Holocaust Teacher Resource Center

HOLOCAUST TEACHER RESOURCE CENTER
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A Mother’s Shoah, The Weapons Plant

The weapons plant

At the end of the third week we got assigned to the B II work detail. Wake up time was 5 A.M., assembly at 6 A.M., followed by a four kilometer walk to the weapons plant. It was a facility of enormous proportions, most of it built underground. I got to know Fürstelle B II only, the part of the plant we were assigned to. It had a nice locker room with showers and there was a canteen too. Day and night shifts alternated each week.

slave_female_laborers-Belsen

Women camp laborers in the Belsen camp, 1944.

At first we were just lurching around, for we had never seen a munitions plant before, much less worked in one. Our job was to assemble aerial bombs, hand grenades as well as the famous FA2 rocket bombs. Novels could be written about the time we spent in this facility; the agony we went through; how often we fainted or collapsed because of exhaustion. Not only were we forced to work extremely hard, we also had to handle highly poisonous materials. The regular factory workers were so kind to us that if we could’ve managed to, we’d have stayed in the plant around the clock.