Vermouth and Cigars with the Forced Labour Manager

Even in the final months of the war, the Nazis continued planning the deployment of concentration camp inmates to the rocket assembly effort. High-ranking guests from the SS and the ministries gathered in Nordhausen for meetings distinguished by the ample consumption of alcohol and tobacco.

On 20 January 1945, Albin Sawatzki – the manager of the underground rocket factory – received ten “gentlemen from the ministry in Berlin”. In addition to chicken and vegetables, they were served five bottles of wine, six bottles of Vermouth and five bottles of hard liquor along with 90 cigarettes and 50 cigars.

As a concentration camp forced labour manager, the young engineer Sawatzki had a remarkable career to show for himself. In the summer of 1943, he took charge of planning the serial production of the V2 rocket in Peenemünde. After the aerial attack there, he accompanied the operations to Nordhausen, where he was responsible for the deployment of concentration camp inmates.

(Karsten Uhl)

Source: A list of the items issued from special storage starting 1 January 1945 (Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp Memorial)

Reference: Jens-Christian Wagner (ed.), Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp 1943–1945: Companion Volume to the Permanent Exhibition at the Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp Memorial, Göttingen 2011.