from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
German underground armaments factory, around 1942/1944
Access to the former U-relocation Kauz in the 722 m long snow tunnel on the Hattingen – Wuppertal railway line

U-Verlagerung ( underground relocation ) refers to a large number of German armaments production plants that were relocated underground during the Second World War .


After the German arms factories in Peenemünde were badly damaged by the British Operation Hydra , the Nazi government decided to relocate factories that were important for the war effort underground . The companies found their place primarily in old mines , railway tunnels or in newly constructed tunnels. In addition to the Hattingen-Wuppertal connection shown, the nearby Witten – Schwelm railway line was also affected: Here, Silscheder Tunnel, Klosterholz Tunnel, Schwelmer Tunnel and Linderhauser Tunnel were used under the cover names “Buchfink”, “Goldammer” and “Meise” (the latter refers to the parallel location on both the Schwelmer and Linderhauser tunnels) for armaments in which forced laborers had to manufacture weapons. The large demand for labor in the underground relocations was covered by forced labor and the use of concentration camp prisoners in newly built concentration camps . The largest of the camps built especially for the U relocation was the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp , whose prisoners were deployed in the tunnel in Kohnstein near Nordhausen .

In particular, the production of synthetic gasoline was moved underground in the so-called Geilenberg program . The program was named after Edmund Geilenberg , the General Commissioner for Emergency Measures at the Reich Ministry for Armaments and War Production .

Under the direction of the Jägerstab , the German aircraft industry was decentralized and relocated to underground development and production facilities. This also included the armaments bunker with the code name Weingut I near Mühldorf am Inn.

There was also a second tube at the Freienseener tunnel in Hesse, which should include such a project. A cover name was not used here.


By relocating armaments industries (underground) to the west, many of the factories in the east of the Reich were able to escape the Red Army and the Soviet occupation zone and thus continue their production after the end of the war. The expected total collapse of the attacked arms factories could not be achieved by the Allies. One of the main reasons was that although the air strikes caused severe damage to buildings, the machines themselves suffered far less damage. They could therefore often be salvaged and relocated. This survival of the machines is an important prerequisite for the economic miracle that began in the post-war period.


See also


Today's interior of the former U-relocation Kauz . A row of steel girders, which have meanwhile been separated again, can be seen, with the help of which a crane runway with a trolley was pulled into the tunnel.
  • Hans Walther Wichert (Ed.): List of code names of German underground buildings, submarine bunkers, oil systems, chemical systems and WiFi systems from the Second World War. 2nd Edition. Schulte, Marsberg 1999, ISBN 3-9803271-4-0 .
  • Klaus W. Müller, Willy Schilling: alias salmon. The history of the underground production of the Me 262 in Walpersberg near Kahla 1944/45. 4th edition. Jung, Zella-Mehlis / Meiningen 2002, ISBN 3-930588-30-7 .
  • Frederic Gümmer: The role of underground relocation in German arms production 1943–1945. GRIN-Verlag, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-638-92393-4 .
  • Horst Hassel, Horst Klötzer: No jet fuel from Schwalbe 1. Zimmermann Druck + Verlag, Balve 2011, ISBN 978-3-89053-127-4 .

Web links

Commons : Underground Relocation  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Jens-Christian Wagner: Production of Death - The Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp . Ed .: Jens Christian Wagner. 1st edition. Wallstein, Göttingen 2001, ISBN 3-89244-439-0 , p. 116-118 .
  2. ^ A b Perz, Bertrand: The "Quarz" project: The construction of an underground factory by inmates of the Melk concentration camp for the Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG 1944-1945 . 2nd Edition. Innsbruck 2014, ISBN 978-3-7065-4185-5 , pp. 140-173 .