|Opened:||n/a||Demolished / Renovated:||n/a|
|Location Age:||n/a||Abandonment:||13 years|
|Current Status:||Being demolished or renovated|
|Location Genre:||Manufacturing Plant|
|Located In:||Hannover-Limmer, Niedersachsen Germany|
|Alternate Names:||Continental Limmer, Continental-Caoutchouc und Gutta-Percha Compagnie, Continental Gummi-Werke Aktiengesellschaft|
The camp commandant told skilled craftsmen and professionals like carpenters, doctors, sheet metal workers, tailors, etc., to come forward (Ben did not feel skilled enough to dare to volunteer). The rest of would work in the Continental Rubber factory located a short distance from the camp. A few days after arrival, they were awakened around 4:00 a.m. They were then marched to work like a parade with SS guards with rifles on both sides of the column. At the factory they were assigned to the tire-making department. The stronger prisoners were sent to the area where rubber and other resins were processed using heavy roller presses. The rubber was hot and heavy. The punishment for not working fast enough was severe.
Ben was assigned to a galvanizing department. The task was to load steel parts into large steel baskets and lower them by overhead hoist into hot acid tanks, remove them later, and transfer them to other tanks with chemical solutions. Ben worked with German civilians, all of whom wore protective clothing: special rubber aprons, rubber boots and gloves, facial protection against acid splatter and the harmful smelly vapors emanating from the acid tanks. No such protection was given to the prisoners. At this hazardous work, they wore the same striped prisoner pajama-type uniforms they had in Auschwitz. This was their only clothing; they wore it day and night and had no facilities for laundry.
Nighttime brought Allied bombers. One night, there was a direct hit on the factory. The slave laborers couldn't enter it until the debris was cleaned up by other prisoners. One morning Ben was assigned to a group of prisoners to clear bombed-out houses not far from our camp. Ben worked on that detail several times out in the cold and rain. In the ruins, he always looked for food. Sometimes he found some raw potatoes, stale bread, or other old rotten food.
Faces of Industry
Shot: June 2007
Posted: May 2009