Litomerice


Between 1943 and 1945, the German war industry was subjected to intense airstrikes. The Nazis therefore placed wherever possible parts of their war industry in existing mountains or underground tunnels. In the spring of 1944, construction of an extensive tunnel complex began in Litomerice (german Leitmeritz) about eight miles north of Prague. The projects were called Richard I – III and were built by thousands of slave workers of different nationalities. Only Richard I and II were completed. The Nazis set up a labor camp in connection with the tunnel construction and the camp was placed under Flossenburg. It was mainly parts for tanks that were produced. Conditions were difficult and at the end of the war a typhoid epidemic broke out and the Nazis were forced to build a crematorium in order to get rid of the bodies of dead prisoners. The camp was liberated by the Soviet Red Army in 1945. About 4,500 prisoners out of about 18,000 died in the year the camp existed.

Current status: Partly preserved/demolished with museum (2010).

Location: 50°32'5"N 14°6'54"E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

The monument is located at the crematorium and the rest that is preserved is either abandoned or used in industrial contexts. One reason why Litomerice is not a museum today (2010) may partly be due to Theresienstadt (Terezin) and Lidice. Theresienstadt is located only about two kilometers south of Litomerice and Lidice about four miles south and at these two places there are a total of three museums. There is simply no visitor base or economic conditions for a fourth museum within this limited geographical radius.

Follow up in books: Kogon, Eugen: The Theory and Practice of Hell: The German Concentration Camps and the System Behind Them (2006).