South Korean Conducts Research for Final School Paper
In preparation of his final school paper casting light on the historical background of the move project of the Genshagen Daimler motor works called “Goldfish, Obrigheim”, Robin Lee has spent three days at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen and looked through its archives. “Primarily focussing on the facts, on the project story in itself, I have to try ‘blending out’ the many personal fates of the people affected by it“, so 17-year-old Lee.
Developing and producing military vehicles, tanks, ship and aircraft motors in various locations, Daimler-Benz had been part and parcel of the pre-war and war-time armaments program of the Nazi régime. “Plans had been made to move the motor works from Berlin Genshagen to two former hard plaster galleries in the surroundings of Obrigheim“, relates Lee. “The reason of this costly move was the air bombing of the works producing basic aircraft motor types used to rehabilitate the air force.” Apart from civilian and specialized workers, it was mainly concentration camp inmates detained in labour camp Neckarbischofsheim, a subsidiary of Concentration Camp Natzweiler, who were recruited to do the job. “The operation was given the cover name “Goldfish, Obrigheim””, knows Lee.
In the ITS archive, the pupil examines e.g. statements by witnesses and a report on the visit the Foreign Office/British Intelligence Objectives Sub-Committee, London, paid to the Daimler-Benz AG in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim in 1946/1947. He derives most benefit from the ITS library that holds about 4,500 books. “Investigating my subject, I come to think of questions such as: Which were the Daimler Benz company’s motives for exploiting concentration camp prisoners to build up its empire?” so Lee. “Or: Did the company’s decision to invest in a project of this size turn out successful?”
Born in Germany, Lee has attended an International School in Seoul, South Korea, for seven years. His enthusiasm for history in general and for the Second World War era in particular predetermined the subject of his paper.