Curt Bauer protests against the inhumane treatment of those employed in the Aue arms production and is accused of undermining military morale. In order to avoid imprisonment and probable hanging, he chooses to take his own life in 1944. His sons Alexander and Wolfgang carry on the management of the company. Horrendous taxes and prison sentences are intended to force them to give up. In 1957, Bauer is obliged to accept State participation; nationalization follows 15 years later. At the end of the GDR era, the company has threadbare technology and product ranges that are hardly competitive. At the same time, however, it has qualified and motivated employees.