Critical Company Chronicle

Heckler & Koch


How H&K and the German government are jointly responsible

for the death and traumatisation of millions of people

across the world due to their unrestrained export of

small arms to human rights violating and warring states


<<Standard version>>


Written by Jürgen Grässlin

Translated by Ruth Rohde



Version: March 2020

Artwork by Jonas Fehlinger, graphic designer and artist,

for the GN-STAT

This chronicle is also available in the following languages:



1.1 What the Official Histories of H&K Don't Tell You

1.2 H&K today - Key figures and key data of a world leading producer of small arms

1.3 Critical Company Chronicles H&K - Ascent to the World Stage

1.1 What the Offical Histories of H&K Don't Tell You

In the following, the GLOBAL NET - STOP THE ARMS TRADE (GN-STAT) presents a critical analysis of the more than seventy-year history of Heckler & Koch (H&K) - the deadliest company in Europe, measured by the number of its victims: Heckler & Koch is still trying to spread the cloak of silence and forgetting over the dramatic consequences of their arms export and licensing practices. This willful ignorance is also displayed in the two official works on the company's history: On the one hand, the digital "chronicle" of the company on the company's homepage is extremely short and covers only a few events which are seen as positive from the company’s perspective (see


On the other hand, the book by Manfred Kersten and Walter Schmid, published in 1999: "Heckler & Koch: The official history of the Oberndorf company Heckler & Koch" on 383 pages describes the development of the Oberndorf arms manufacturers up to the end of the last century in a differentiated but one-sided, company-friendly manner.


This "CRITICAL CHRONIC H&K" is different. It names the dark sides of the history of the Heckler & Koch corporation / AG (from today until 2015) and the Heckler & Koch GmbH (from today until 1949):


  • the decades-long exports of small arms (pistols, submachine guns, assault rifles and sniper rifles etc.) and the granting of licenses for building these weapons to human rights violating and warring states,
  • the perpetrators at H&K management level and millions of victims of the deadly arms export and licensing policies around the world,
  • the current undermining of the self-imposed "Green Country Strategy" on arms exports by renewed deliveries of war weapons to states that violate human rights or wage war - in some cases in breach of international law,
  • the scandalous course of investigations and the questionable verdict of the Stuttgart District Court resulting in acquittals for H&K managing directors and lenient sentences for other defendants in the criminal proceedings concerning the illegal G36 rifle exports to provinces of conflict in Mexico. The investigations were initiated by our successful criminal complaints against H&K employees (Grässlin) and state authorities (RA Rothbauer) and
  • follows a disastrous development in the financial, property, personnel and communication areas of the company in recent years.

1.2 H&K today - Key figures and key data of a world leading producer of small arms

"Heckler & Koch is a leading global manufacturer of handguns..."

H&K AG Group Company Profile


Heckler & Koch - the world's leading manufacturer of small arms

In its "company profile", the H&K AG Group makes a point of presenting the figurative “clean side of the coin” – the supposedly successful, ethical image of the company. According to this version, Heckler & Koch is "a worldwide leading manufacturer of handguns with deep roots and headquarters in Oberndorf am Neckar in Baden-Württemberg, Germany". For more than 65 years the company has been "a reliable partner for the military, police and special forces of NATO and NATO-associated countries, in which we also reach the corresponding civilian markets with our products for sport and hunting requirements". As an employer, H&K offers its customers "innovative products of the highest quality" with more than 800 employees at locations in Germany, France, Great Britain and the USA (see "Company Profile").


Current overview of the production range of small arms for military and governmental authorities

The H&K Group manufactures pistols, submachine guns, assault, precision and machine guns as well as grenade launchers:

  • Pistols: SFP, SFP9 M, P30, USP, P8
  • Machine guns: MP7A1, UMP, MP5
  • Assault rifles: HK433, HK416 A5, G36, HK417
  • Machine guns: MG4, MG5
  • Precision rifles: G28, MSG90 A2 (=military design of the sniper rifle MSG90 A1)
  • 40mm systems: AG36, GLM, HK169, HK269, GMW

H&K Group with subsidiaries worldwide

(as of April 2020)


The H&K AG group includes the following subsidiaries:

  • In Germany: Heckler & Koch GmbH, Heckler & Koch Management GmbH, H&K AGs Corporate Headquarters
  • In France: Heckler & Koch France S.A.S.
  • In Great Britain: NSAF Limited
  • In the USA: Heckler & Koch, Inc., Heckler & Koch Defense Inc. and Small Arms Group Holding Inc.


