100 Years Max Näder - People First (English Edition)
Hans Georg Näder, Ursula Grunau, Maria Hauff, Lothar Milde, Peter Gammer, Bernhard Greitemann, Jack Hendrickson, Jürgen Henze, Lothar Koch, Udo Madaus, Fritz Uwe Niethard, Wolfgang Nolte, Kurt Pohlig, Adolf Stender, Harry Wertz, Karl Wurm und Sebastian Peichl
Prof. Hans Georg Näder
Hochformat, 24 x 32 cm
This magazine was published by Prof. Hans Georg Näder in honour of Dr Max Näder (24.6.1915–24.7.2009).
Lifelong impressions in photography - this magazine was published by Prof. Hans Georg Näder in honour of Dr Max Näder (24.6.1915–24.7.2009).
Dr Max Näder (24.6.1915–24.7.2009) is considered a pioneer and driver of technical orthopaedics. Born in Thuringia, Germany, he founded the Orthopädische Industrie KG in Duderstadt in southern Lower Saxony in 1947, at the same time that the main factory of his father-in-law Otto Bock was on the verge of being expropriated in Königsee, Thuringia. This founding was followed by others: Otto Bock Kunststoff GmbH in 1953, and the first foreign branch in Minneapolis (United States) in 1958, marking the start of the company’s global expansion. In 1990, Max Näder handed over management of the company to his son Prof. Hans Georg Näder, under whose leadership the company has grown to become a global medical technology business. Prof. Näder is using the occasion of the centenary of the birth of his father to document Max Näder’s entrepreneurial and private life.
From the publisher's foreword
There is no doubt my father Dr.-Ing. E.h. Max Näder is one of the leading personalities in the field of orthopedic technology for the 20th century. He set worldwide standards with groundbreaking innovations, such as myoelectric prosthetic arms and Ottobock modular prosthetic legs, leaving a lasting impression on orthopedic technology fittings to restore mobility. In doing so, he laid a foundation for the practical rehabilitation of amputees and their social integration during a time when "inclusion" was not generally discussed yet.
His commitment to people with disabilities was unique: they always came first in his thoughts and actions.
My father's successes were based on Christian values and entrepreneurial virtues paired with his tireless creative power and optimistic vision. His humor and his ability to team up with the right people, carrying them along with him, remain exemplary to me.
He successfully led our Ottobock HealthCare Group for five decades, initiating worldwide market leadership. For me, Max Näder was a loving father and entrepreneurial role model with a vision for the future. At the same time, he was a fatherly friend and irreplaceable advisor.
Nearly six years ago - on July 24, 2009, one month after his 94th birthday - he left us forever.
On the occasion of his 100th birthday, I am putting him first and honoring his substantial life's work. We will examine the diverse facets of his life's work in his family life, free time and career, taking a proverbial look behind the scenes.
Capturing more than nine decades of a person's life - from World War I to the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens - on around 150 pages is a very demanding undertaking, requiring dedication and a great deal of intuition. My sincere thanks to all of the protagonists.
They built a bridge over key decades from yesterday to today, and offered insight into the world of tomorrow.
Representative, important contemporaries have their say, some of them contributing personal experiences to the articles.
Last but not least, excerpts from my mother's personal records and many images from family albums complement this unique biography as valuable documents.
For me personally, the interview with my daughters Julia and Georgia about their memories of their grandparents has a high emotional value, simultaneously establishing a connection to future generations.
Let us take a look back: Max Näder is born on June 24, 1915 in Oberweißbach in the Thuringian Forest. After graduating from high school in 1935, he begins an apprenticeship as a prosthetist at Otto Bock Orthopädische Industrie in Königsee, founded by my grandfather in 1919 in Berlin. From then on Max Näder's path of life is inextricably linked to the company, family and to orthopedic technology.
He completes his apprenticeship with the journeyman's examination and begins a course of studies in mechanical engineering at TU Berlin (Berlin Technical University), which is interrupted by the draft in 1938. Fateful years - inconceivable today - with combat missions in France and Africa. Married in 1943 to Maria Bock, released to Hamburg from captivity as a prisoner of war in 1945 and finally the reunion with his wife.
The difficult postwar period with a new beginning in 1946 in Duderstadt, where the fabrication of prosthetic components begins in hall 20 in the industrial park Euzenberg in 1947. A new home for my grandparents, who leave Thuringia in 1948 after expropriation and build up Otto Bock Orthopädische Industrie KG side by side with my parents.
The fates of German entrepreneurial families, who lost their business and home to the division of Germany and later actively helped shape the economic miracle. Many took entirely new paths - like my father with the founding of Kunststoff KG 1953 - and set the stage for international markets early on: my parents' trip to the USA in 1956.
Thus far some impressions of the beginnings in Duderstadt before I entered the picture in 1961 as an important family event.
My first childhood memories have to do with construction site visits in the Industriestraße. Riding the carousel on the occasion of the topping-out ceremony in 1969 was of particular importance to me.
I am filled with thankfulness and pride as I look back on the life's work of my grandparents and parents. Full of respect, I admire their optimism during difficult times and their combined creative power in the course of a new beginning. Their entrepreneurial performance and future-oriented action serve as orientation for me to this day in my role as a family entrepreneur of the third generation.
Numerous distinctions such as the honorary doctorate Dr.-Ing. E.h., the Heine-Hessing medal and the Hohmann badge bear witness to the exciting decades of successfully working with groundbreaking inventions. Max Näder's involvement, as a citizen and entrepreneur, with numerous social projects deserves special mention. His personal life as a spouse, father and grandfather was always the fountain of his human attitude as the leader of Ottobock. My father officially handed the Otto Bock Group over to me in 1990 on his 75th birthday. He accompanied the group's ongoing growth into a global player with pride and positive interest. The return to his old home of Thuringia after the fall of the Iron Curtain is among the shared emotional experiences. Since 1991, the Otto Bock parent company in Königsee is part of the group again. I developed it for modern wheelchair fabrication.
And so a German family company, with more than 7500 employees world-wide today, comes full circle.
With the opening of my expanded and restored parental home on June 24, 2015, the Ottobock Corporate- and Family Archives officially commences its work. The "Max-Näder House" is a storehouse of knowledge and simultaneously a meeting place. It is home to the Näder Family Office and forms a link - yesterday, today, tomorrow - between the company and family history and the future. In its new form, the house where I spent my childhood and youth is a commitment to my Duderstadt home and an homage to my parents.
This book focuses on the human aspects and many stories related to the bigger world and company history, with the personality of Max Näder taking centre stage.
I hope you enjoy reading it, and looking at the many familiar and especially the unfamiliar photos as well.
With kind regards,
Hans Georg Näder