- Operation Todt
- Its founder, Dr. Fritz Todt (1891–1942), in 1938 organized large-scale construction work in the military and armaments industries. Todt became minister for armaments and munitions in March 1940, and during the war, the Todt organization was active in occupied countries using foreign workers as well as Jews as slave laborers. Todt was killed in an accident in February 1942 and was succeeded by Albert Speer (1943–1945) as head of the Todt organization. In 1944, the number of Organization Todt employees numbered 1,360,000, including about a million foreign workers, prisoners of war, and about 20,000 concentration camp prisoners. Organization Todt’s best-known endeavor was the construction of a cavernous underground factory, cut out of solid rock. Prisoners from the Dora-Mittelbau concentration camp, located near Nordhausen, were put to work excavating tunnels that were to serve as the site for the building of the V-2 rockets. The conditions were deplorable, with more than 10,000 prisoners being forced to live in the tunnels under unbearable conditions. The Jews who were brought to DoraMittelbau were treated with great brutality, and their mortality rate was higher than that of the non-Jewish workers.
Historical dictionary of the Holocaust. Jack R. Fischel. 2014.