|Nazi pomp required an "eternal"
stone like granite and so the granite quarries in Flossenbuerg must have been an important
consideration in the decision to build a concentration camp there. Also crucial was the remote location of the village, its rail
connection and its proximity to Czechoslovakia, which had been defeated in 1938. As soon
as the construction of the camp was begun, prisoners started to work in the quarry for the
SS-run DEST, ("German Earth and Stonework Company"). From 1940 on this concern
recorded good profits, as the production reached 1200 cubic metres a month.
Hundreds of prisoners who had been trained as stone masons quarried the granite and worked it in large halls.
The forced labour in the quarry was heavy work. Transporting the stone to the road was especially dangerous. The prisoners had to run up the steps with the heavy loads and drag hundredweight-heavy granite stones on the run. Silicosis and collapse due to malnutrition frequently followed this form of torture.
Constructing the Camp:
|From 1942-43 the work squads concentrated more and more
on arms for the war effort. In the Flossenbuerg factory of the DEST the Messerschmitt
Company produced parts for the ME 109 fighter plane. In 1942, 800 prisoners worked in the
"Messerschmitt squad 2004" and by 1944 it had risen to 5000. In two shifts of 11
hours each they produced fuselages and wings for the ME 109 and dismantled planes that bad
been damaged. At the end of 1943 they began the assembly of fuselages and wings for the ME
The SS billed Messerschmitt for the prisoners' labour. From December 1943 to December 1944 this amounted to more than 3.3 million Reichmarks.