Location History

Crane and Steel from Wittenberg since 1883

Cranes for Industry, Power Plants, Steel Mills, Shipyards and Transport

For decades, Wittenberg is specialized in the construction of gantry cranes and special cranes. This location offers a wide range of applications in all industries.  The cranes are suitable for handling rolled material (sheet metal and steel bar), general cargo of all types, containers, bulk materials for construction and the thermal power generation, timber.  They are also suitable for the assembly of components and system parts used for the repair and maintenance of industrial plants, and for the support of manufacturing processes.

The crane construction in Wittenberg has had a history lasting over several decades.

1997 - Today

On December 11th, 1997, former Wittenberg Crane Construction and GRESSE employees Dirk Pannier and Bernd Neubert founded KRAFOTEC Pannier GmbH.

Cranes from Wittenberg
Cranes from Wittenberg

1990 - 1997

In the early 90s, the company operated under the name GRESSE GmbH Kranbau Wittenberg and took back its autonomy.

Expertise with System
Expertise with System

In the years between 1990-1996, GRESSE was the largest employers in the region. During this period, KTA manufactured cranes with 140t capacity, including container gantry cranes for the Federal Railroad, heavy cranes and double girder bridge crane.

Double Girder Bridge Crane
Double Girder Bridge Crane

Cranes for steel mills with capacities up to 320t, 320t crane / (340T) / 60t x 27.5 m for fire-liquid mass-produced in a steel mill.

Crane for fire-liquid mixtures in a steel mill
Crane for fire-liquid mixtures in a steel mill

In the end of 1997, the company had to file "Gresse" bankrupt. The existing contracts, such as for steel mill in Saudi Arabia, had been processed.

1972 - 1990

The company "Gresse" was expropriated and incorporated as VEB Kranbau Wittenberg in the heavy machinery Combine TAKRAF. Cranes from Kranbau Wittenberg were made both for the domestic as well as foreign countries. Wittenberg was the main supplier of gantry cranes and heavy cranes.

Container of Gantry Crane
Container of Gantry Crane

1962 - 1972

The operation is made entirely under state trusteeship.


Received the conveyor systems and the special crane construction. New fields were opening especially in building the GDR steel industry. As status symbol of the new GDR, major projects were implemented, such as wagon tipping systems or loading a 36m radio telescope of the German Academy of Sciences in East Berlin.


There was extensive disassembly action by the Soviet occupation forces. Before further action is spared, the operation and activities in the early postwar years were mainly bridge repairs and similar important supply repairs.


During this time, there was involvement in arms production. GRESSE manufactured submarine sections and delivered them to the large submarine shipyards. The employee headcount rose temporarily to up to 800 employees.


The factory moved to its present location at the Dessauerstraße. In subsequent years, P. GRESSE & Co. fulfilled the existing craft business development for industrial steel manufacturing company. With the rapid construction of the nearby city or major chemical GRESSE, delivered large-scale steel structures.

A look into the workshop at the Dessau Road around 1932
A look into the workshop at the Dessau Road around 1932


Paul Gresse and Chief Engineer John Frey founded the general partnership "P. GRESSE & Co."


The locksmith Paul Gresse founded a locksmith shop in Wittenberg on the property Pfaffengasse 5.