sobota, 02 sierpnia 2008
and the forced laborers who were deported to the factories of the REIMAHG. The dissertation is part of a historical project


----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, August 01, 2008 4:03 PM
Subject: Re: Slovakian Prisoners of War at Kahla/ Kleindembach, Germany

Dear Mr. Bartuschka
Thanks for Your letter. I am very sorry but main subject of our Organization are only things victims of communist regime and specially victims of Stalinists terror - system Gulag. That’s the reason because we have not any documents about REIMAHG.
I sent your letter to my friend in Pollen Mr. Stefan Kosiewsky, he lives in Frankfurt and publicized Magazine SOWA, and perhaps he can help you. There are some organizations in Slovakia such as Slovenský zväz protifašistických bojovníkov, which can help you.
I send the enclosure -address this organization. (File word)
With best regard
Frank Bednar
Chairman of  
World association of former political prisoners
Marc Bartuschka  wrote / napísal(a):
Dear Mrs.
Dear Mr.

I am greeting You. I write to You because I want to ask for help from Your organization. My name is Marc Bartuschka. I am a historian (Magister Artium) at the University Friedrich-Schiller, Jena, in Germany.
I am working now on my dissertation about the fascist aircraft-factory-group “Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring” (REIMAHG) and the forced laborers who were deported to the factories of the REIMAHG. The dissertation is part of a historical project, supported by the cultural ministry of Thuringia. My doctor-father is Prof. Dr. Jürgen John from the university Jena. I am also working in close connection to the memorials of Buchenwald and Dora-Mittelbau. My final goal is a scientific examination about the REIMAHG and especially her victims, the forced laborers. I am also interested in questions about the German culprits and the structures that created the REIMAHG.

My topic makes it necessary to search after information about the Slovak National Uprising 1944, and this make it necessary to contact You, because I have heard You may have information which are important for me. I was informed during my research, that Your organization may have information which could help me. Please let me short explain what the subject of my search is.

The REIMAHG was a group of planed factories with a main factory at Kahla and minor factories at Krölpa and Kamsdorf, all in Thuringia, German. The group was created in the beginning of 1944 with the final target to produce large numbers of jetfighters in the underground. All the factories of the REIMAHG were created by forced labor. Only Kahla was half complete when the war was over, the minor factories did not start with production. At Kahla, some 20 jetfighters were created and lifted off. The major backbone of the new factory-group was the semi-state “Wilhelm Gustloff Foundation”, a huge group of weapons and ammunition factories. Leader of the foundation was the Gauleiter of Thuringia, Fritz Sauckel. He was also “Generalbevollmächtigter für den Reichsarbeitseinsatz”, and in this position the man who organized the deportation of millions of forced workers into Germany.
Up to 15.000 foreign forced laborers had to work for the REIMAHG, around 12.-13.000 at Kahla. German prisoners had to work in small numbers at Kahla too. It is confirmed, that at Kahla around 1.000 of the foreign forced laborers died because of hard work, disease or brutal force. The real numbers of fatalities seem to be much higher, but is not clear (some speculations speak of up to 5 or 6.000 fatalities, others of between 2.000 and 2.800). The numbers of killed people at the minor factories seem to be smaller, but also there several of the forced laborers (mainly people from Poland and the Soviet Union) died.

I want to ask You if You perhaps can help me, because there were also Slovak Prisoners of War as forced workers near Kahla. After The Slovak National Uprising, the Germans deported around 1.300 to 1.400 Slovak Prisoners of War as forced laborers to Kahla. Most of them were located at the so called “Kriegsgefangenenlager Kleindembach” (POW-Camp Kleindembach), which was, according to the Museum of the Slovak National Uprising a part of Stalag (Stammlager) VIII A. In contrast to this information, I was informed from the Slovakian Ministry of Defense, that the camp was part of Stalag IC C Bad Sulza, a main POW-Camp in Thuringia with many smaller external camps on places were prisoners were forced to work. This seem to be correct, because there were smaller camps of this Stalag in the region even before the creation of the REIMAHG (for example for French Prisoners).
Kleindembach himself was a small village near Kahla. The Slovaks stayed at Kahla only a short time, from late 1944 to mid-April 1945, when the camps were liberated by the Americans. But as far as it is known, they suffered very much under the cruel conditions and were treated in a very inhuman way by the watchmen. It is confirmed that in this few months between 120 and 150 Slovaks died, one report to the Slovakian Ministry of Defense but the number even as high as over 170. Most of the victims died because of diseases and hunger, but some were even killed by force. The real number of Slovak victims may be even much higher, but it is difficult to confirm definite numbers. Many of the killed people were not reported with nationality, and many seem not to be reported at all. Also the Germans drive many of the prisoners – and the Slovaks were among them – out of the camps short before liberation, and it is reported, that the watchmen murdered during this “evacuation”-mar
ches people who can’t walk further.
A lot of material and documents about the REIMAHG, the camps and the prisoners was destroyed at the end or after the war. It is difficult for me to find the necessary information.
The life and the death of the forced workers is a very important aspect in the history of the REIMAHG – I think the most important. So information about their daily life, their origin and their fate are very important for my study. I want to show a complete picture about their daily life, how they lived so near to death, how they realized their fate and how they survived. Of course I am hoping to find in this way also information about the people who were killed at Kahla. My interest touches questions about housing, clothing and food. I am interested to know how the German and foreign watchmen and the other people from the staff of the camps act, and how the civilians act.
Until now, there is so far as I know no comprehensive publication about the REIMAHG and the different groups of victims. The modern German and English publications did not pay so much attention about the forced workers, what is, in my eyes, a deficit.

Because of that I want to ask You, if Your organization could perhaps help me. So I want to ask You if You could tell me, if You have information about the POW-Camp Kleindembach/ Stalag VIII A or IX C Bad Sulza or about Slovak forced workers for the REIMAHG/ Kahla. Or perhaps You could tell me, who may could help me further. I want also ask You, if You could perhaps tell me, which historian maybe could know more about this subject. Did You know if there are any publications that may help me? It would be very kind if You could help me with some information or with contact to people who examine the fate of the forced workers at the REIMAHG. Do You know if there are memories (published or not) of former Prisoners who could perhaps give me information? Such memories or reports would be very, very important for me, because until now very few is known about their daily life. Did Your organization perhaps own memories or reports from survivors? Would it be possible to get copies of
 such material? Such information would be very interesting for me.
Also I would be interested in any list or documents about the prisoners, the fatalities and the survivors, because it is hard to find information about them in Germany.

But also a main question is, if Your organization could help me to contact people who survived Kahla. Until now I was not able to contact an association of former Slovakian Prisoners of War/ Forced Workers. But I was told that You are the right address for my research and that You may have contact with Slovakian survivers.

I was so happy that I could sent some questions to some other former victims of the REIMAHG, people from Belarus, Belgium, Italy, Poland, and the Ukraine. It would help me very much if I would able to contact also Slovakian survivors to examine the fate of this group of (in Germany) almost forgotten victims of fascism.

I would be very glad if You could find the time to send me an answer. If there is the possibility to find information, please tell me, so that I could discuss further steps. Of course I would quote any information with the source, and I would never hide how much You help me. If the search after information cause costs for You (for copies, postage or so on) I of course could compensate that in necessary.

It would be very kind if You could find the time to answer me. I am sorry that I did not speak Your language, so I write in English and German.
You could contact me via e-mail

My address is: Marc Bartuschka
Theobald-Renner-Straße 36
07747 Jena

With the best wishes and kindly regards

(Marc Bartuschka) Jena, 30.07.2008
00:56, kultur , REIMAHG
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