21Schmidt, Kranz & Co.

Ullrichstraße 3

Letter from the Nordhausen Labour Office to the company Schmidt, Kranz & Co. regarding the employment of pregnant forced labourers
Letter from the Nordhausen Labour Office to the company Schmidt, Kranz & Co. regarding the employment of pregnant forced labourers, 29 January 1945 (Stadtarchiv Nordhausen)

Schmidt, Kranz & Co. was one of the many German armaments companies that employed civilian forced labourers and concentration camp inmates during the Second World War. Founded in 1885, the Nordhausen based machine factory initially established itself as a supplier to the central German potash mining industry. From 1937, Schmidt, Kranz & Co. primarily manufactured fuses for artillery shells and later made parts for the V2 rockets.

To accommodate the forced labourers, the company maintained its own barracks camp on Van-der-Foehr-Damm opposite Nordhausen's municipal park. In 1944, 630 forced labourers had to live here, most of them from Poland and the occupied territories of the Soviet Union. From the beginning of 1944, company owner Karl Glinz also had an average of 100 to 150 concentration camp inmates from the Dora camp working for him.

After the war, the Glinz family moved to West Germany. In 1956, the company was re-established in Zorge, Lower Saxony. In the course of reunification in 1990, the company reacquired the former main factory in Nordhausen, which had been expropriated after 1945 and still partly utilises the old buildings today.