Finally we arrived at the corpse factory. I was looking for some clue of its evil purpose but it looked like any manufacturing plant. As the small train continued, I could see several buildings: a power plant, a barracks, and a main building which we were now pulling in.
General Kopfer said "To fully demonstrate our operations, we are following the process where we take the material into the facility for processing."
"The dead bodies," I said. Kopfer flinched a little and said "Ja."
Kopfer's aide then pulled out several wads of cotton masks with strings attached out a nearby box. They resembled the masks the hospital personnel wore. He also grabbed a bottle, opened it, and sprinkled a small amount of liquid on a mask. He handed the first one to me. It smelled of lavender.
"As you can imagine, the facility can be somewhat malodorous. These will help."
The train finally stopped inside the main building. We stepped off into a large room lit with electric lights. I could see the floor was stained unusual colors and antiseptic penetrated the lavender. Several men in medical smocks and similar masks started to take the boxes off the storage car behind us. "The material is offloaded and taken by the staff to the sorting room," the general indicated with a sweep of his hand.
We stepped into another room with several tables. Already the staff was beginning their work. They picked through the bodily remains like rag pickers sorting through trash. Anything that looked reasonably intact was put on the tables. A head scored with shrapnel, a torso with the left arm still attached, and a body complete but riddled with machine gun fire. I was becoming dizzy not only with the offal of war but the businesslike tone the staff had. When something was pulled for a crate, they made comment about this body needed the bullets removed before continuing, how they needed a right index finger to restore a hand, or that the heart or lungs could be salvaged from a chest. Other staff members were calmly taking all this chatter down on clip boards and placing numbered tags on these remains.
"Nein," Kopfer answered, "our procurers are quite careful to bring back the sons of the Fatherland so they can serve once more."
The general continued his speech, "These sorters will take the notes and collate them to see what can be reconstructed. After that, the parts are then taken to the surgery for repair."