H&K Board of Directors

Dr. Jens Bodo Koch, Chairman of the Executive Board (May 2018 to date)

Dr. Björn Krönert, Chief Financial Officer (October 2018 to date)


H&K Supervisory Board

General (ret.) Harald Kujat, Chairman of the Supervisory Board (July 2019 to date / successor to Dieter John)

Nicolas Bocklandt, member of the SB (for a long time, until today)

Dr. Martin Heiner Sorg, Member of the Supervisory Board (appointed by court in April 2019, elected July 2019 to date / successor to Jean-Christoph Arntz)

Andreas Heeschen, new: fourth member of the SB (December 2019 to date)


In February 2020, H&K announced in an "Announcement" that a shareholder had filed an action for rescission of decisions of the extraordinary general meeting on December 19, 219 with respect to the Supervisory Board (including Heeschen's election to the Supervisory Board). The action is pending before the Stuttgart Regional Court.


H&K AG Key Sales Figures

in millions of Euros

                                2015               2016               2017               2018

Net Sales                 177                 202                 182                 221


Profit after Tax         22                   7                   -13                  -8


H&K AG shares and shareholder structure


ISIN                                                                DE000A11Q133 

ID                                                                   MLHK H&K AG   
Number of Shares                                        27.640.920

Tradable shares                                           0,0301% 

Shares held by critical shareholders         <o,1%

Shares owned by main shareholders        99,9699%



1.3 Critical Company Chronicles H&K - Ascent to the World Stage

Preliminary remarks:

The considerably more differentiated company chronicle with important events can be found in the comprehensive long version : "A Critical company chronicle of the ascent of Heckler & Koch to the global stage through unrestrained small arms exports to human rights violating and warring states all over the world". In it, the dark sides of the company are explained in more detail, see link to the long version of the CRITICAL CHRONICAL H&K Chronicle.


An argument that is often used by arms producers and their protégés in the political discourse is: "We only supply to the good guys!” The company history of Heckler & Koch proves the exact opposite: across the world, the henchmen of fake democrats and dictators, terrorists and mercenaries have murdered and continue to murder with H&K weapons.



SB / SB-Ch – Supervisory Board, Chairman of the Supervisory Board

FTA – Foreign Trade Act

BAe / BAE – British Aerospace (temporarily H&K parent company)

FOEEC – Federal Office of Economics and Export Control

BGH – Federal Court of Justice

MoD – Federal Ministry of Defence

FoDTP – Federal Office of Defense Technology and Procurement

MoE – Federal Ministry of Economics

BW – Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces)

CDE – Compagnie de Développement de L'Eau S.A.(H&K shareholders)

CETME – Centro des Estudios Tecnicos Materiales Especiales

DSEI – Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI),Arms Fair in London

EUC(s) – End-User Certificate(s)

PCDFW  – Protestant Centre for Development-related Film Work

G3, G36 – H&K-assault rifles


HK33 – H&K- assault rifle

H&K – Heckler & Koch

H&K AG – Heckler & Koch corporation

HK AGM – H&K AG Annual General Meeting

HK COO – H&K Chief Operations Officer

JG – Jürgen Grässlin

JIW – Annuals „Jane’s Infantry Weapons“

ARD – German Public Broadcaster (Television)

GDR – German Democratic Republic (DDR)

KRK – Crisis Response Forces of the Bundeswehr

WWCA – War Weapons Control Act

LWW – List of War Weapons

DC – District Court (Usually Stuttgart or Rottweil)

MP – Member of German Parliament

MKEK – Makina ve Kimya Endüstrisi Kurumu

MP5 – H&K-Machinegun

PR – Press release

POF – Pakistan Ordnance Factory

SoF – US-Merchant Magazine „Soldier of Fortune”

PUPR – Public Prosecutors, public prosecutor’s office

USA – United States of America

UAE – United Arab Emirates



Critical Company Chronicle Heckler&Koch



In the course of 2020: Following the contradictory rulings of the DC Stuttgart (vs. H&K) and DC Kiel (vs. SIG Sauer), the BGH could make a final decision as to whether end-user certificates are legally binding parts of export contracts or not.


