By Gretchen E. Schafft, Gerhard Zeidler
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Additional resources for Commemorating Hell: The Public Memory of Mittelbau-Dora
In this way we came to the tunnel entrance. At the entrance, there were two green houses, one for the watchmen and one for the SS guards. Again, we had a count of the prisoners that seemed to last forever. After a long time, we were led into the tunnel, where a cold, wet breeze blew. indd 27 12/6/10 2:43:37 PM 28 chapter two that we fell over the stones and bumps in the ground. Light in the tunnel was provisional, about every 100 meters a strong lamp burned high in the ceiling. In the distance, about 300 meters ahead, the tunnel entered into a huge stone gallery.
A young man in France, having heard that his parents were among those removed, assassinated a German diplomat. 37 For the next three and a half years, the majority of concentration camp prisoners were Jewish. As the Nazi leadership set its goal of making Germany Judenfrei, or free of Jews, the Jewish population was deported to the East until, in 1942, few Jews were left in the concentration camps on the original German soil (Altreich). ” Where they were headed was unknown to them. ” The Wannsee Conference of January 1942 sealed the fate of those identified as Jews.
At the same time, with the war in progress, opponents, who were often nationalists in the occupied countries, were increasingly sent to the camps. Others were targeted for impressed labor, but could be transferred to a more rigorous “disciplinary” setting if they were believed to be “difficult” or were targeted for infractions of rules. And no longer were all the camps located in pre-1938 Germany. Stutthof opened in September 1939 near Gdansk (Danzig) and Mauthausen in Austria in the same year.