The Mansfeld copper slate mining company and the Mansfeld combine
The Mansfeld copper slate mining company was a product of the long tradition of copper slate mining in the Mansfeld region. After a period in which the company flourished in the early modern times came the longer-term decline as a result of the 30 Years War, followed by an upswing during the industrialisation in the 19th century. The company expanded its business around 1900 but in the 1920s and '30s it needed considerable state subsidies to survive. In the "Third Reich" it was important for the German war effort and during World War II it could only keep up production by using large numbers of foreign and forced labour.
After 1945 the development of the company was marked by the economic conditions imposed by the Soviet Union. At the beginning of the 1950s, the Mansfeld combine developed into one of the big combines in the GDR. The article outlines the key stages in the company's development during GDR times to its dissolution after German reunification.