The historical guide uses exemplary places to show the National Socialist infiltration of political and cultural life and the history of persecution, resistance and forced labour in Nordhausen.

In the previously liberal city of Nordhausen, the NSDAP received the majority of votes in the Reichstag elections of July 1932. Soon after Adolf Hitler's appointment as Reich Chancellor on 30 January 1933, the NSDAP took power at local level as well. The National Socialists established a political system according to their own ideas, which pervaded all areas of the German society. Only a few people in Nordhausen opposed this. Many were persecuted, marginalised from the National Socialist "Volksgemeinschaft" and later murdered.

From the beginning of the war, forced labourers were part of the town's everyday life. Almost all Nordhausen companies, from craft businesses to the traditional chewing tobacco industry, profited from the forced labour of foreign men, women and children. With the relocation of rocket and aircraft armaments to tunnels around Nordhausen, the southern Harz region also developed into an armaments centre in the last year of the war. Tens of thousands of concentration camp inmates, foreign civilian workers and prisoners of war were forced to work here.

Regine Heubaum, Jens-Christian Wagner, Georg Wamhof

Texts & research:
Sarah Frenking, Regine Heubaum, Nina Reip, Carolin Roth, Jens-Christian Wagner, Georg Wamhof

Sebastian Hammer

Thanks for advice and help with research go to Inge Ernesti, Herbert Gerhardt, Hans-Jürgen Grönke, Reinhard Gündel, Rainer Hellberg, Christian Henschke, Thomas Kopf and the City of Nordhausen.