Today Daniel and I planned a little road trip which would first take us to the Metalwork V2 assembly plant and Dora Concentration Camp. This site is pretty much where the foundations of rocket technology was created and sort of the future of NASA. The reason why I say this place is sort of the birthplace of NASA and the man on the moon is because the German scientists who pioneered the rocket technology worked here and after the war, worked for the U.S. government to work on rocket technology there.
Going into the tunnels where these rockets were produced was the main purpose of this trip here. Unfortunately, we found out that the only way to go into the tunnels is with a guide, on a two hour tour, all in German. We decided to stick it out, along with many others there who I don’t think spoke German, to see these tunnel ruins. The guide went into, what I could tell, great detail about the camp and work life of the prisoners, workers, and guards there. But, all I could really do is stand and wait to go in the tunnels. This large delay in the days plans caused us to have to eliminate the plan to go to Buchenwald Concentration Camp (the same camp Anne Frank died at and the largest camp in Germany).
The tunnel area we were allowed to visit was only about 4% of the whole tunnel system. It really was in shambles. After the Amerians found the tunnels, they took all the technology out so they could use it in their own rocket development and they then abandoned the tunnels. When the Russians came through after, they destroyed most of what was left with dynamite.
One of the things I did learn was that the conditions were so bad in the tunnels, people were dying at a rapid pace. The camp originally shipped the dead out of the camp, but later built a crematorium to try and keep up with the mortality rate. The crematorium still stands and is pretty much the only building left at the camp that wasn’t destroyed.
After Doma, we went to the Kyffhäuser Monument. The same architect that built The Monument to the Battle of Nations built this. It is dedicated to German Emperor William I and Frederick Barbarossa. I found this to be a pretty cool monument to visit and worth the drive into the mountains.
By this time it was getting late and we headed back to Leipzig. When we got back we went to a hole in the wall beir garden in the middle of nowhere. We had schnitzel, beers, and schnops. Dinner was so good! We were heading out when the table next to us insisted we sit with them for a beer. One of the old ladies wanted to speak English with me, so we joined them and had a good time of laughter and conversation.