01.04.2020: MEXIKO-DEAL – Second theme night on the arms trade in ARD, German television with "Master of Death 2" (feature film) and "Deadly Exports 2 – Arms Manager in Court" (documentary) by Daniel Harrich


26.03.2020: GLOBAL EXPORTS - H&K announces: "Arms transactions mustbe ethical" – interim success for the critical shareholders

The company strictly adheres to its "Green Country Strategy" and the "Code of Ethics and Conduct". These have been incorporated into the two export guidelines as "results of this dialogue" with the Critical Shareholders - an interim success for the peace movement. Exports to countries that violate human rights (USA, Indonesia etc.) remain a massive point of criticism.


11.-14.02.2020: THE GLOBAL ARMS TRADE AND CHILD SOLDIERS, ITALY – Film Festival "Deadly Trade - Mercato di Morte“ in Merano with films by D. Harrich, W. Landgraeber and A. Feinstein among others; co-organizer GN-STAT


11.02.2020: Action for rescission vs. resolutions of the extraordinary HK-GA on 19.12.2019 is carried out on a legal level


28.12.2019: Seventy-year company anniversary of H&K GmbH (c.f. 28.12.1949). The company celebration is postponed to January 2020.


19.12.2019: Resolutions and controversial discussionsat the extraordinary general meeting of H&K AG concerning the remuneration of the SB members; A. Heeschen elected as fourth SB member; H. Kujat not voted out. Critical shareholders protest in front of the building and are present during the AGM with countermotions, speeches and questions.


04.12.2019: Power struggle at H&K comes to a head: Dismissal of Kujat requested

Shareholder "Compagnie de Développement de L'Eau S.A. (CDE) acts against majority shareholder A. Heeschen and SB-Chef H. Kujat.


16.09.2019: SOMALIA, TURKISH KURDISTAN – SPIEGEL ONLINE advertises film portrait about J. Grässlin: "Why German arms companies fear a teacher"


13.09.2019: GREAT BRITAIN - Major contract from the British Ministry of Defence over 15 million Brit. Pounds for armed forces with SA80A3 variant


12.07.2019: Ordinary General Meeting of H&K AG - undermining of the "Green Countries Strategy”


28.02.2019: MEXICO G36 deal – the convicted managers, PUPR and H&K enter an appeal at the BGH


21.02.2019: MEXICO G36 deal – Almost nine years after reimbursement of the 1st criminal complaint vs. H&K the LG Stuttgart announces the verdict: Suspended sentences or acquittal for H&K employees  and a fine in the millions for H&K. The 13th Chamber of Commercial Criminal Law of the District Court of Stuttgart sentences the former H&K employees M. Beuter and I. Sahlmann to prison terms on probation due to illegal arms deliveries to Mexico. End-use declarations are not considered part of the export contracts. The verdict acquitted three defendants: the two former H&K COOs P. Beyerle and J. Meurer and a former export manager. According to the statement of the presiding judge of the 13th Criminal Chamber, Frank Maurer, no involvement in the illegal arms deals could be proven in their cases. As soon as the judgement becomes final, around 3.7 million euros will be seized from H&K. Note JG: This judgement is the first time in H&K's 70-year history that the company has been convicted of illegal arms trading.


Fall 2018: MEXICO – GN-STAT publishes CASE 02: "The illegal Mexico deal - the exports of thousands upon thousands of H&K G36 assault rifles into Mexican regions of conflict (from 2006 to 2009)" in several world languages on the GN-STAT website.


2018: USA – H&K Inc. is no longer a leading US small arms manufacturer according to US peace activist John Lindsay-Poland, only about 6,000 weapons were still produced in the USA in 2018.


