Chemical Plant Albert Mendel – BHR B 24778

Just before World War One pharmacist Albert Mendel, born near Bromberg (now Bydgoszcz) in 1878, moved to Berlin. There he took over the “Luisen Drogerie Eugen Totzeck successor” which supplied pharmacies and hospitals with pharmaceutical products of all kinds. In 1916 he renamed the company into “Albert Mendel Drug Wholesaler”.

Trademark, Berlin 1930

After the First World War, the company began to produce its own pharmaceutical products and market them with the suffix “AMAG”, which stood for “Albert Mendel AG”. Introduced in 1930, the cough syrup Tussamag was particularly successful.

From 1933, the successful pharmaceutical entrepreneur was accused of having expanded his sales by unfair means, including bribing the Association of Berlin Hospitals. Although this was not true, Mendel knew “that as a Jew I would have no opportunity to answer for my actions in a public trial and that they were simply looking for a way to safely expose me to Nazi ‘legal measures’.”[1]

The pressure was intensified by the fact that more and more public organisations were drawing up blacklists ousting Jewish suppliers.  In order to saveguard the company, Albert Mendel and his Jewish partner Hermann Goldberg officially resigned from the board of directors on 6 April 1933. One month later, the company was renamed “Chemische Fabrik Tempelhof”. Shortly afterwards, however, the non-Jewish managing director Paul Preuß informed his two Jewish colleagues that he could “no longer guarantee their safety” and gave them one hour’s notice to leave the company they had built up for good. 

Preuß gave the Westphalian entrepreneur Theodor Temmler a big stake in the company, which was recast in April 1936 under the name ” Chemische Fabrik Tempelhof Preuß & Temmler“.[2] Soon it‘s main product became „Pervetin“ the amphetamin many German soldiers took (and became dependent on) during the Blitz.

While the production of pervetin was discontinued after the war, Albert Mendel’s successful coughing syrup can still be found in German pharmacies.


[1] Sworn statement Albert Mendel. Nov. 7, 1951, Compensation Office Berlin 61434.

[2] Ibid.

For a detailed – albeit German – analysis see our paper “Vor dem Rausch” in Berlin in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 2020



Cite this blog post
Christoph Kreutzmüller (2024, March 28). Chemical Plant Albert Mendel – BHR B 24778. Database of Jewish-Owned Businesses in Nazi Berlin. Retrieved May 25, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.58079/w4dn

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