The early years of the Linz location under the name of “Reichswerke Hermann Göring AG, Berlin” are examined mindfully and comprehensively in an exhibit that is dedicated to forced laborers under the Nazi regime in Linz.
Starting in 1938, an iron and steel making plant was built in Linz and was gradually put into operation from 1941 onward. From the beginning on, “Reichswerke Hermann Göring” were an integral part of the National Socialist arms industry.
Many thousands of forced laborers (men, women, juveniles, and children), prisoners of war, and concentration camp inmates from more than 30 nations were used to build and operate the steel plant. The permanent exhibit at Group headquarters is dedicated to them and depicts the largely inhumane conditions under which the foundation of today’s Group that operates worldwide was created.
The people and their stories are the focus of the exhibit, and their life journey and their ordeal are presented in four areas that build upon each other. The victims of the NS forced labor system are given a voice in audio documents, with additional series of comprehensive explanations, visual materials, and multimedia stations. Around 38,000 personnel files and salary slips from the Linz operations of the Reichswerke Hermann Göring in the years 1938 to 1945 form the basis of this comprehensive exhibit. This was the largest post-war find of NS personnel and salary documents of a company.
voestalpine was the first company in Austria to engage with the subject of NS forced labor in a permanent exhibit and to make it accessible to the public.
On the occasion of the award of the Austrian Museum Seal of Approval, the original “Exhibit of Contemporary History 1938–1945” became the new Contemporary History MUSEUM. The new name better reflects the enduring character of the installation. voestalpine Stahlwelt is responsible for the operation of the permanent exhibit.