American soldiers standing in front of the corpses of murdered inmates on the roll call square of the north camp. Some of the inmates from the camp infirmary still had their eating utensils in their hands, April 6, 1945. Photo: ACME Newspictures. National Archives Washington

It was not until November 1944 that the subcamp was established on the grounds of a military training area outside Ohrdruf. It consisted of a North and South Camp, later joined by a tent camp near Espenfeld and a camp in Crawinkel. It was built to accommodate inmates who were to perform forced labour in the SS construction projects. In this case the project was utterly ludicrous: in the very final days of the war, the concentration camp inmates were to build an underground bunker to serve as an alternative headquarters for the German Reich government. It was never completed.

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