City Drops Plan to Put Migrants in Former Nazi Concentration Camp

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MAINZ, Germany — A German city on Monday abandoned plans to house undocumented migrants in an outpost of the Nazis' notorious Dachau concentration camp.

Up to 2,000 slave laborers stayed at the sub-camp under Adolf Hitler’s rule and were forced to work for German aircraft manufacturer Messerschmidt.

Officials in the southern city of Augsburg unveiled plans to house up to 90 migrants in a building known as "Hall 116," saying there is a lack of alternative space — but on Monday it said it would no longer consider the idea.

Munich’s Abendzeitung newspaper had described the idea as “incomprehensible.” It quoted Charlotte Knobloch, a Jewish community leader in Munich and upper Bavaria, as saying: “This action is completely out of the question, the end to the much-needed commemorative culture.”

Dr. Stefan Kiefer, Augsburg's social welfare officer, said in a statement that Hall 116 "will be discarded as a housing option.”

“Hall 116” was part of the U.S. military’s Sheridan Kaserne military hotel after World War II. American troops used it as a vehicle hangar.

Germany has been overwhelmed by an influx of people. According to U.N. figures, it received 109,600 applications for asylum in 2013 — the most of any country in the world. The city of Cologne spent almost $7 million to buy a four-star hotel last summer and is opening up its rooms to asylum seekers.

A woman walks through the main gate of the former Dachau concentration camp near Munich, Germany, on November 3, 2014.Michael Dalder / Reuters, file


- Andy Eckardt