In the Bavarian landscape, not far from the Austrian border, stands somewhere in
the middle of nowhere an enormous bow made of concrete, silent reminder of what would
have become a subterranean factory. During the building of this, a lot of Dachau
prisoners lost their lives.
An important trophy in the German war machine was the Messerschmidt 262, a jet, unique
for that time. The allies were well aware of this and they bombed the 27 large German
aircraft factories incessantly. That is why the Germans sought refuge in stone quarries
and underground tunnels, where three hundred small workshops were established. But
soon, the fact that these places of work were far away from each other became a tremendous
handicap. That is why the decision was made to build a number of large underground
factories, three in Landsberg and one by Muhldorf on the Inn river. The plan was
that by the end of 1942, when everything was ready, nine hundred of Hitler's “Wunderwaffe”
(Wonderweapons) would roll off the assembly line each month. The fuselage was to
be built in Landsberg, the motors and other accessories in Muhldorf. The organization
of this project was in the hands of the Organisation Todt (OT) (Organization Death),
which employed a large number of German companies towards this goal.
It was clear that an enormous amount of labor would be necessary for a project of
this magnitude, over four thousand people worked on the construction site alone.
The OT supplied the engineers, the professionals and the administration. Most of
the labor, however, was made up of 10,000 forced laborers, prisoners of war and prisoners
of concentration camp Dachau.
The prisoners, both men and women, were exposed to untold dehumanizing hardships
at Landsberg, Kaufering and Muhldorf. People who escaped the gas chambers were “destroyed
through labor” here.
At first they slept in tents, on some hay. In the fall holes were dug in the ground,
which were covered with a roof of sod. Sanitary facilities were limited to a number
of trenches and there were weeks when there was not a drop of water available to
the prisoners. Under those circumstances, a typhus epidemic is unavoidable.
Mistreatment by the SS, the Kapo's and the OT personnel were a daily occurrence.
The number of “factory accidents” was extremely high. The average life expectancy
of these prisoners was not higher than eighty days. In the eight months the commando
Muhldorf existed, more than four thousand people lost their lives.
The only thing that remains in Muhldorf of all these efforts in one enormous bow
made of concrete somewhere in an odd sort of no-mans-land. It remained intact after
the Americans blew up the entire construction site in 1945.