John Pope - The Nordhausen rocket plant

Running time
2 min 52 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


He questioned us for awhile and Tom Cummings spoke quite fluent German and that helped, you know, which quite impressed with him, the Gestapo chappy, and he was most interested in the fact that we were Australians and what we were doing over there fighting the Germans who had done them no harm.

Anyway they chatted away for quite awhile and I think the fact that we were Australians and that Tom could converse in his own language, they sent us down into the dungeons, in the cells underneath Gestapo headquarters and the next thing we knew was there was tramp, tramp, tramp along the corridor and they came to our cell door and gave us some beautiful soup and we thought it was a firing squad coming along to get us so we were very hungry in and enjoyed the soup but, you know, we thought the last meal for a condemned man before they did the job, then they went away and then another chap came along the corridor and they took us to an underground factory and it was V1 and V2 firing, assembly and firing place at Nordhausen.

They didn't have anywhere else to put us immediately so we had a couple of days, actually a lot of the Germans, military personnel had civilian clothes on and they knew they had lost the war and had very little chance. One of them gave Tom Cummings a note saying, you know, when you get back to your own lines would you say that we here did everything we could to make things comfortable for you.

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