Handl Tyrol wants to build a meat processing plant on the 25-acre site in Haiming, 28 miles west of Innsbruck, despite conceding the area has an “undisputed dark patch in its history”.
The weaponised-site housed thousands of prisoners during World War Two, all of whom were put to backbreaking work building a hydroelectric dam for the Third Reich.
After the war ended, the site was demolished and remained unused by energy company Tiwag until Handl Tyrol, one of Austria’s top bacon producers, bought the land for an undisclosed sum.
‘Weaponised’ labour camp
In a statement to GlobalMeatNews, a representative for Handl Tyrol did not confirm whether the company would back away from its plans to build a factory on the former Nazi site.
“The purchased area in Haiming has an undisputed dark patch in its history,” the spokesperson said.
“During the Second World War the area Beinkorb-Wiese was weaponised as a labour camp for the construction of a power station as well as a wind tunnel.
“The Austrian Federal Monuments Office are investigating precisely the complete area to document everything from this territory. Those works are not complete yet. We are deeply aware of the responsibility we have.
“Moreover Tirol Land has demonstrated on several occasions, that the scientific editing, especially the National-Socialist past is a matter of concern. So it is for us.”
A dispute is ongoing, lodged by heirs of former landowners who claim their families were forced to sell the land at low rates by the Nazis.
According to a report by The Times earlier this week, Handl Tyrol said the dispute was between previous owner Tiwag and the former landowners. Tiwag could not be reached for comment at the time of writing.
Seperately, the European Union faced pressure in 2016 after a group supporting the Roma community called on Brussels to ends subsidising a pig farm on a former Holocaust site.