Unlike many companies in eastern Germany, during privatization IFZW managed to keep all of its employees, and even has hired 50 more employees since then (IFZW). Since the 1930s, IFZW has engaged in construction, distribution, and assembly of incinerators used for human, animal, and medical waste. Since 1997 IFZW has added offices and workshops to its existing buildings, and added another building in 2005.  It is important to note, that IFZW does not just make cremators, they make them in a way that is very environmentally friendly. I toured one of their crematoriums, and it was spotless on the inside, and outside there was no smell or smoke coming from the chimney.

Taken by Matt Hamparian.

Life is full of monotonous actions, and many of us will work some job for an extended amount of time, only to realize that life is very simple. It is reassuring that in my time with IFZW I was shown that any type of business can be beneficial to not just the employees, but to the world around. Dieter Zahn, Managing Director, spoke with me about just that. He strives to provide a positive workplace for his employees, as well as developing and constructing a quality product that will benefit those who purchase it. Establishing environmentally friendly crematoriums is very important to him, but also allowing families to have a different interaction with death, providing closure in a different and positive way. Much of IFZW’s story since reunification and privatization seem far different than much of what I researched and found. I can’t place a specific reason for such. Perhaps it was Zahn establishing IFZW at time when there was little to no competition in this area of business.

Taken by Matt Hamparian