The use of forced labourers in the armaments and heavy industries was widespread in the Saarland during the Second World War. They were particularly used in steelworks and in coal mining, often in a reckless and inconsiderate manner, just as Hitler wanted. In 1943, the mining pits of the Saarland alone operated with 15,000 prisoners of war, most of which originated from Russia (9,000 people) or Italy after the fall of Benito Mussolini in summer of 1943 (3,500 people). For many of them, their use as forced labourers ended in death at a place far from home. Those that survived their ordeals sometimes still fight for compensation for the suffering they had to endure to this very day.