The German Earth and Stone Works Ltd. (DEST ) was a company incorporated on April 29, 1938 Company of the SS, which was subordinate to the Reichsführer- SS Heinrich Himmler. The DEST set forth building material for example, feed- built with forced labor of concentration camp prisoners.


From about the year 1936 began Adolf Hitler, großangelegete guide built plan. These should be built not only in the capital Berlin, but also in other cities. For Hamburg, for example, the construction of a large bridge and a KDF - hotel and a 250 m high Gauhaus was planned. Hitler's favorite Albert Speer was responsible for the supervision of these government projects. The building materials should be produced by concentration camp inmates. The production was included in the Four Year Plan.

The early concentration camp the years 1933-1934 had served the imprisonment of political enemies. After the consolidation of the new government's new warehouse should serve an additional purpose. The labor participation of concentration camp prisoners in the planned lead- built meant a renewed increase in the power of Himmler. Himmler, the head of the SS concentration camp were under the left, build new concentration camp, whose situations are oriented respectively at suitable terrain.

The location of a concentration camp in Thuringia, which should be named Buchenwald later, the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps ( ICL ) chose not random. The ICL, which was subordinated to Himmler, commissioned on 24 April 1937, the Geological Institute Jena to make a terrain with Ziegellehm identify as concentration camp prisoners should produce bricks.


A year later, on 29 April 1938 the SS founded the German Earth and Stone Works GmbH. Oswald Pohl directed the DEST and was entrusted with the production of building materials. Spear granted the LEAST a loan of 9.5 million Reichsmarks. The loan should be paid off within 10 years by physical delivery of building materials. In the vicinity of Mauthausen and Flossenbürgs the DEST leased quarries, and the ICL was there to build concentration camps. In Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, and Neuengamme brick kilns were built.

The DEST entertained quarries, granite works, brick plants, gravel plants and construction works in the immediate vicinity of the camp. So the Flossenbürg (1938 ), Mauthausen (1938, granite), Gusen (1938, granite) and Auschwitz arose.

The Gross-Rosen camp, which was built in 1940 in Silesia, lying next to a quarry with premium granite on which Speer had special interest. Also Natzweiler was made in 1940 in the vicinity of a quarry, as Speer wanted to use those red granite.

Working conditions

The working conditions of the prisoners, who were driven to forced labor were catastrophic and guided by the principle of extermination through work.

As of 1943, the SS in these works was mainly input from the military production.

Work group St. Georgen / Gusen ( Mauthausen granite works )

Among the most important groups of works by DEST was the work group St. Georgen an der Gusen ( Mauthausen granite works ). This operation beside the quarries in the vicinity of the concentration camps Gusen and Mauthausen end of the war, under the code name B8 Rock Crystal, among others in St. Georgen an der Gusen also the largest underground production plant for Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter aircraft. We should also mention an extensive collaboration of the group of works of St. Georgen in the years 1943-1945 with the Steyr -Daimler -Puch AG.

The companies " Gusen ", " Kastenhof " and " Graben " were confiscated after the war with the Management Center in St. Georgen / Gusen as German property by the Soviet Union. During the operation " Graben " soon of the concentration camp Mauthausen memorial was slammed, the quarry operations in Gusen under the name " granite works Gusen " were further operated by the Soviet USIA as a Soviet state enterprise until 1955. Individual objects and properties that were not claimed by the Soviets were already in 1948 " reset " by Austrian courts. From 1955 the Republic of Austria finally stepped fully into the remaining former German property of DEST work group St. Georgen / Gusen. The used of the Republic of Austria " Public administration of the German Earth and Stone Works GmbH Berlin" existed until the late 1960s.