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Historians Just Found A Maze Of Secret Nazi Tunnels In Austria

When tourists visit St. Georgen an der Gusen in Austria, they might deem it a quaint, quiet town at first glance. Unfortunately, it hides a horrible secret—and guests would likely be shocked to learn that it was once the site of some terrible atrocities.
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Not many people actually know of this town’s extremely dark history, which is why filmmaker Andreas Sulzer decided to lead a team there to highlight its past. During World War II, thousands of Jewish people were systematically murdered in the town’s Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp.
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All of the prisoners at these camps were forced to partake in excruciating labor practices. This included having to build underground catacombs that made up the B8 Bergkristall weapons factory.
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Nowadays, a lone guard tower remains standing over the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp. It serves as a constant and stark reminder of what happens when humans reach the darkest depths of evil.
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While the subject matter is dark, it’s important that the grounds of this camp has been photographed in order to document its past. This is what the concentration camp looked like when the Allies liberated it in May of 1945.
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When it became clear that they were going to lose the war, the Nazis decided to build these tunnels. This was done in a desperate attempt to preserve their top-secret weapons factory that they didn’t want anyone—especially the Allied Forces—to know about.
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Andreas became interested in the camp after discovering a number of intriguing documents. While there were many, the one that captured his attention the most was a letter penned by Austrian philosopher Viktor Schauberger.
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Andreas discovered that this letter regarded secret research, conducted by Viktor, about “atom-smashing.” Additionally, there were some compelling documents from a high-ranking American agent that had been spying on the Schutzstaffel, or SS.
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Soon after, Andreas arrived with an excavation team to help him enter and explore the long-forgotten tunnels. After more than three years of excavation, his crew of historians and scientists found this Nazi helmet, covered in a layer of hardened mud.
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A high-ranking Nazi officer named Hans Kammler was in charge of the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp, overseeing and officially approving the blueprints of each gas chamber. He even oversaw the prisoners’ work on Messerschmitt ME 262, the first jet engine-powered airplane.
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According to Andreas and his crew, the SS Commander of Mauthausen-Gusen, Franz Ziereis (seen in the middle of the below photograph), likely oversaw the hiding of mass graves within the camp’s endless tunnels.
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On his death bed, Franz reportedly admitted that he was ordered to murder any and all of the prisoners who had worked on the secret Nazi designs in any way, shape, or form. This was to ensure that they would not let their secret out.
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Meanwhile, with its long and winding tunnels extending upwards of 75 acres, this factory was enormous, to say the least. For this reason, Andreas’ crew needed ground-penetrating radar just to measure the massive size of the entire facility.
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As was the case with almost everything that they did during their reign, the Nazis took pride in the existence of this horrifying factory. It offered a sad glimpse into their existence and mission during World War II.
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Excavating the factory proved to be a task that was far more grueling than the crew originally anticipated. Andreas’ team eventually managed to break through the granite and concrete while utilizing various forms of heavy machinery.
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While there wasn’t much that indicated what the factory was used for, the crew was able to figure out how certain parts were utilized. Everything from weapons development to atomic bomb research took place in these cramped, dark tunnels.
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The crew also presumed that the corpses of the captives who were housed at the concentration camp—and who had been killed before the Allied liberation—may still be somewhere within these tunnels.
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The team also discovered that these dark tunnels were purposely built deep underground to not only prevent the facility from being discovered, but to shield it from bombings. Clearly, the design worked, as it is still in pristine condition.
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