This abandoned ammunition plant in the East German state of Saxony-Anhalt was an army ammunition factory for the production of shells and chemical weapons during World War II. After the war, part of the facility was used as a Soviet military base, the other by an East German weapons company. With the German reunification, the military base closed and the chemical plant was transformed into an industrial park.
In October 1935, an army ammunition plant was built on 200 hectares. Initially, ammunition and cartridges for large-caliber guns were produced. The necessary explosives came from a nearby explosives factory.
In 1938, the plant was expanded to include a a filling plant and a bunker with eight tanks for about 8000 tons of liquid warfare agents. The factory then began producing chemical weapons in the form of grenades and aerial bombs. The warfare agents came mainly from the chemical company Orgacid. The ammunition factory continued to grow, and in February 1943 it employed 1150 people, including 300 forced laborers. It survived World War II unscathed and was occupied by the United States Army in April 1945.
The Americans captured chemical weapons production documents there before withdrawing in May of that year, and the Red Army occupied the site. By 1947, the chemicals found were filled into empty shell casings; these were transported by rail to the Baltic Sea, where they were dumped.
Some of the warfare agents were incinerated on site, and some were shipped to the Soviet Union.
The facilities were dismantled and transferred to the Soviet Union as well. The explosive bunkers were demolished. The labor force for the removal was mainly provided by former members of the ammunition factory.
From 1952 to 1956, the incineration of explosive ordnance from World War II found in all parts of the GDR took place here in a specially built incinerator.
Later, the Soviet Armed Forces Group in Germany used part of the site as a military base.
The part not affected by this, with the filling plant, was taken over by a newly founded chemical company, which was sarcastically called the "Pudding Factory". Weapons such as hand grenades, fuses and land mines were produced here, including the PPM-2 infantry mine and the infamous SM-70 spring-gun. Both weapons were used at the inner-German border.
After German reunification in 1990, the chemical plant was closed. In September 1992, the last Soviet soldiers left the military site.
Visited: November 26/27, 2019 and August 17, 2021
Location: Undisclosed, Germany
GALLERY UPDATE: Photos added taken on November 27, 2019