26.09.2018: The consequences of the export of G36 small arms to Latin-American are disastrous. Leonel Gutiérrez Solana’s brother has been in a coma since he suffered a shot to the head from Mexican police officers. Jürgen Grässlin and the attorney Sofía De Robina are demanding justice.





















The photo shows Leonel Gutiérrez Solana, Jürgen Grässlin and the

attorney Sofía De Robina ( from left to right), Photo: GN-STAT

21.09.2018: Ordinary H&K-HV with "Green countries strategy” in export policy: in principle, H&K would only supply countries that are on an equal footing with the EU, NATO or NATO Critical shareholders* submitted two countermotions not to grant discharge to the Board of Management and the SB.


02.07.2018: Rating agency Moody's lowers H&K credit-rating from B3 to Caa1


22.05.2018: Research by REPORT MAINZ on possible bribery affair at H&K. Were those politically responsible for the Mexico deal paid off?


15.05.2018: MEXICO G36-Deal – Start of criminal proceedings against H&K at Stuttgart District Court


14.03.2018: BRAZIL – City councillor is murdered by unknown persons in Rio de Janeiro with shots to the head from an H&K MP5 submachine gun


03.02.2018: Founding of the critical shareholders H&K in Freiburg


08.12.2017: Letter from SB-Ch D. John to J. Grässlin: no fund for the victims at H&K


24.07.2017: H&K, in a dire financial condition, sees itself "significantly strengthened through equity increase and refinancing”


15.07.2017: Annual General Meeting of H&K AG: Critical shareholders of H&K for the first time at the AGM - discussion "Green countries strategy". The peace movement sees the limitation of exporting countries as a step in the right direction and a success of its work.


06.07.2017: Capital increase at H&K – indebtedness still up to 170 Mio. €


26.09.2016: IRAQ, BALKAN WAR, AFRICA – First public screening of the cinema documentary "Living from killing" (“Vom Töten leben”)by W. Landgraeber in Oberndorf


22.09.2016: FRANCE – With the HK416F H&K builds new assault riffle for the French army, succeeding the FAMAS


30.08.2016: Annual General Meeting of H&K AG on the allocation of the balance sheet profit in the amount of € 100.8 million


01.06.2016: IRAQ, BALKAN WAR, AFRICA – Landgraeber, Wolfgang: "The death, the weapons, the silence - the Oberndorf syndrome" The first screening of the film takes place in Stuttgart, Germany.


2016: NATO, NATO ASSOCIATED, EU STATES; CHILE, INDIA, INDONESIA, MALAYSIA, OMAN, SINGAPORE, SOUTH KOREA – "Green Country Strategy" threatens to be washed out by arms exports to countries outside NATO and the EU.


2016: LIBANON, WARS IN SYRIA AND IRAQ – In the Middle East thousands and thousands of G3 are used in wars.

Kurdish Peshmerga shoot in Iraq with G3 from the German Armed Forces and they sell their first weapons on the black market, among others to the terrorist organization IS.


25.01.2016: WAR AND CONFLICT AFFECTED AREAS – FILM in German TV:Intimidation Is Futile – On the Fight Against the Arms Trade” with Jan Van Aken and JG.


Dezember 2015: MIDDLE EAST – Study "The Arming of the Islamic State" by Amnesty International proves among other things the use of H&K weapons in terrorist hands


Late 2015: Transfer of approximately €60 million to H&K by A. Heeschen


Fall 2015: MEXICO-G36-DEAL – criminal complaint by Attorney Rothbauer against representatives of authorities rejected by the PUPR Stuttgart


13.10.2015: MEXICO G36 deal – PUPR Stuttgart finally presses charges against H&K


23.09.2015: MEXICO – 1st ARD Theme night "German Arms Exports”


July 2015: Listing of H&K AG on the Euronext stock exchange in Paris


09.07.2015: SAUDI-Arabia, YEMEN WAR – G3 and G36 rifles from Riyadhin the raging war in Yemen also due to lack of end-use control


01.12.2014: MEXICO G36 deal – settlement between A. Haas and M. Beuter with H&K at the Regional Labor Court in Freiburg


