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History of Deutsche Messe AG

16 January/ 2018

In the aftermath of the Second World War, the military government in the British-U.S. bi-zone argued that exports rather than resignation offered a way out of economic devastation. Despite dire conditions, the country should mobilize resources and start exporting quality goods. Once back on its feet, the country could pay war reparations and ease the burden on Britain and the USA. As a result of a British initiative it was decided to organize the first Export Fair, and in hindsight it was a blessing that the British overruled the initial objections and skepticism of the Germans. The proposed location – Düsseldorf – had rejected the idea. As a result Deutsche Messe- und Ausstellungs-AG was set up in Hannover, and millions worth of investment were pumped into the war-damaged city. The starting capital for the trade fair company alone was 1.2 million Reich marks. The organizers were able to report that the first Export Fair was a great success. Between 18 August and 7 September 1947, a total of 1934 export orders valued at 31.6 million U.S. dollars were taken at the exhibition grounds. Just two years after the launch the participating companies were complaining about insufficient capacity at the exhibition venue and that exhibitors had to be sent away. Consequently, the event was split into two: after the General Export Fair in April 1949, manufacturers of engineering products gathered a few weeks later at their own separate event under the title German Industrial Fair. The number of exhibitors rose rapidly. More

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