Basedon the victim report and the army report on the Dora facility, theconditions of the workplace were very bad. As a result, anybody wouldfind it difficult to work in the facility. This means that WernerVon Braun would find it difficult to work in the facility. In theMichelDepierre memoirs, the Dora facility is referred to as a cruel hell.SinceMichelDepierre was arrested by the German forces, he had undergone tortureand forced labor but that was nothing compared to the experiences atthe Dora facility. Michel Depierre states that while they were beingtransported towards the Scandinavian border through train, he wasdepressed when he learnt that they were being taken to the Dorafacility. This is due to the conditions of the underground facilitywhich they believed one could only come out of it when dead. Theprisoners of war were forced to work for long hours, 12 hours perday. This was torturing considering that they were not adequatelynourished and were required to carry heavy equipments and tools intothe underground tunnels. In addition to inadequate food and hardlabor, prisoners of war worked in extreme weather with poor outfits.They were also tortured by the ex-criminals from jails who had beenreleased by the Germans after the war erupted. As a result of misery,mental distress and the conditions in the facility, Michel Depierrestates that his health declined rapidly (Depierre).
Dorafacility was mainly used by the Germans to manufacture the V1 and V2rockets used in the Second World War. According to the army report,the SS troops guarded facility had between seventy five and eightythousand prisoners of war working under forced labor. The guards andthe custodians of the facility completely disregarded the welfare ofthe prisoners of war. Drinking water was not available despite theworking conditions. The prisoners could only access water from leaksin the pipes while others were forced to drink their own urine.Numerous prisoners died as a result of starvation and dehydration.Despite the hard work they were expected to do, the laborers wereemaciated and there were piles of dead bodies as a result of one daydeaths. The sanitation was very poor such that deposits of humanfeces were found everywhere. This exposed the already weak prisonersto diseases. At the time the prisoners were rescued by the Americanforces, there were hundreds of bodies whose death was easily linkedto starvation due to the fact that the bodies were emaciated (Armyreport).
Inaddition to inadequate food, the diet available was poor. Thin soup,a small piece of bread and margarine and a slice of horse sausage waswhat was provided to the prisoners. In total, one man was providedwith at most 1100 calories per day resulting into starvation. Therewere no housing facilities, especially during the construction of theDora facilities and thus, the prisoners were forced to sleep in thetunnels for several months. Despite the harsh weather, the prisonershad poor clothing. The SS soldiers guarding the facility shot theprisoners due to weird reasons and execution was done without trial.It is estimated that thousands of prisoners died in the Dora facilitydue to the harsh conditions by the time they were rescued (Armyreport). As a result, I do not think WernerVon Braun could have been able work in the facility.
ArmyReport on the Dora facility,Partial Copy of Document 2222-PS, Headquarters 12th Army Group Officeof the Judge Advocate APO 655.
Depierre,M. Memoirof the Dora research facility and slave labor.