946–April, 1949 Volume V Case 8: U.S. v. Greifelt (cont.) Case 4: U.S. v. Pohl (Pohl case), Washington, D.C.: U.S. G.P.O., 1950, OCLC 12799641, p. 532.
  11. ^ Michael Thad Allen, "The Business of Genocide: the SS, Slavery, and the Concentration Camps", in: Business and Industry in Nazi Germany, ed. Francis R. Nicosia and Jonathan Huener, University of Vermont, Center for Holocaust Studies, New York: Berghahn, 2004, ISBN 9781571816542, pp. 81–103, p. 85.
  12. ^ Allen, "The Business of Genocide" in Business and Industry in Nazi Germany, p. 87.
  13. ^ Franz Wegener, Der Alchemist Franz Tausend: Alchemie und Nationalsozialismus, Politische Religion des Nationalsozialismus 6, [Gladbeck]: KFVR, 2006, ISBN 9783931300180, p. 142 (in German)