During the war thousands of workers were necessary for key construction and for the production in the ammunition factories. 17,500 people, women as well as men and even children, from 20 different countries were deported to work in Allendorf. 6,500 of them were prisoners of war, 600 were civilian prisoners, and 1,000 women were concentration camp inmates.
Civilians from North- and West-Europe, such as Italiens, Polish, and people from Soviet Russia, prisoners of war from France and Serbia, civilian prisoners from Poland, Belgium and Germany, as well as Hungarian Jewish women had to live in a very confined space in camps in and Around Allendorf.
The forced laborers were housed in 10 camps and 6 colonies. The wooden barracks of the camps were especially overcrowded, offered no shelter from the cold outside, and the hygenic conditions were appalling. Strenuous and unhealthy working conditions, malnutrition and in some cases ill-treatment determined their everyday life.