Eric Kleinman (deceased) |
Xeander Berg (deceased)
The Bergmann Group was a very important pioneer in the world of building structures of underground constructions. They improved the techniques of reinforced stone and completely changed the way of building underground. Most engineers are still using the knowledge of the Bergmann group today.
If this company was so important, why can't we find anything about it?
This was because of personality of Eric Kleinman, founder and owner of the Bergmann company. He was a modest entrepreneur who didn't like much attention in the business world. The Bergmann Group operated mostly under pseudonyms to avoid too much press attention.
The German Eric Kleinman was a building engineer who inherited one of the biggest building companies of Western Europe of his father, Edward Kleinmann. He was one of the entrepreneurs of the new generation in his time. His company was the inventor of reinforced stone as we now know today.
The Belgian Xeander Berg was co-founder of the Bergmann Group. Little is known about this man. Before he joined Eric's foundation, he had a small research and development research facility for mining engineering in Brussel.
Both found each other in the International Exposition in Brussels and they shared the same ideas about constructions and buildings. From that day the Bergmann group was born.
The Second World War
For many years has the Bergmann Group been one of the leading companies in the world of underground constructions. But things changed after the Great Depression. Germany and the rest of Europe became politically and socially unstable. Eric Kleinman moved, just before the second world war, to Switzerland, with his company. Xeander Berg joined him in 1940, after the collapse of the Belgian defensive forces.
They continued with their underground projects for the Swiss government and became specialized in tunnels and bunkers.
After the war they returned to the rest of Europe. Their first big project after the war was in the capital Stalburg. The city suffered a lot under the German bombing. The government ordered to build the city from the ground up again, starting with the fundamentals of the city. The tunnels of Bergmann Group was one of them.
Stalburg was rebuild with the collaboration of 3 major companies: Stalburg steel cooperation, the Hartman Company and the Bergmann Group. The city council gave the Bergmann Group some room to build innovating structures for the city. One of the ideas was to do something with the rivers around Stalburg. The Hartman Company built 2 hydroelectric dams for the main electricity production of the city, the Hammer Valley Dam and the Two Gorges Dam. The Bergmann Group had the job to create the main tunnels for the underground power plants. With the knowledge of the bunker constructions for the Swiss government the Bergmann company had a lot of knowhow for this task.
Xeander Berg was working on some innovations in the same period. Eric Kleinman pumped a huge amount of money in the innovation department. One of the big innovations was textile-reinforced concrete. It was a mix of steel and titanium. It was used in the main tunnels of the underground plants.
There is a lot of mystery around the end of the huge construction company. First, there was the disappearing of Xeander Berg. In his last classified reports of 1960 he talked about a new innovation that would change the building world forever. After that, he disappeared, and nothing was heard from him again. This was a big clap for the company. But the biggest impact on the bankruptcy was the payback of the projects. The innovation team spent almost everything of the Bergmann Group's Funds and the company gained little in return for their building projects.
The company invested heavily into the innovation department and had little to show for it. At the same time, the public construction projects were not as profitable as one would hope, and when making the deals the Bergmann Group had taken the public interest into account as well.
At the end, Many shareholders didn't believe in Bergmann anymore. They forced Eric Kleinman to sell his company to another building company, owned by Jeff Walter. In 1980, the Bergmann Group is officially declared bankrupt.
Nowadays, almost every big city in the world is built with the knowledge of the Bergmann Group.