Dynamit Nobel A.G.
Near the towns of Ludwikowice Kłodzkie and Miłków in Poland lie the remains of the Dynamit Nobel A.G. plant. In German times these towns were named Ludwigsdorf and Mölke. The Dynamit Nobel factory, situated in the Owl Mountains in Poland, manufactured ammunition and chemicals for the German armed forces. Employees came from a sub camp nearby, they were send in from the notorious concentration camp Gross Rosen, this satellite camp was located near Ludwigsdorf. Two thousand forced labourers with different nationalities worked in the ammunition factory. The site was situated in the vicinity of coal mines and could generate its own energy.
Alfred Nobel and his brothers Emil started the Nobel company in 1865 in Hamburg and used the name, Alfred Nobel & Co. Over time they started plants in America, Scotland and France. The company merged with German (I.G. Farben), Swiss and Italian companies which resulted in the name Dynamite Nobel AG.
Alfred Nobel, a born Swede, invented dynamite and holds the patent from 1865, he also invented blasting gelatine named Gelignite. In later years Alfred Nobel set up the Nobel Prize for peace, chemistry, literature, physics, medicine and Physiology.
Ammunition, Chemicals and Project Riese
The plant near Mölke has its own railway yard for transport of materials to the plant and for transport of ammunition and chemicals from the plant. In earlier days it started out as a coalmine named ‘Gewerkschaft Consolidirte Wenzeslausgrube’ or Union of the collective Wenzeslaus quarry. If you do some research you will notice that the name Wenzeslaus is written with a ‘z’ and on other occasions with a ‘c’. On the same location the Elektrizitätswerk Schlesien build a power plant in 1909. Later on Dynamit Nobel started to manufacture ammunition and chemicals on this location. The region was German before the Second World War started on September the first in 1939 and in 1941 the plant was under command of the Wehrmacht, the regular German army.
It seems that Project Riese and the Mölke site are connected to each other, but the Dynamite Nobel A.G. does not have the tunnels and caves like the other locations. It could be that power generated on the Nobel plant was used to excavate the tunnels and was used to construct buildings and more. They definitely used the explosives of the Dynamite Nobel A.G. for tunnel construction.
In 1945 the plant and the complete area were occupied by the Russian army, the name Ludwigsdorf was changed in Ludwikowice Kłodzkie, Mölke was named Miłkó, and in 1946 the power plant stopped its activities. The base of a cooling tower is a lonely survivor near the entrance of the museum. In this period, 1946 -1947, the original German population were driven out of their homes when the region became Polish. Poland moved over about half of the total country suface towards Germany after Russia annexed the eastern part of Poland.
There is a museum on the former plant grounds which we were unable to visit, we arrived after closing hours but the manager gave us permission to walk around the area for a while. The buildings around the museum are not is the best shape, beware of pits, unstable walls loose rocks and other hazards.