During the Second World War, the company madeuse of a high number of forced labourers, 1198 persons in 1944. The houses in which they lived exist till today, a compound of living quarters used to exist near the Bahrsplate, taken down by now. In June 2000, former forced laboureres revisited the BWK. (Bremen woolcombing works).
At the beginning of the 1960s, the development of wage costs, the rates of exchange and a liberalization in imports threatened the combing works‘ ability to compete with foreign rivals. The company therefore had undergone restructuring and became the biggest of its kind on a worldwide scale. Its capacity allows the processing of the wool of 20,000 sheep per day. In the course of structural changes in the international trade in wooland wool products, the company executed a turnaround from the earlier product-orientatedness to the, more decisive, market orientation. The former commission edcombing works, as producer for foreign clients, became a producer of woolen tops and tows, chemical fibres and mixed fabrics. The company played an important role in the development of Blumenthal. At the beginning of the 20th century, for example, streets with housing had been built to accommodate the workers, up to 5,000. After rationalization measures caused by the changed situation on the world market, a lowering demand forwoolen produce and the technical progress, only 260 work places remained in 2006, including subsidiaries. In the year of 2003, production commenced in a combing plant in Istanbul , because lower production cost accrued. Since March 20th, 2007, company shares are no more traded at the stock exchange. The former major shareholder and investor Elders took over the stock company to 100%. With this, an important share of Bremen stockexchange history came to an end after 119 years.
On December 3rd, 2008, the complete closure of the Bremen combing works have been announced. As the main reasons high production costs for this type of product, transport cost for sheeps’ wool from New Zealand and Australia and the strong decline in demand for woolen tops and tows during thefinancial crisis were stated. The processing of raw wool at the Bremen location has ceasedon February 27th, 2009, after a period of 125 years.