> Adler­wer­ke His­to­ri­cal Site (Foy­er)
> Geschichts­ort Adler­wer­ke (Foy­er)

> A crime that beca­me a part of ever­y­day life
> Zwangs­ar­beit – ein Ver­bre­chen mit­ten im Alltag

> The for­ced labour system
> Sys­tem Zwangsarbeit

> The con­cen­tra­ti­on camp in the factory
> Das Kon­zen­tra­ti­ons­la­ger in der Fabrik

> Clearan­ce and death march
> Räu­mung und Todesmarsch

> Con­flicts over labour, remem­bran­ce, compensation
> Kon­flik­te um Arbeit, Erin­ne­rung, Entschädigung

 Clearan­ce and death march 

Clearan­ce and death march 

Pro­duc­tion at the Adler­wer­ke began decre­a­sing in the autumn of 1944. The­re was a lack of sup­plies, power, and gas, as well as dama­ges cau­sed by air raids. In ear­ly March 1945, the com­pa­ny manage­ment app­lied for the con­cen­tra­ti­on camp’s dissolution.

In mid-March 1945, 450 sick camp inma­tes were to be trans­por­ted to the Ber­gen-Bel­sen con­cen­tra­ti­on camp. They were taken to the goods sta­ti­on and locked up in good wag­gons. Days pas­sed befo­re the train final­ly depar­ted. A mere five per cent of the­se inma­tes sur­vi­ved the trans­port and their impr­i­son­ment in Bergen-Belsen.

A fur­ther 360 inma­tes had remai­ned behind in the camp. On the evening of 24 March 1945 they were orde­red to assem­ble for roll call. Immedia­te­ly after­wards they were sent off on a so-cal­led death march. The inma­tes were exhaus­ted and enfee­bled, and not all of them could keep pace with the guards. When they lag­ged behind, fell, had to relie­ve them­sel­ves, or took some­thing to eat, they were shot to death. Some tried to escape. The­re was no way of knowing how the locals would react. The inma­tes were in con­stant dan­ger of being repor­ted or shot to death on the spot.


“I was gro­wing wea­ker and wea­ker. I was plagued by ter­ri­ble thirst. We were cros­sing a small bridge and I couldn’t stand it any­mo­re. I didn’t care what hap­pen­ed. I tried to scoop up some water with my bowl. Sud­den­ly I recei­ved blows to my back and head.”

Andrzej Bran­ecki, con­cen­tra­ti­on camp inmate

“Later, when they couldn’t find anyo­ne to kill, they star­ted loo­king for Jews among us. If the­re was someo­ne who loo­ked the way they ima­gi­ned Jews to look, had a big nose, an SS man said: ‘Are you a Jew? Come over here, come on …’”

Wła­dysław Jaro­cki, con­cen­tra­ti­on camp inmate

“When we nea­red the houses I heard a child cry­ing loud­ly and later a scream, or rather the shriek of an agi­ta­ted woman. … ‘That man the­re, that bas­tard, sto­le my child’s bread!’ … He loo­ked at the woman and the approa­ching guard and quick­ly swal­lo­wed the pie­ce of bread he had sei­zed. The SS man waved him over and the per­pe­tra­tor step­ped for­ward. The guard … ges­tu­red to the inma­te to walk ahead of him towards the woods. The other guards dro­ve us onwards with yells and the butts of their rif­les. … The guard came to a halt, lifted his rif­le to his eye, took a shot, loo­ked, threw his rif­le over his shoul­der, and quick­ly retur­ned to the group. The woman stood at the gate, still stro­king her child, and loo­ked at the retur­ning SS man. I don’t know what she felt or what she thought.”

Janusz Garli­cki, con­cen­tra­ti­on camp inmate

Auto­bio­gra­phi­cal novel Spóź­niał się Pan, Gene­ra­le Pat­ton (You’re Late, Gene­ral Patton)