Walter Paul was there when the clearance of the “Heinrich Kalb” subcamp in shaft III of the Heiligenroda potash mine got underway on this day: “There was already a group of inmates standing in the completely deserted mine yard. Their hollow-cheeked faces had taken on a waxy-pale hue from months of working underground. Fear of the unknown still flickered in their deep-set eyes. […] Every few minutes, a new troop left the pit cage and joined them.”
For weeks, 500 Buchenwald concentration camp inmates had been preparing production halls for BMW deep underground, sleeping and starving in the salt mines. The death march to Buchenwald took a week. The SS murdered those who lagged behind, for example the political inmate Dr. Hans Münter. Having got caught in the clutches of the Gestapo for his critical attitude towards the regime, Münter had been in Buchenwald for more than a year. He was shot to death near Branchewinda outside Arnstadt. His corpse was later identified and buried.
Source: Udo Dietmar [Walter Paul], Häftling X in der Hölle auf Erden!, Weimar 1946.
References: Frank Baranowski, Rüstungsproduktion in der Mitte Deutschlands von 1929 bis 1945 – Südniedersachsen mit Braunschweiger Land sowie Nordthüringen einschließlich des Südharzes: Eine vergleichende Betrachtung des zeitlich versetzten Aufbaus zweier Rüstungszentren, Bad Langensalza 2017.
Katrin Greiser, Thüringen 1945 – Todesmärsche aus Buchenwald: Überblick, Namen, Orte, Weimar 2001.