Neuperlach

On Tuesday, March, 9th, they elected the workers’ council at Siemens Neuperlach. Throughout all the parts of the building still used by Siemens, the loudspeakers were heard inviting everybody in German and English in the most urgent terms to vote. It was so loud you had to interrupt your meeting.

Although I had spent plenty of time behind these walls during my life, this was the first time I heard the loudspeakers consciously. I am always a little moved by loudspeaker announcements in buildings. The reason must be a mixture of school, armed forces and Orwell.

All the time, some rumours are spread behind the fences at Siemens Neuperlach. Still being on friendly terms with quite a lot of people there, I am informed about all the newest whenever visiting.

Last Tuesday, a rumour of special quality was carried to me. It was said that on the very same day the sale of the Neuperlach Siemens AG area to a real estate investor was notarised. To be sure, the rumours you hear on the corridors are nothing but rumours. The question is if there is any truth behind them. Quite often, however, the rumours became facts.
Now let us assume the sale is not a rumour and really happened. For me, this would be some very special information. I would be deeply moved. For me, it would be like a fire signal (Fanal) at the end of an epoch.  It would signify the end of a line that ran alongside my life for almost 40 years.

Just remember all the things we achieved and created with Siemens. I guess only we who were “involved” and “part of the scene” can really appreciate it. It is painful to realize how much know-how has been generated and lost again. Also, the renunciation of the unique world-wide market position Siemens held over the last 100 years in the sector of communication hurts.

But things are as they are. You cannot change facts. It would be too easy and unfair to put the blame for this loss on the management and all the encrusted and apparently reform-resistant structures in our country. Probably, it was all just a matter of “unfortunate circumstances”.

Still, many mistakes have been made. And one of those mistakes was Neuperlach. I always considered it a relic from an industrial era that, at least for us in Europe, has been over a long time ago. For me, it was an inhuman monster misleading us in a perfidious way – on top of everything else – with alleged modernity and humaneness (kindness towards employees).  And when it married, we were invited to eat out of one-way dishes with plastic cutlery.

When I, as a Siemens AG employee, was moved from Hofmannstrasse to Neuperlach, my enthusiasm did not last long. I had hoped for free research and high-tech. And I had nursed a certain anticipatory elation about working in a modern technology park. As soon as I arrived in “Datasibirsk” or “Legoland”, however, I jumped at every opportunity that offered itself to flee the functional concrete and meet with customers whenever possible.
I also published an article about “dreams that never came true”.

Now is the time to say farewell to Neuperlach and with it to a time of the past. And I take my hat off to the new Siemens director Peter Löscher. It gives me hope to hear that he financed a chair for business ethics at TUM with his private property and is letting Datasibirsk go.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.

Again, I owe thanks for the beautiful pictures to Wikipedia. They were taken in April of 2009. and published by the us Benutzer:Donaulustig. Holding the copyright, he gave unlimited access for all users and purposes. Many thanks!

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