Bata shoes were supplied to German customers mainly by the wholesaler Walther Loewendahl. Bata managed to get directly into the German market in the spring of 1929 after purchasing the network of stores owned by the Romeo Schuh Aktiengesellschaft company. At the same time, Tomas Bata established a new affiliated company, Deutsche Schuh A. G. Bata, Berlin, which became a pillar of Bata’s business in Germany. Bata’s sales network was constantly expanding in the country of Germany.
Soon, an own factory was built in Ottmuth, more land and buildings were also acquired in Schmögerle and Landeshut; these three places are situated in Silesia — on the territory that became part of Poland in 1945 during the post-war border changes (Otmęt, Smolne, Kamienna Góra).
The sales network in Germany was expanded in 1935, and that by annexing branches situated on the annexed territory of the Saarland. After the end of World War II, stores on the territory of the Soviet Zone were nationalized. On the other hand, companies and stores situated in the Western Allied Zone were taken over by the Bata Western Organisation, which continued to do business in the Federal Republic of Germany under the leadership of Thomas J. Bata. In addition to the sales section, there were also production activities — Garstedt near Hamburg, Brunsbüttelkorg near Kiel. The Bata company continued to do business in Germany until the end of the 20th century.

Affiliated companies

  • On 12 April 1929, Tomas Bata purchased the company Romeo Schuh Aktiengesellschaft, Berlin including a network of 13 stores: Berlin, Szczecin, Bremen, Rostock, Dortmund, Chemnitz, Halle, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart.
  • On 24 July 1929, Tomas Bata founded the company Deutsche Schuh A. G. Bata, Berlin for the sale of his products in Germany.
  • In early autumn 1931, the headquarters of Deutsche Schuh A. G. Bata were transferred from Berlin to Ottmuth — Deutsche Schuh A. G. Bata, Ottmuth.
  • In July 1932, the affiliated company Rapid G. m. b. H., Hamburg was established in order to provide transport services of the Bata company.
  • In accordance with the ban imposed by the Commercial Court in 1933, the word “Deutsche” was to be removed from the name of the company, and, in the spring of 1935, the Court of First Instance in Krappitz ruled the same way; the company appealed against this and defended its name by a decision taken by the Regional Court in Opole (September 1935); despite the favourable decision of that court, the company renounced its former name and changed it to Bata A. G., Ottmuth, as decided at the plenary meeting held on 21 September 1935.
  • In 1936, the company had 2,440 employees, out of which 770 in the sales division.
  • In April 1937, 35 % of the shares were sold to the Norwegian wholesaler L. T. Wiborg, so that a total of 95 % of the shares were held by shareholders in London, Zurich and Oslo; in June 1938, regardless of the composition of the capital and the share majority, three German members of the Board of Trustees – the so-called Treuhänder – took decisive influence including special powers.
  • On 15 August 1938, the extraordinary plenary meeting approved the decision to change the name of the company — OTA Schlesische Schuh-Werke A. G., Ottmuth.
  • On 20 July 1939, the affiliated trading company WEAG m. b. H., Berlin (WEAG = Waren Ein- u. Ausfuhrgesellschaft) was established; on 26 February 1940, the company was renamed BEAG m. b. H., Berlin (BEAG = Bata Ein- u. Ausfuhrgesellschaft); in 1940, the company had 190 employees, later, their number increased to 450.

Shoe stores

  • In November 1929, the company Deutsche Schuhe A. G. Bata, Berlin opened a shoe store in Opole; in January 1930, the company was running 23 own stores.
  • In December 1930, the Bata-owned Romeo company had 15 stores – 3 in Berlin, Szczecin, Rostock, Lübeck, Altona, Hamburg, Bremen, Halle, Opole, Racibórz, Gleiwitz, Hindenburg, Chemnitz; at the end of 1930, the company Romeo Schuh A. G., Berlin ceased operations.
  • At the beginning of 1932, 25 stores were in operation; in the course of the year, more than seventy stores were added, and, by the end of the year, the Bata network comprised 101 stores.
  • In the summer of 1935, the sales network comprised more than 130 stores; in June 1937, the company statistics for Germany showed 193 stores.


(became part of Germany on 1 March 1935)

  • At the time when Saarland was returned to Germany (1935), the trading company Bata Schuhhandels A. G., Saarbrücken was established, in particular in order to facilitate the transfer of Bata-owned stores in the Saarland territory to German sovereignty.
  • At the beginning of 1935, when the Saarland was reunited with Germany, 17 Bata stores were situated on this territory.


(today Smolne, Poland)

  • In August 1929, Tomas Bata purchased the Schmögerle country estate (today Smolne) located between Głogów and Wrocław with the intention of building a factory there; however, he soon changed his mind and, in 1930, he bought land in Ottmuth for his factory to be built on the territory of Germany. The Schmögerle country estate was inherited from Tomas Bata in 1932 by his widow Marie Baťová.


