Dora : The Nazi Concentration Camp Where Space Techonology Was Born and 30,000 Prisoners Died by Jean Michel
Dora : The Nazi Concentration Camp Where Space Technology Was Born and 30,000 Prisoners Died by Jean Michel
Dora : The Nazi Concentration Camp Where Space Technology Was Born and 30,000 Prisoners Died by Jean Michel

Dora : The Nazi Concentration Camp Where Space Technology Was Born and 30,000 Prisoners Died by Jean Michel

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New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1980. First edition. Hardcover. 308 pages ; 21 cm. $12.95 dust jacket with a few rips around the dust jacket. Very good copy; no underlines or markings within the pages. Satisfaction guaranteed!


first-person account concentration camp that has remained virtually unknown—yet it is the place where the very foundations of the United States and Soviet space programs were laid. "Dora" was the strangely feminine name the Nazis gave to the camp that inmates and guards of Bergen-Belsen, Auschwitz, and Buchenwald regarded as the worst of all.

Jean Michel, a member of the French Resistance who survived Dora, tells the horrifying story that historians have avoided. Hidden rocket facilities were established at Dora to ensure secrecy after the Allied bombing of PeenemÜnde in 1943. Concentration camp inmates hacked tunnels by hand into the Harz Mountains to house the factories. Sixty thousand prisoners were shipped to Dora; thirty thousand died there while building the VI and v2 rockets. Brutality, torture, starvation, and arbitrary execution were commonplace.

In this personal account of his two nightmarish years at Dora, Jean Michel condemns the complicity of Wernher von Braun and other German scientists — and the expediency of the nations that adopted and lauded those scientists. But he does more than finally set history straight. He also describes in detail the daily network of resistance within the camp, the optimism and courage that kept the will to live alive— and which, finally, make Dora a testament to survival.

Jean Michel, one of the few hundred Frenchmen to have been awarded the American Medal of Freedom, lives in France.

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