26.09.2014: MEXICO G36 deal - shooting of student teachers from Ayotzinapa among others with G36 rifles


26.08.2014: BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA, COLOMBIA, MEXICO, SUDAN,SOUTH SUDAN – TV documentary "Weapons for the World- Export out of control" by Daniel Harrich, first broadcast on rbb television (ARD)


01.07.2014: LYBIA – Stuttgart StA sees no sufficient grounds for suspicionand shelves investigations in the case of alleged illegal Small arms exports to Libya by H&K


15.01.2014: MEXICO-G36-Deal – Local Court Villingen-Schwenningen rules in favour of M. Beuter and A. Haas, who stand accused of involvement in illegal arms exports


30.05. to 02.06.2013: International Small Arms Congress "Target human" of the IPPNW in Villingen

Congress against Small Arms: “Giving Victims a Voice”


May 2013: GLOBAL EQUIPMENT EXPORTS FROM H&K – Publication of the "Black Book on Arms Trade. How Germany earns money from the war" by JG. On average every 13 minutes a person is shot by a H&K weapon. Book author JG uncovers the illegal export scandal of H&K using insider information. According to JG's calculations and estimates, a person dies on average every 13 minutes from being shot at with a small arm from Heckler & Koch and licence holders.


November 2012: MEXICO-G36-DEAL – Second criminal complaint in reference to G36-Mexico-Exports against official representatives by Attorney Rothbauer


10.11.2011: MEXICO G36 deal – Second house search at H&K due to the Mexico Investigations


September 2011: LYBIA – JG files criminal complaint due to suspicion of illegal small arms exports to Libya, H&K files criminal charges against unknown


August 2011: SAUDI-ARABIA – MIC inaugurates factory for G36 licensed production; H&K acted as a project leader for the factory construction. The licensing had been approved in 2008.


May 2011: 9.50% corporate bond (Senior Secured Notes) from H&K


06.04.2011: Investigations of the PUPR Bonn against H&K and the Bundeswehr on suspicion of illegal collusion


2011: GREAT BRITAIN – In his book “The Shadow World. Inside the Global Arms Trade” author A. Feinstein accuses H&K parent company BAe Systems and Red Diamond Trading of corruption.


2010: New training centre for H&K; the company conceals the difficult situation of the company on their website


December 2010: MEXICO G36 deal – resignation of H&K managing director Peter Beyerle


21.12.2010: MEXICO G36 deal – First house search of the rooms at H&K due to the Mexico investigations by officials of the PUPR Stuttgart and the Customs Investigations Office Cologne


13.12.2010: MEXICO G36 deal – Further arms supplies from H&K to Mexico discontinued


19.12.2010: MEXICO G36 deal – The ARD political magazine REPORT MAINZ shows photo evidence of G36 rifles in crisis areas in Mexico


2009/2010: MEXICO-G36-Deal – Several confidential meetings of a H&K-Whistleblowers with JG on the subject of illegal rifle exports to troubled Mexican provinces


2008: SAUDI-ARABIA – G36 licensing by the German government


August 2008: GEORGIA, KAUKASUS WAR – Georgia's troops illegally use G3 rifles in the Caucasus war


February 2008: USA, IRAQ-WAR - peace organisations (RIB and BITS) reveal long-standing strategic cooperation between H&K and the US mercenary organization "Blackwater”


2007 (etc.): H&K investments with a total volume of around 80 million euros


2006: MEXICO - marketing offensive from H&K, Federal Government approves further H&K arms exports


Mid-2006: GREAT BRITAIN - Major order for H&K for modernisation of all 350,000 SA-80 rifles for the British armed forces


2004/2003: SUDAN, IRAN – Sudan is once again armed with H&K weapons from Iranian licensed production upgraded. G3 rifles are used deadly in the Darfur conflict


2003: GLOBAL EQUIPMENT EXPORTS FROM H&K – JG book "Hide when they shoot" about the victims the use of H&K weapons in Turkey and Somalia is published


06.12.2002: GREAT BRITAIN – Sale to private investor group confirmed by H&K and Royal Ordnance (BAE Systems)


2001 (until 2011): H&K receives new orders: eleven research contracts and more than 900 direct orders from the Bundeswehr


1999 / 2000: WORLDWIDE H&C EQUIPMENT EXPORTS, GLOBAL SELLER G3 – Approx. four decades after first construction licensing occurred, Jane's INFANTRY WEAPONS still documents G3 licenses for France, Greece, Great Britain, Iran, Mexico, Myanmar (Burma), Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, and Turkey. JIW confirms the use of G3rifles in 59 countries: 10 in Europe, 24 in Africa, 11 in Latin America, 8 in the Middle East and 6 in the Far East.


