BONN (Jun. 17)
An underground plant where the Nazis worked slave laborers to death to produce the notorious V-1 and V-2 rockets is expected to become a museum, dedicated to the memory of the 60,000 slave laborers employed on the missile project.
The project, which was a desperate attempt to turn the tide of the war, employed Jews and others, 20,000 of whom perished.
The plant was located near the small town of Nordhausen in what is now East Germany. The townspeople are behind the museum project.
The slave laborers were confined to a nearby concentration camp called Mittelbau Dorn. None was supposed to leave alive because the project was a top secret.
Scholars who have studied the Nazi missile program say the slave laborers often had to spend 20 to 30 consecutive days underground to perform their work at the pace dictated by the fuhrer, Adolf Hitler, and his staff, who were searching for a miracle weapon.
The plant opened in August 1943. It was liberated by Allied forces on April 11, 1945.