“Recruited for Labour Off the Street”

The eighteen-year-old René d’Halluin of France died in the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp on 3 January 1945. His fate is paradigmatic of what many people suffered in German-occupied Europe: in June 1944, the young pharmacy assistant was “recruited for labour off the street” in France and deported to Germany.

D’Halluin was assigned to forced labour in Junkers company aircraft production in the Nordwerk, an underground factory near Nordhausen. Fearing for the wellbeing of his pregnant wife, he attempted to flee to France in July 1944.

He was quickly seized by the police. On 28 November, the Gestapo committed d’Halluin to the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp. Just days later, he was transferred to Ellrich-Juliushütte, a subcamp dreaded for its disastrous conditions. Like many of his fellow inmates, he took ill and died not long afterwards in the Dora infirmary.

(Karsten Uhl)

Reference: Jens-Christian Wagner, Ellrich 1944/45: Konzentrationslager und Zwangsarbeit in einer deutschen Kleinstadt, Göttingen 2009.