1999: SPAIN – Permission for the licensed production of about 1000,000 G36E at Empresa Nacional Santa Bárbara in Spain


July 1997: H&K erects new production hall in the Oberndorf parent plant


September 1996: First production batch of the G36 assault rifle goes to crisis reaction forces of the Bundeswehr


08.05.1995: Introduction permits for G36 and MG36 are issued


May 1995: USA - RIB e.V. obtains a temporary ban of the US mercenary magazine "Soldier of Fortune" on the German retail market. H&K from Oberndorf is one of SoF’s advertisement customers.


1994/95: H&K wins the tender for the G36 and the P8 pistol for the German Armed Forces


04.11.1993: GREAT BRITAIN, ITALY, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Acquittal for H&K at the district court in Rottweil

The verdict is ultimately devastating for the federal authorities. However, H&K managing director Walter Lamp - surprisingly for many trial observers - is acquitted.


01.03.1993: GREAT BRITAIN, ITALY, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – PUPR Rottweil accuses H&K managing director Lamp of false declaration of machine guns in parts and thus illegal arms export via intermediaries to the UAE


02.10.1992: BRAZIL – At the Carandiru massacre, suppression of a prison riot with MP5 from H&K. In São Paulo, 111 prisoners are shot by police officers, mostly with MP5 machine pistols.


1992: SERBIA, BOSNIA > YUGOSLAVIA – G3 rifles registered at a German fire stations are exported to Yugoslavia in spite of a UN arms embargo; deadly sniper attack against Bosnian Muslims


08.03.1992: H&K rifle G11 politically "outdated" despite introduction approval by the procurement office


August 1992: GDR – Years of armaments contacts between the GDR and H&K (MP5 weapon cases, G11 and many more) and weapon sales during the Cold War become public, the H&K company headquarters are searched.


January/February 1991: Federal Court of Auditors vs. G11 procurement; author Seel sees "reduced willingness of the public to participatein national defence".


01.01.1991: GREAT BRITAIN – H&K takeover by Royal Ordnance, Subsidiary of British Aerospace / BAE Systems


April 1990: Second Oberndorf Easter march of the peace movement


September 1989: USA – H&K develops ACR rifle with caseless ammunition for the US Army, but contract negotiations are slow without time specification: In a G11 advertising brochure H&K ruthlessly describes the deadly "effect on soft targets" – meaning people


08.20.1988 (since 22.09.1980): FIRST GULF WAR IRAN-IRAQ, G3 LICENCE IRAN – Iran produces about 2 million G3;according to Bahman Nirumand, "hundreds of thousands of children and young people were sent to the front and to their deaths with G3 rifles".


1988: WORLDWIDE H&K ARMS EXPORTS, GLOBAL SELLER G3 – H&K has overall obtained export licenses for the G3 assault rifle for 88 countries, the federal government approved G3 construction licenses for 15 countries.


April 1988: First Oberndorf Easter march with subsequent peace festival


1986: PAKISTAN > 30 STATES, U.A. MYAMAR, KENYA, PHILIPPINES, SOUTH AFRICA, SOMALIA – MP5 and G3 of POF are exported "completely autonomously" to 30 states.


