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A liberated French prisoner shows an American soldier camouflaged fuel tanks for V-2 rockets.

Photograph | Photograph Number: 51037

A liberated French prisoner shows an American soldier camouflaged fuel tanks for V-2 rockets.

The original caption reads, "A liberated French slave worker, in striped suit, shows an American soldier the rows of camouflaged fuel tanks for V-2 rockets. A tunnel entrance to the underground factory can be seen in the center background. Work on the tunnels, beneath the foothills of the Harz Mountains, was begun nearly six years ago and production of V-2s began September 3, 1943.

Nazi weapons of death made by dying slaves is the grim story of Nordhausen, Reich center for V-bomb production which was captured by troops of the First U.S. Army April 10, 1945. Hundreds of dead and dying lay in the same beds in a nearby slave camp where, according to the liberated, 9,000 lost thier lives in 1944. The American officer in charge immediately ordered the leading citizens of Nordhausen to bury the rotting and skeleton-like dead, choosing a burial site on a hillside overlooking the V-bomb factory where the slave workers had been slowly murdered. The factory, assembly plant for V-1 and V-2 weapons, was a series of deep underground tunnels. Three main tunnels were connected with 42 smaller ones. Until May, 1944, workers were never allowed outside. When the slaves, who labored in 18 hour shifts, became too weak to work, they were loaded into box cars never seen again."

Date
1945 April 10
Photo Credit
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Joseph Eaton
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Record last modified: 2017-04-13 00:00:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/pa1173583