Caution! Razor blade!

How are 150,000 DM made to one hundred million Dollars? How is a formerly publicly owned company made to an American start-up company? The documentary tells the moving stories of the Rizma factories in Eisfeld and of an entrepreneurial family whose fate was marked by the totalitarian systems of the last century.

In February 2014 Hans H. Neumaier is startled by an article of the news magazine “Spiegel”. The company “Feintechnik GmbH”, a manufacturer of razor blades and safety razors, is sold for one hundred million Dollars to two US investors, because it is one of the few manufacturers who produce independently of the global market leaders.

The sale of the company to the US Americans is the last chapter of Neumaier’s fight for the bequest of his grandfather Albin Ritzmann. He was the founder of the Rizma company in Eisfeld, a creative engineer and entrepreneur. After the end of the war he was arrested as a putative Nazi and died in the special camp of Buchenwald in 1947. In 1948 the Rizma factories became the publicly owned company Feintechnik, the only razor blade manufacturer in the GDR. Brands like “FTE Start” or “Croma” were export hits in Africa and Asia.

Right in 1990 Hans H. Neumaier requests the return of his grandfather’s assets. But the unification treaty does not stipulate the retransfer of companies that have been expropriated and nationalized. Therefore, Neumaier wants to repurchase the company from the Treuhandanstalt. But an Italian blade producer wins the contract for 150,000 DM. In the following years the razor blades from Eisfeld assert themselves against Gillette and Wilkinson, who dominate 80% of the world market. That’s what attracts American investors in 2014.

Today Hans H. Neumaier is tired of fighting for his grandfather’s heritage. Anyhow, he feels that it would be a sign of reconciliation and consolation if one road in the town would be named after Albin Ritzmann. “Caution! Razor Blade!” – a tragic family saga, an economic crime thriller and a fabulous story at the same time.

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