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17 Feb, 2017 11:40

From Nazi labor camp to sausage factory: Austrian locals outraged by legal ruling

Plans to build a sausage factory on the site of a World War II Nazi camp has caused outrage in Austria. Locals had made legal arguments that permission had only ever been granted for the land to host a power plant.

The 25-acre (10 hectare) site in Haiming, near the city of Innsbruck, housed hundreds of prisoners forced by Nazis to build a planned hydroelectric power plant during the war.

The camp was demolished after the war and acquired by power company Tiwag, who have now sold it to the country’s largest bacon and sausage producers, Handl Tyrol, according to local publication Tiroler Tageszeitung.

The sale to the meat manufacturer has sparked outrage among locals who argued that the original land deal was made at a low rate under Nazi coercion. Locals also stipulated that the site was only to be used as a power plant.

A commission formed after the war, however, found the land was obtained legally and that former landowners should not receive compensation.

Christian Handl, managing director of Handl Tyrol told Tiroler Tageszeitung that the argument by locals “are not relevant to us.”

“We have acquired the area lawfully,” Handl said, insisting that, as of last week, they are now the legal owners of the site.