Re: [Harp-L] Harmonica Manufaturers in former East Germany

Same thing. 
There were like 18 companies in East Germany at the end of World War II. Seydel was one of the biggest and nationalized pretty much immediately. Then all these other companies get assimilated in with it into the state-run company best known as Vermona. Vermona was to Seydel what Darth Vader was to Anakin Skywalker, same dude, different boss, different team, traded in the blue lightsaber for a red one. 
There's a bunch of companies getting assimilated in and they're doing a lot of stuff, including accordions (this was where the idea for the steel reed came from). Welmeister was the accordion branch of the company, but, rest assured the harmonica branch made it. After reunification, the two halves split, but Seydel continued making the Weltmeisters, though unofficially, of course.


 From: Rick Dempster <rick.dempster@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: Aongus MacCana <amaccana@xxxxxxxxxx>; dave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; Rick Dempster <rick.dempster@xxxxxxxxxxx> 
Cc: Harp-L List <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx> 
Sent: Monday, April 16, 2012 8:36 PM
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Harmonica Manufaturers in former East Germany

Hey....I just was branded 'Weldtmeister', no 'Seydel'....but I think I have a lingering impression that these two brands shared the same

>>> Rick Dempster <rick.dempster@xxxxxxxxxxx> 17/04/2012 10:24 >>>
I had a Seydel back in about 71-2. It was a ten hole diatonic, but hole one was the same as hole two on a standard Richter system. Can't remember what was at hole ten, and it's long gone to harmonica heaven.
Anyone else remember these, or can fill in the gap, or 'hole', as it were?

>>> "Aongus MacCana" <amaccana@xxxxxxxxxx> 16/04/2012 20:57 >>>
Hi Dave,

This is a fascinating potted history. Communism is a bit like  Christianity
- a wonderful idea, but it is a pity nobody (or very few) actually tried it.
The movie "Other Peoples' Lives gives a good insight into  what life was
like under the communist regime in East Germany.

As far as harmonicas were concerned the apparatchiks apparently wanted the
factories to produce and export the instruments by the kilo and the heck
with quality. When I tried to purchase a Seydel in Hamburg a few years ago,
the earnest music store proprietor did not stock Seydel and told me "the
quality is not very good you know" I am pleased to see that the Music Store
in question has since become a Seydel vendor.

I visited Bulgaria on business about twenty years ago and was told at the
time that their shoe manufacturers were having similar problems with the
regime. They had  some very creative ways of circumventing the authorities.


Aongus Mac Cana

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