Julius hut eventful fate of an oppressive place in the southern Harz

Gedenkstein Ellrich-Juliushütte

Few places in the southern Harz region were hit by turmoil such as Julius hut between 1944 and 1964. By those in power, this town was abused, bruised and obliterated.

Were at various points of Südharzer karst landscape in the last years of the war underground workshops for aircraft parts and built V-weapons, so in the throat at home Uftrungen, at Stempeda, Niedersachswerfen, Woffleben and Ellrich.

The largest facility of its kind that was approximately 40 km long tunnel system at the Kohnstein Niedersachswerfen, where about 35 000 The inmates In 1 and V 2 built.

The settlement was established with the gypsum quarries on the northern slope of Pontelberges. Nach Julius Bergmann, the founder of the gypsum plant was named the little-hectare site. Ellrich and between Julius hut was the Braunschweig-Prussian border and cottage belonged to Julius Walkenried.

Only, who may have been aware of the? The mile-wide forest roads to Walkenried were hardly used. The Julius Hutter felt to belong Ellrich. Ellrich had been at the pond to a concentration camp than a second to the hut in Julius 1. More 1944 was established. It was a Outdoor storage of Dora and was given the code name “Erich”. There should be one of the worst camps. Factory premises were used as a first home. Was initially slept on bare concrete. With the increase in the number of prisoners were gradually constructed wooden barracks surrounded by barbed wire and. As a result of the unrelenting influx prisoner had to guard facilities are frequently relocated and expanded.

Hardship and misery in a limited space. Hunger and disease, favored by pests, could increase the death rate dramatically. The local climatic conditions with up to be 20 Degrees in the winter 45 demanded additional toll on the battered and emaciated prisoners. A constant number of documents 8.000 People made the construction of a crematorium necessary. The capacity of that in the main camp Dora could not accommodate the many deaths from Ellrich. For this reason, smoldering for weeks, first the stake above the valley.

Alone at 18. and 19. March 45 were here 317 People burned. The outer bearing Erich was a death camp, cruel and feared his leadership! Especially camp commandant SS Captain Fritzsch, who boasted, killed thousands of prisoners in Auschwitz before hand to have. The slogan circulating among the new arrivals had validity: “Mate, anywhere you have a chance to survive; But if you come to Ellrich, so there is no escape.”

Tunnel nach EllrichMarch 1945, It distinguished itself from the turn of the war, how long? Each of the prisoners tried to keep your strength up. Only now do not limp! When the camp was evacuated in April, was the hope for the road with the death march, disappeared and the guards. The constant threat, to disappear, even behind the fence, Hütter had Julius residents, the few remaining and forcing laid silenced. Now they had and also the opportunity Ellricher, to enter the concentration camp. There was horror and dismay at the, what was happening on their doorstep. Unanimously reported on swarms of fleas, Dirt, Stink – and bodies. Despite everything, went to the civilian population's life.

In a lot of time to think was not well. Front and the bomb attacks were getting closer. The South Harz was to 11. April by the U.S. Army occupied. The war was over. Refugees adrift before it went in early July, the Red Army in Ellrich. “One must not only protect the trees, not in one place, on the right 45 Years, no helping hand held out to the desperate”. This is the initiator of Ruth Monicke Walkenried reminded the 13. More 1990 in her opening speech for the memorial stone (see photo at the top) in the presence of many visitors from Ellrich, Walkenried and Europe.


Gypsum works by Julius hut 1900

1944/45, the terrible 2. World War II drew to a close. People, who lived near, looked stunned, what happened in concentration camps had.

The nightmare will change the uniform! Julius hut was hit again. The tug of war between East and West met Julius Hutter, who had previously lived under threat and requirements, particularly hard. The war was over, But the people did not come to rest. Refugees and border crossers changed the border day and night on the sly.

The barracks were used as shelters for the homeless. The railway was set, the border between East and West guarded, But even without a fence. Trains traveling in the West only to Walkenried. Arriving and departing trains were up to the last step and the last buffer space occupied.

A stream of people was on the road for years, a constant change across the border, looking for relatives, that were lost in the chaos of war, or only, get hold of a salt herring to the west. Slide and “Border leaders” mixed with.

Again played out by Julius hut indescribable scenes of suffering. Was robbed and plundered in the woods and had many a fortune here, if nothing worse happened to him. Was arrested at the border and shot, so many lost their lives. Before each murder and mayhem had to be afraid. In the lawlessness of the time had dark elements boom. Among others also drove the Mass murderer Rudolf Pleil here his macabre mischief. Also in the area of ​​the Kingdom of Heaven, He sought his victims among the commuters in the later so-called murder grove. The youngest, still unsolved murder case happened on Ascension 1996 again in the woods murder. It seems, a whiff of the uncanny remains of the cabin area to Julius.

Only with the rigorous tightening the border with East Germany, The construction of the meter-high perimeter fence and turned back to Julius hut rest. The wood flour mill again produced Trinks, a transformer station would provide the company with current, the road to be expanded Walkenried. R. Buzas supplied while the residents with the essentials in his grocery store, but the children had a long way to school. Jobs, it was only in the West, the daily journey was long and difficult. Little by little, leaving some residents Julius hut. 1955 the wood burned down to its factory Trinks foundations. In addition to buildings, some families lost their homes, before the fire reached the area inaccessible. It was quiet in the small settlement. More and more it was abandoned.

After withdrawal of Soviet troops, the East German government in the sight of the charred ruins and huts used for propaganda purposes. Busloads of day trippers from the hinterland were taken to Ellrich, to give them an insight into the “Golden West” to grant. Following the relocation of residents last year was Julius hut left to decay. The highest authorities decided to demolish; 1964 will be razed, blown up, erased leveled! Gradually it became the afforestation activity. Only the official border crossing point on the view Pontelberg had a look over at Ellrich. Julius hut was increasingly forgotten, the isolation imposed by the border contributed to this.

And the concentration camps? Has it forgotten in all the confusion? The time seemed favorable, perhaps, inglorious testimony was cleared with the same. A matter on record, it was still 1951, found as a border customs official in a depression in the skull and bones. The findings were clearly attributable to the concentration camp. Further inquiries were apparently made. Over the years the wooded area around Julius hut, It was designated a nature reserve. Only the small memorial stone reminds us of the concentration camps Ellrich. Those: Ruth Monicke


Mittelbau-Dora, near Nordhausen 1943-1945 An Overview,
Peter Kuhlbrodt, District Office Nordhausen, Cultural Affairs 1991, 20 Pages

Concentration Camp Correspondence digitized

On theWebsite http://concentratiekamp.startkabel.nl/ Esther Samuelsen about the Holocaust is a particularly extensive collection of links and information developed, I especially would like to recommend.

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