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My Dad was conscripted labor at Messerschmit, curious ...

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My Dad was conscripted labor at Messerschmit, curious ...

Old 17th Dec 2020, 19:33
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My Dad was conscripted labor at Messerschmit, curious ...

Growing up my Dad (now deceased) told me how as a young Ukrainian he was conscripted to work at Messerschmitt. He would have been about 16-18 at the time. His job was to put wires in the wings for the machine guns.
Ok cool story. The quotes are as close as I can remember.

But recently I read a book on the Me 163. A bunch of his talking points came back:
- He was driven by "the factory owner/supervisor" past a parked aircraft "that had a big hole for an engine" surrounded by "a circle of angry looking soldiers". He immediately identified the Me 163 from aircraft photo book.
- He was taken at least twice by "the factory owner/supervisor" to other plants to observe.
- He experience at least to plant bombings.
- "I sat under the grapes and ate them while the factory was bombed" "I saw the face of the pilot clearly in the cockpit as the plane zoomed over a hay bale (in route to the factory)"
- "The owner/supervisor was glancing at his watch and insistant that they leave right now" Within minutes the facility was bombed.

So. Some interesting data points. Knowing my father he could befriend just about anyone. I *think* he said whoever this person was took a liking to him - I'd believe that.
What do any of you make of it? The only reason I brought it up now is "Who was driving my father pass a parked Me163?" This wasn't like driving past a random Me109 in some field. I didn't realize how limited the Me 163 deployment.


Any thoughts or experts on the topic appreciated. I do have his 3rd Reich passport still, in case there would be information on there.
FakePilot is offline  
Old 18th Dec 2020, 16:28
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You might find some helpful stuff in Frank Vann's 1993 biography of Willy Messerschmitt. I have it and have read it, but cannot remember what Frank wrote about the 163 except that he was clear to credit the design to Lippisch. Plenty of copies of that book on ABEbooks although those in the US seem very expensive.
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Old 18th Dec 2020, 17:43
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The early flight testing should have had happened at Rechlin and Peenemünde (Luftwaffe airfield) but there might be many facilities and separated sites to build parts elsewhere. Did your father have some very unusual qualification that made him especially valuable for aircraft equipping?

It was truly shameful how people were treated in some if not most german arms factories back then. Conscripts were sort of only slightly better off but they even forced concentration camp prisoners to slave labor like for V-2 production at Mittelwerke and Peenemünde. People got hanged or shot for nothing and SS who administered this received the slave labor payments.
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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 23:53
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Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
The early flight testing should have had happened at Rechlin and Peenemünde (Luftwaffe airfield) but there might be many facilities and separated sites to build parts elsewhere. Did your father have some very unusual qualification that made him especially valuable for aircraft equipping?

It was truly shameful how people were treated in some if not most german arms factories back then. Conscripts were sort of only slightly better off but they even forced concentration camp prisoners to slave labor like for V-2 production at Mittelwerke and Peenemünde. People got hanged or shot for nothing and SS who administered this received the slave labor payments.
Siemans had a radio factory in Ravensbruck womens concentration camp just north of Berlin, not too far from Sachenhausen. Companies like Bayer used concentraion camp prisoners to test new 'drugs' on, and Luftwaffe officers also used prisoners in experiment regarding cold and depressurisation and simulated high altitude flight.

Last edited by air pig; 3rd Jan 2021 at 13:46.
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Old 3rd Jan 2021, 10:32
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Luftwaffe officers also used prisoners in experiment regarding cold and depressurisation and simulated high altitude flight.
We would be shown the old German films as part of our training in the early sixties. Lots of people in striped suits keeling over.
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Old 3rd Jan 2021, 10:36
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You had mentioned flight tests this is why I mentioned flight test sites not excluding other places by doing so.
There were terrible tests done on prisoners back then including right at concentration camps like at Dachau.
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Old 3rd Jan 2021, 12:37
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France had a concentration camp near the Spanish border for refuges from Franco ....tug pilot at Montpellier club had his father shipped by Vichy french to pas de calais where he built blochauses as slave labour.
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