By Gretchen E. Schafft, Gerhard Zeidler
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Extra resources for Commemorating Hell: The Public Memory of Mittelbau-Dora
This decision indicates the importance that Britain assigned to protecting its country from rocket attacks. In all, 596 planes, 4,241 men, and 1,924 tons of explosives were used; Britain lost 40 bombers. 17 The bombs also fell on the camp where thousands of prisoners were housed, and hundreds of them died. 18 The facilities for experimental research and production were somewhat damaged, and the staff painted the roofs to make them appear even more destroyed than they were. Von Braun and most of the technical staff continued to work in Peenemünde on improvements to the weapons.
People in these positions were responsible for the orderly running of the camp, and besides staying indoors for much of the time, they had the possibility of supplying themselves with food and clothing that were not available to others. They had many more opportunities for communication, often within a larger area of the camp. Prisoners who identified a skill upon entering camp and registering were more valued and were sometimes able to get work assignments that could prolong life and health. Building skills were needed in the beginning of each camp.
Sabotage and organizing among prisoners were always hopes among political prisoners, and many reports of prisoners gathered by those interested in survivors relate such acts. 39 In Mittelbau-Dora, as opposed to Buchenwald, for example, the degree of organization was very limited, most likely. It is known that one resistance group existed in the infirmary led by Jan Čespiva, a Czechoslovakian doctor. That Albert Kuntz was active in such organization is the deeply held belief of many who held him in high esteem, and the strongest documentation is the fact that he was arrested in the final days of the camp for organizing sabotage, tortured, and murdered.
Commemorating Hell: The Public Memory of Mittelbau-Dora by Gretchen E. Schafft, Gerhard Zeidler