Dynamite was invented in Geesthacht, and for a long time the town was regarded as Germany's "powder magazine". In this powder factory located in the sand mountains east of Hamburg, powder raw material from the nearby dynamite factory was processed into powder types and ballistically tested from 1935 to the beginning of April 1945. During the Second World War, as in the dynamite factory, foreign volunteers and forced laborers were used in addition to the German workforce.
In July 1871, Kaiser Wilhelm I donated the "Besenhorster Sandberge", a 20-
hectare hilly dune site, to Otto von Bismarck. The industrialist Max Duttenhofer built a powder factory on the leased land in 1876. In 1912, Bismarck sold the site to "Vereinigte Köln-Rottweiler Pulverfabriken AG", which had emerged from the Rottweil powder factory. After the First World War, this company (now operating under the name Köln-Rottweil AG) switched to peacetime production. The plant was taken over by IG Farbenindustrie in 1925, the workforce was laid off in 1932, and the site was sold to the "Gesellschaft zur Verwertung chemischer Erzeugnisse" in Berlin in 1934.
On January 1, 1935, "Dynamit AG" from Troisdorf took over the plant and began powder production. The plant with the old factory was expanded by 1942 to include the "Birke I, II, III and IV" operating sections and the Kringel operating section behind the Marsh Railway. Operations were discontinued after the bombing of April 7, 1945.
Great emphasis was placed on camouflaging the site by planting vegetation on the roofs. There were extensive secrecy regulations and security controls.
After the Second World War, production and storage buildings were blown up. The ruins are overgrown by the pine forest of the Besenhorster Sandberge and Elbsandwiesen, but are still partly visible and accessible. At the beginning of the 1970s, the Düneberg industrial and commercial area was built. Of the buildings of that time, a few residential buildings and a few manufacturing and storage buildings still exist today.
Visited: May 3, 2020
Location: Geesthacht, Germany
Status: Demolished, accessible
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