(today Otmęt, Poland)

  • On 20 November 1930, a purchase contract was signed, according to which Tomas Bata purchased the Ottmuth country estate (today Otmęt); the purchase contract was signed by Tomas Bata on Saturday, 13 December 1930.
  • On 1 July 1931, a group of workers started to attend staff training in the Zlín-based factory for production to take place in Ottmuth.
  • In early September 1931, the construction of factory buildings in Ottmuth was started – these were standard factory buildings designed according to the Zlín model; the concept of property development envisaging the construction of a factory was designed by the Zlín-based architect F. L. Gahura.
  • In November 1931, the construction of the first four-floor factory building was completed; in November 1932, the construction of another standard building started; a boiler room was completed in September 1933; in 1935, the construction of a third factory building started (with the expected date of completion in 1936); by June 1934, a corporate airport had been built on the premises.
  • In November 1931, the production of rubber shoes was launched in Ottmuth; in 1932, 2,856,000 pairs of shoes were produced (out of which 1,500,000 pairs of leather shoes and 1,356,000 pairs of rubber shoes).
  • In November 1931, production was started in Ottmuth with 400 employees; in April 1932, the factory had 600 workers.
  • By the autumn of 1932, 5 semi-detached houses had been built in the factory colony; afterwards, 4 residential buildings were built (among them one guest house); another 25 residential buildings were completed between 1935 and 1936; by the end of 1936, 30 family houses and 7 guest houses were used for housing; in 1938, 5 residential buildings were added (among them 2 guest houses); the residential buildings were constructed according to the concept of garden quarters built in Zlín; in addition, the company supported the development of residential buildings to be located in the municipality of Ottmuth.
  • In May 1933, a sports stadium was opened; in 1937–1938, a sports complex with a swimming pool was built; in April 1937, a company-owned cinema and a theatre building were put into operation.
  • In 1932, the SC Bata football club was founded in Ottmuth; in 1937, a band composed of staff members started its activities; in 1938, a corporate library was opened.
  • In 1934, classes started in a new school built in the village of Ottmuth; the Bata company provided a project for the school’s construction and paid a half of the costs required for the construction.
  • In 1937, the corporate vocational school was opened.
Ottmuth factory — Staff and production (as at 31 December)
1932 1,095
1933 1,244
1934 1,636 2,007,500 1,335,500 3,343,000
1935 1,563 2,039,800 1,123,700 3,163,500
1936 (30/11) 1,596 2,327,200 1,012,100 3,339,300
1937 (30/05) 1,800 2,398,400 1,131,100 3,529,500
1938 (30/06) 1,324,800 666,400 1,991,200
Production in Ottmuth during the war years
1939 3,694,000
1940 2,373,000
1941 3,189,000
1942 3,207,000
1943 3,705,000
  • In 1943, the company OTA Schlesische Schuhwerke A. G., Ottmuth had 2,884 employees in the factory, 1,663 in the stores, i.e. a total of 4,547 people; the annual production amounted to 3,705,000.
  • Towards the end of the war, the factory equipment was evacuated from Ottmuth to Thuringia, and the headquarters of the OTA were moved there as well.
  • From 1945 onwards, after the state borders had been changed, the operation of the enterprise was subordinated to the administration of the Polish state.
  • Nationalization in accordance with the law of 1946 and with the ministerial decree issued on 30 November 1946 also applied to the company “Ota” Fabryka Obuwia, Spółka Akcyjna — Otmęt.
  • In compliance with the decision made by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the company was finally nationalized on 6 July 1948; in 1948, it was renamed Śląskie Zakłady Obuwia.
  • In Ottmuth, the in-house newspaper Bata-Bericht was published for Bata’s employees from August 1932 (from 1938 to 1945 under the name of “OTA Werk im Wort”).


(today Kamienna Góra, Poland)

  • In 1938, the OTA company purchased the shoe company Rosenstein & Prerauer, Landeshut (today Kamienna Góra); in the period from 1940 to 1941, the company had 113-131 employees, and the production amounted to between 134,230 and 266,300 pairs of shoes; at the end of the war, 170 employees worked here.

Development after 1945

    • After the World War II, the Bata stores situated in the Soviet zone of Germany were nationalized.
    • Component parts of the OTA company in the Anglo-American zone were taken over by the Western organization owned by Thomas J. Bata (Bata Western Organisation), which also continued to operate the Bata network of stores on this territory.
    • In the post-war period, a factory in Garstedt near Hamburg was a component part of the Bata organization.
    • In the autumn of 1950, the OTA company purchased a new factory in Brunsbüttelkorg near Kiel.
    • 1962 — The following companies were included in the list of historically existing Bata companies for the territory of Germany:
      • Ota Schuhfabrikations- und Handelsgesellschaft m.b.H. (Germany)
      • Belladur Schuhfabrik G.m.b.H. (Germany)
      • Bata Schuhgesellschaft, m.b.H. (Germany)
      • Ota Schlesische Schuhwerke Ottmuth A.G. (Ottmuth, formerly Germany, now Poland; formerly “Bata A.G.”)
      • Spedition Rapid G.m.b.H. (Germany)
      • Beag Bata Ein- und Ausfuhrgesellschaft m.b.H. (Germany)
      • Bata Schuhhandels G.m.b.H. (Saar; formerly “Bata Schuhhandels A.G.”)
    • 1996 – at that time, the Bata company restricted the sale of shoes in Germany and in the Netherlands; the OTA company was still a component part of the Bata organization in late 1990s.


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