The story about the first five years of the machine works of
Nis A. Pedersen; From 1940 to 1945

The flashback is written in 1998 by the wife
of Nis A. Pedersen, Ingrid Marie Pedersen.

"Today when I look back on the company, growing so very big, I would like to tell, how we ended up in Farup.

I had a dressmaker´s workroom in Esbjerg, and Nis worked as a smith in Tarp. Nis lost his job and did not receive any financial support. He had to find a new job very quickly. Looking in the newspaper, he saw that the smithy in Farup was for sale. The smithy had gone bankrupt, and the bank had taken over the smithy and the residence buildings. 

After a lot of talking and some hesitation, we agreed to risk our savings, and we managed to provide the payment. 

On May 1, 1940, we were to take over the smithy, and on April 9, 1940, Nis went to Ribe to sign the deed. This became a day rich of memories - Nis had to accompany the German Wehrmacht back to Esbjerg - the German Wehrmacht occupying Denmark. He was very thoughtfull and speeded up his motor bike to get home to me in Esbjerg. 

I stayed in Esbjerg during the summer to earn money, so that electricity could be put in the residence buildings. Esbjerg was not a nice town to live in anylonger - soldiers all over and the blackout - I was pleased to leave the town on November 1. It was the coldest winter, I can remember - and we had only a little fuel. 

As a wedding gift, we got two loads of peat from the parents of Nis, but the peat did not last long. During spring we had to use branches from the cemetery trees - we were allowed to take the brushwood from the pruned trees. 

We did not have many money the first time, and right before Christmas, Nis lost his purse, containing all our money. He had to go to the municipality in Ribe and ask for pre-payment of some work in progress. This was the first and last time, we lent money for private use. And this inspite of the fact that all the money we could make were used in the smithy. Sometimes it was hard, but I guess it helped that we could not buy anything anywhere. We learned how to remake our clothes, and many strange things were mixed, so that we had something to wear. 

However, we also had a good and positive time. We had good neighbours, and when the streets started smelling of burned rye, we knew that we would soon gather for a cup of substitute coffee and barley meal bread. We learned to appreciate the good people, living around us, in a time when the world was out of order. 

We did not see the Germans very much during the first time, but one night the war was right above us. We woke up, hearing the bullets from machine guns hit the zinc roof. We got up, and without saying a word, we put Ruth (our daughter) under our mattresses. However, the planes had already reached the meadows at that time. Some cows were killed, and a fisherman sitting in his boat got so scared that he jumped into the water. He saved his life, but we didn´t know whether the English plane was so lucky too. 

One day the Germans suddenly arrived to Farup - the soldiers occupied both village hall and our school. The farmers had to find room for the German horses in the stables. Nis also had soldiers around in the workshop; they were to shoe their horses. According to the German soldiers, four of them were to live in our home. We said that we did not have much room - but protesting didn´t help. The apprentice had to sleep in our living room. Being four extra men in the house was not nice. They also had to walk through the kitchen to get in and out. But I think they were rather satisfied. They had a stove, and I think that they also cooked there. I don´t remember how long they lived in our house, but suddenly they went to the frontline in Russia. We could feel that they were not fond of going there. 

All the time, Nis worked very hard in the workshop. We had enough to do, but there was a lack of materials and spare parts. When he had time, we also had much work to do in our house. The first he made was putting a spiral into the old cooker, so that the heat could be distributed into the living and sleeping rooms. It worked very well, and he placed an old stove in the lumber-room. In this one he also put a spiral, producing both heat and hot water. It worked very well, but was very primitive. We never had a wash hand basin or tiles, because it costed too much money. 

However, nothing goes on and on, and after five long years, the war ended on 5 May 1945. We will never forget this day, nor the sight of the proud German Wehrmacht. They shuffled through Farup - no glory was left in their eyes. They were bringing old barrows, bikes and whatever might roll. They were transporting their belongings, and what they had bought for their last Danish money. Arriving to the borderline, everything was taken away from them, and they could continue empty-handed through the German country, being shot to pieces. And this was our first five years in Farup."