The use of steel plates to build bridges, bridges and other structures in Nazi-era Germany is an “exceptionality” that makes the work possible, according to a former engineer who helped build the structures.
The architect of the World War II-era structures, Heinrich Bockheim, was a German native and former engineer by training.
Bockheim had been building bridges and bridges in Germany for decades before he joined the Nazi Party in 1933.
He said the steel plates that were used to build these structures were “the best part of a million dollars” and could be found anywhere in the world.
“They are not only very strong, they are very durable,” he told a group of German news agencies on Wednesday, adding that it was the first time a Nazi had used the material.
“We can’t imagine the damage it could cause,” he said.
“These bridges would have collapsed on their own without these plates, it would have been a catastrophe.”
Bockham said the structure had to be built by “unskilled workers” because it was too risky to use other materials such as metal.
“It was the most dangerous project of the war and a huge loss to the German people, as well as to the world,” he added.
The German government has yet to comment on the allegations, but the head of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Ralf Stegner, said that the country was “very proud” of the work it did in building the bridges and that it had “a history of building bridges”.
The building of bridges was a central pillar of German nationalism and was used to bolster the country’s efforts to fight the war.
Stegner said the work had been conducted by people from different countries.
“This was done under the direction of people from around the world, with German engineers,” he noted.
“In many cases we had to take advice from experts who were not Germans but who had experience in building bridges.”
But Bockham told the BBC he was not convinced that the structures were made in Germany.
“I’m not an engineer and I’m not a scientist,” he admitted.
“The steel plates I saw were made by a third-party manufacturer in England.”
Blockham said that while he would like to see more work done in Germany, it was “a question of doing it right and building a bridge.”
“I don’t think the Germans are particularly good builders,” he warned.