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This article is about the German town. For the Nazi camp, see Ohrdruf concentration camp.
Railway station
Railway station
Coat of arms of Ohrdruf
Coat of arms
Ohrdruf   is located in Germany
Coordinates: 50°49′41″N 10°43′58″E / 50.82806°N 10.73278°E / 50.82806; 10.73278Coordinates: 50°49′41″N 10°43′58″E / 50.82806°N 10.73278°E / 50.82806; 10.73278
Country Germany
State Thuringia
District Gotha
 • Mayor Marion Hopf
 • Total 39.75 km2 (15.35 sq mi)
Elevation 375 m (1,230 ft)
Population (2012-12-31)[1]
 • Total 5,466
 • Density 140/km2 (360/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 99885
Dialling codes 03624
Vehicle registration GTH
Website www.ohrdruf.de

Ohrdruf is a small town in the German federal state of Thuringia. It lies some 30 km southwest of Erfurt.

Medieval settling[edit]

Ohrdruf was founded in 724–726 by Saint Boniface, as the site of the first monastery in Thuringia, dedicated to Saint Michael. It was the first of several religious foundations in the town, the latest of which is the Carmelite monastery Karmel St. Elija (founded 1991).

Johann Sebastian Bach[edit]

In 1695 the orphaned Johann Sebastian Bach came to live and work at the Michaeliskirche (St Michael's church) here, under the care of his older brother Johann Christoph Bach (1671–1721). He lived in Ohrdruf from the ages of 10 to 15.

Ohrdruf toy manufacture[edit]

In the 1800s the town became a centre of toy manufacturing. The Kewpie doll was produced here from 1913. You can still find some of the old molds included in the facades of Ohrdruf buildings.

Ohrdruf Town Hall

Nazi rule[edit]

The Ohrdruf concentration camp located here was the first Nazi concentration camp to be liberated by the American Army, on 4 April 1945.

According to a book written by the German historian Rainer Karlsch and published in 2005, Ohrdruf was one of two locations where the Nazi Diebner's team has tested its nuclear energy project. During this process, according to Karlsch, prisoners of war were killed under the supervision of the SS. This claim is not universally accepted, yet, some findings near the town support it: signs of large excavations and blocked tunnels in the nearby Jonas Valley. The remains are located right behind one of the hills next to Ohrdurf, at about the same elevation as the town, which can suggest more tunnels exits at the town side too.

It could be the same site, where the Nazis constructed at the end of World War II, with the help of slave labour, the S III Führer Headquarters, a massive underground complex of long tunnels. This was reputedly to have been a centre for a final stand against the Allies, after a retreat from Berlin. This plan did not come to fruition.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]