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2 Comments Vintage
I’ve always found it really weird that they’d use forced labour for work that needs a large measure of technical care and dedication. Surely it makes more sense to reserve volunteer German labour for hi-tech production and use forced labour in other industry?
There are only two reasons I can come up with: 1. All of German production was 100% forced labour – which I don’t believe was the case; 2. The planners realised that this type of rocketry production was a vanity project and tried to minimise the diversion of German labour from more strategic production.
Those are not POWs! Those are civilians, who were predominantly but not exclusively Jews from the Dora Concentration Camp (a sub camp of the larger and more notorious Buchenwald Concentration Camp) who were forced to work in the assembly plant. 30% of those slave laborers died from the miserable working conditions, starvation, and abuse. For the most part, slave labor wasn’t used in the assembly of the rockets themselves. Slave labor was generally used to dig and expand the underground tunnels that the factory was located in, to build the infrastructure for the factory itself, handle and dispose of toxic or caustic material, and to haul away waste product.