B24 bomber of the US Air Force fly over Linz works in toward the south; source: Lentia Publishing House (lentia-verlag.at)

Concentration camp prisoners repairing bomb damage in the works; source: History Club Stahl

Destruction and reconstruction

Area IV

The time from the first air raids in Austria until the liberation of Linz by the US army and ensuing reconstruction was a time of uncertainty and constant threat for the forced laborers. Not only did the working conditions become more harsh, but the danger of the air raids flown by the allies was much more of a threat. Liberation on 5 May 1945 did not put an end to the suffering of tens of thousands of people who waited as displaced persons for return transportation to their native lands. After they arrived home, many of them were labeled as collaborators with the enemy and pushed to fringes of society. Many forced laborers were not recognized as such until much later when documentation about their recollections and stories of suffering was published.

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