February 25, 2023

Tour Report: Underground Junkers Factory

Continuing our tour in May of 2019, we left the abandoned "Sanatorium Hydro" to explore a place that played a part in Germany's arms industry during World War II.
Since 1943, the Nazi government had decided to relocate war-related factories underground. The companies found space mostly in old mines, railway tunnels, caverns or in newly created tunnels.
The manufacture of wings for the Ju 88 night fighter and the partial manufacture of cells for the Ju 88 and Ju 162 were among the production facilities that were relocated underground for bomb-proof production. They were relocated into a cave system in the Harz mountains that was previously used for beer storage by a restaurant in the nearby city.

We parked the car and started walking the path that took us up the hill until we reached a fence surrounding a (possibly) vacation home. There was an open door through which we could see a small entrance into the rocky wall of the mountain. We didn't know if the buildings were still in operation - it looked like the lawn was mown regularly - so we only took a quick peek. Behind the small entrance was access into the mountain, but we didn't see any way further in. So we retreated from the garden and made our way a little further up until we reached the second part of the cave system. It was wide open and easily accessible.

The day was warm, but upon entering, cool air surrounded us, which was very pleasant after the long and exhausting ascent.
Exploring places like this always is a bit ambivalent for me. On the one hand, almost 80 years ago, forced labor was used to prepare these places for production and for the production itself - so after all, the place is a place of terrible human suffering.
On the other hand, if you don't know about its history, the cave nowadays is just that - a cave, and a beautiful and exciting location to explore.

We didn't find any real relics from World War II - only a few brick walls and remains of steel beams tell the story of this cave as a war factory. When we had checked all rooms of the cave, we spent a little time flooding the place with lights of various colors - something that I had not tried before. The photos came out quite okay, I think.

I do hope that I will have the chance to explore the other parts of the cave system in the future - after all, this exploration is still incomplete ;)

To find out about the history of this place and to check out all the photos, click the button below.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...