1985 (until 1999): TURKEY – About 30.000 Kurds are killed by Turkish security forces in the civil war with G3 and MP5 from the licensed production at MKEK


08.08.1985: IRAN-IRAK WAR, EL SALVADOR, ZIMBABWE – TV program "The Oberndorf Conscience", TV version of "Far From War" by Wolfgang Landgraeber


12.06.1985: IRAN-IRAK WAR, EL SALVADOR, ZIMBABWE – First screening of the campaign film "Tropical Fruits from Oberndorf" by Wolfgang Landgraeber


1984: THAILAND – Executions in prison with H&K weapons


14.10.1984: IRAN-IRAK WAR, EL SALVADOR, ZIMBABWE – Public premiere of the documentary film "Far from War” by Wolfgang Landgraeber at the KKK cinema Oberndorf


1984: USA – MP5-PT and MP5 variants for the United States


28.09.1982: USA – H&K receives order from the USA for rifle development withshellless ammunition


1981: Separation of military and civil production at H&K


Until 1980: SUDAN, CHAD – three decades of recipient countries exports large quantities of H&K weapons to both countries


1979 (since 1971): SAUDI-ARABIA, FRANCE > UGANDA – Uganda's dictator Idi Amin has massacres perpetrated with G3 from Saudi Arabian and French licensed manufacturers. More than 300,000 people are murdered in Uganda.


1977/1978: PORTUGAL > SOUTH AFRICA – Portugal exports 150,000 G3 rifles to the apartheid regime in South Africa, which the H&K licensed weapons use to suppress the coloured majority of the population.


1975: USA – Opening of the US subsidiary Heckler & Koch Inc. in Arlington


1974: H&K celebrates its 25th anniversary with 2000 employees


1969: SAUDI ARABIA > MIDDLE EAST, AFRICA – G3 licensing by the Federal Government to Saudi Arabia

Riyadh exported thousands upon thousands of G3 assault rifles to the Middle East and crisis areas in Africa (Uganda, Somalia, etc.).


1967: TURKEY, IRAN – G3 licensing to Turkey and Iran count, in terms of the number of victims, to the most consequential

More than 30,000 Kurds* are shot dead by Turkish security forces. Later, licenses for MP5 and HK33 are also issued.


1967: IRAN > WORLDWIDE EXPORTS – Shah Reza Pahlavi acquires a G3 license from the federal government, Decades of war and exports to politico-religiously close states and terrorists follow.


1963: PAKISTAN > CRISIS AND WAR ZONES WORLDWIDE – The Pakistani military government acquires a G3 license from the federal government. Produced by POF, thousands upon thousands of G3 are exported to crisis and war zones in the coming decades.


1961: PORTUGAL > AFRICAN COLONIES – first G3 license issued to dictator Salazar export and fatal use of thousands of H&K assault rifles in Portuguese colonies in Africa


30.01.1959: Assault rifle G3 becomes standard weapon of the Bundeswehr


1958: After the years of the ban on arms production after the post-war years, the federal government acquires the G3 licence


Mid-50s: H&K becomes a pure defence company


1952: Relocation of the company headquarters to the Lindenhof in Oberndorf


1951: SPAIN – Successful demonstration of the first rifle prototype from CETME from dictator Franco by H&K engineers


01.01 and 24.02.1950: SPAIN – Heynen Group working on CETME rifle for the Spanish armed forces under dictator Franco


1950: 150 employees manufacture civil products at Heckler & Koch


28.12.1949: Foundation of the company Heckler & Koch GmbH in Oberndorf by Edmund Heckler, Theodor Koch and Alex Seidel, three former engineers of the Oberndorf armaments manufacturer Mauser-Werke


1941/1942: G3 history already begins in the Second World War at the Oberndorfer Mauser Works




Office and Library Freiburg     Office Berlin

Stühlingerstraße 7                     Marienstraße 19-20

79106 Freiburg                            10117 Berlin

Germany                                     Germany


+49 761 / 76 78 208


Office Vienna

Lederergasse 23

1080 Wien


Office Hours

Our offices are not open to the public, but visits are possible by appointment.


The offices are occupied from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm.

Donations Account

The RüstungsInformationsBüro (RIB e.V.) is a public charity, which means that donations are tax-deductible. For donations of up to 200 EUR, the German tax authorities need only the deposit slip. For larger donations, we are of course happy to provide you with an official donation receipt.


our account:
RIB e.V.
IBAN: DE56 4306 0967 8041 0738 00