"Goldfish" Room

Hidden History

The displacement of the Daimler-Benz Engine Plants Genshagen/Ludwigsfelde (Brandenburg) to the Neckar was a secret military project,  known under the code name "Goldfish". This underground factory was not only the physical centre of the Neckar Camp: for without the presence of the factory, the region would probably never have had any concentration camps

 

The "Goldfish" Room´s design alludes to the long hidden history of this project. It is relatively dark, because the windows have been bricked up, voices sound hollow. A large photo of the gallery gives one the impression of being lured into the mountain.


A Room Divided in Two

Foto: Peter Lahr

An implied train track on the floor, divides the room into two uneven halves. The smaller section  is dedicated to the strenuous, arduous work of the concentration camp prisoners, and is made even clearer through symbolic objects in the glass cases, tools, and in the recreated outline of the transport-trolley. Drawings, as well as an aerial photo show the dangerous route from the camp to the gallery.

 

On the other side of the tracks, one can find the high-tech area of the engine production. An original Daimler-Benz engine from the 1940´s, gives one an idea of what the "Goldfish" project produced: Engine parts for tactical aircrafts. This work was not done by the concentration camp prisoners, but by "loyal followers" of Daimler-Benz. This term encompasses both the (few) German long time employees, as well as the "external" or forced labourers.

 

Both sections of the Goldfish-workers, concentration camp prisoners and "loyal followers", amounted to approximately 5,000 people. The treatment and nutrition of both groups were different; that is why the photos and the objects are presented in "two distinct kitchens" facing each other.

"Goldfish" - An Enormous Project

One of the walls on the narrow side of the "Goldfish" Room is wallpapered with a register of the machines from the gallery. Large format black and white photos from 1945 give an impression of the magnitude of this underground factory. Setting up, and operating this factory, meant that all those involved faced enormous physical exertion. In addition, for those slave workers without rights, it was a deadly danger.

 

The relocation of the mechanical engine fabrication from the Daimler Factory Genshagen to Obrigheim was the second largest relocation project of the Third Reich. "Goldfish" had a lot more than just local importance. More information can be found in the drawers on the long wall.