Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

A History of the Dora Camp

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

A History of the Dora Camp

Article excerpt

A History of the Dora Camp, by Andre Sellier. Ivan R. Dee, August 2003. $35

This book lies more on the helps-fill-in-our-knowledge rather than the change-how-we-look-at-things end of the now-vast Holocaust scholarship. The author, later a historian and French diplomat, was an inmate of the camp which housed much of the research and production of the Germans' V-2 rockets during the Second World War. In an echo of more recent events, the Western Allies had bombed the known sites of German rocket research, prompting the Nazis to disperse and especially to bury their facilities. To do this, they used forced labor by Russian, Polish, and other prisoners of war and by Jews to build the vast underground Dora facility, in which Wernher von Brauns team, among others, operated. Sellier describes the literally killing conditions of this labor. Daily life included rampant lice, dysentery, gnawing hunger, and terrifying death rates, especially in some tasks. …

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