When the Nazis came to power in Germany there were plenty of business men and women who saw opportunities.
Some of them saw opportunities in exploiting the environment created by the NSDAP, especially in relation to the ‘Jewish Question’ they would actively help the Nazis for their own betterment.
On the other hand there were those who saw opportunities to do good and help those most affected by the Nazi regime. Ernst Leitz II and his family were among those who used their influence and contacts to do good.
Ernst Leitz’s optics company, founded in Wetzlar in 1869, had a tradition of enlightened behavior toward its workers. Pensions, sick leave, health insurance — all were instituted early on at Leitz, which depended for its work force upon generations of skilled employees, many of whom were Jewish.
Ernst Leitz GmbH, is now three companies: Leica Camera AG, Leica Geosystems AG, and Leica Microsystems GmbH. known for the Leica cameras.
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