Forced labour camp, Litomerice, Czech Republic
Posted by: ToRo61
N 50° 32.089 E 014° 06.922
33U E 437307 N 5598470
Quick Description: The memorial next to the former crematorium of forced labour camp in Litomerice
Location: Stredocesky kraj, Czech Republic
Date Posted: 10/11/2011 12:21:47 PM
Waymark Code: WMCTP4
In the last years of the War, as the German armaments industry was increasingly threatened by Allied air power, the Nazis decided to shift some of their production facilities underground. In Litomerice, the former limestone quarry beneath the Bídnice plain was to be used for this purpose.
In the Spring of 1944, work began here on the construction of underground factories code-named Richard I and Richard II. Thousands of prisoners were brought to work on the project, primarily Poles, Yugoslavs, Russians, Frenchmen, Belgians, Italians and other nationalities. A work camp was established for them close to the building site, a subsidiary of the notorious Flossenbürg concentration camp - a workforce source.
Prisoners prepared the ground surface, dug adits and prepared the spaces of the production halls. Specially selected individuals, together with forced labourers, then worked on the production of engine parts for tanks, heavy military vehicles and ships. After several months, they were joined by the large komando of the Gestapo prison in the Lesser Fortress at Terezín.
Inhuman treatment, hunger, slave labour underground where cave-ins threatened, and finally an outbreak of typhus resulted in 4500 of the 18000 prisoners employed here dying in under a year.
Litomerice crematorium was built to facilitate the disposal of the bodies from the Richard I and Richard II and Litomerice forced labour concentration camp.
In 1992, a memorial to the victims of the concentration camp - designed by Czech artist Jiri Sozanský - was dedicated next to the former camp crematorium.
See also: (visit link