The overall history of the shaft „Ludwigshall“ Wolkramshausen with the explosives disaster in the year 1942 with 145 Fatalities
At the 29. July 1942 occurred in the underground army ammunition facility Wolkramshausen near Nordhausen in 660 Meters deep, a major explosion, the least 145 most of the forced laborers there had lost their lives.
In the GDR era only very little information was available about this. Contemporary witnesses did not report; they would have voluntarily revealed it, that they once worked in a secret ammunition factory of the fascist armed forces, in which large-caliber projectile ammunition had been produced in large quantities, the soldiers and civilians of the victorious Allied powers had brought death.
The first, however, for the time being only known in the old federal states of the Federal Republic of Germany is a three-part publication "It happened on 29. July 1942 in Wolkramshausen“Is from the year 1982; but unfortunately without references. The author was Hugo Müller from the Association of German Fireworkers and Defense Technicians. 2015 managed, to purchase the three magazine originals from the archive of the Association of German Fireworks.
The previous publications by the military historian Frank Baranowski on this subject have been limited 1998 in the brochure "Arms projects in the Nordhausen region, Worbis and Heiligenstadt during the Nazi era“On four pages of text with a photo of an empty ammunition storage room and in the year 2000 in the brochure "The repressed past / Armaments projects and forced labor in Northern Thuringia“With partly repetitive information on four pages of text with two new underground photos. In his main publication "Arms production in central Germany 1929 – 1945“ from the year 2013 with 599 Frank Baranowski only briefly mentioned the explosion in the Wolkramshausen army ammunition facility without further background information. The focus of this very important work was on the presentation of new knowledge about other ammunition companies.
Insightful background information conveyed in part three 1998 Brief eyewitness reports published in public Thuringian media.
The gain in completely new information and previously unknown photographic material and documents in recent years was due to the following circumstances. On the one hand, during and after the memorial event on 29. July 2012 with more than 300 Participants witnessed and relatives of contemporary witnesses and on the other hand it was through the decision of the Thuringian State Mining Office, to open the closed Ludwigshall shaft again, to control the pit and then to keep the shaft permanently, became possible, 2012 to advance into the pit field, the area of the happenings of 1942 and to document for this elaboration. In the end it worked, by the scientific employee of the German Historical Institute Moscow, Dr. Matthias Uhl, four copies of original Soviet documents from the years 1945 and 1946 via Wolkramshausen and three other neighboring former army ammunition plants.
Ullrich Mallis, November 2017