From Mareike Huisinga
Stones, large and small, are his business. "Yes, you can really say that," smiles Gerhard Kaßmann from Pirna. However, not for much longer, because at the end of the year he will dissolve his stone setting and road construction company of the same name. He has good reasons for this. "I will be 73 years old in October, and now I would like to take a step back. The time has come to stop," he says. He founded the company almost 33 years ago.
Great praise to the team
However, this step is not entirely easy for him. "The company is my lifeblood," he says. There is a touch of melancholy in his voice. What will he miss most? He doesn't have to think long for an answer to this question. "The creative work".
However, he will also miss the good cooperation with colleagues and clients. In the 1990s, his company had around 35 employees. "I could always rely on my employees," says Kaßmann. He could count on his wife Regina just as much. Right at the beginning of the company's foundation, she took over, among other things, the bookkeeping and the complicated payroll accounting. "The support in the family was very strong," Gerhard Kaßmann sums up. He hopes that he will keep in touch with his employees, but also with some of his clients, despite his retirement.
No wonder, because among the highlights of his working life as an independent entrepreneur are the orders from well-known companies. Among others the Watch companies A. Lange&Söhne from Glashütte asked him and his team for stone setting work. Likewise the company Ardenne in Dresden. Other highlights in his company's order list included natural stone paving work in front of the Friedrichschlösschen on the Königstein Fortress, as well as mosaic work in front of the Semper Opera House and at the entrance to the Frauenkirche underground car park. He also enjoyed decorative commissions in the private sector, such as setting a stylized rose or a compass rose.
Most of the stone work was done in the Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge district and the city of Dresden. "The furthest was paving work in the center of Chemnitz," says Kaßmann.
Pleasure about the long-term result
He thinks for a moment and realizes: "Our work is so much fun because we create something that stays for the long term. Not only the clients are pleased with the result, but also the numerous passers-by who walk over it," sums up the man from Pirna.
He does not have a family background in stone setting. "No, my father was a master wheelwright and a mother worked in gardening."
Gerhard Kaßmann was born in Dohna and grew up in Pirna-Birkwitz, where he now lives in his parents' house. He went to school in Pirna and then decided on a construction profession, which he learned at the Hoch- und Tiefbaukombinat Pirna. Gerhard Kaßmann wanted more; he completed a degree in civil engineering in Cottbus. Among other places, he worked in his profession in Heidenau and in Pirna, where he eventually took over the district road department.
A lot of bureaucracy complicates the work
After the Peaceful Revolution of 1989, he could have become a civil servant. But he decided to become self-employed and founded the company Gerhard Kaßmann Steinsetz- u. Straßenbaubetrieb, based in Pirna-Copitz, in March 1991.
He has never regretted this step. "I always had support from the family and from my employees," the entrepreneur emphasizes again. The company also survived the Corona period well and was able to carry out orders without restriction. No one in the team fell ill.
Although his youngest son is a master road builder, he did not want to take over the business. "The bureaucratic hurdles are enormous," the father knows from his own experience and understands his son's decision.
Time for the granddaughter
However, the company's property on Pratzschwitzer Strasse will not be completely deserted, as there are plans to rent out machinery and equipment. He and his wife also want to take over service specifications as well as accounting for other construction companies on a modest scale. "But the company as a construction contractor will no longer exist," says Kaßmann.
Afraid of boredom? Not at all! Because there's still the house, the farm and the big garden in Birkwitz. And the granddaughter, who lives further away with her family. "So we will have more time for visits in the future," says Gerhard Kaßmann happily.