Nordhausen is a city at the southern edge of the Harz mountains, in the state of Thuringia, Germany. It is the capital of the district of Nordhausen. It was once known for its tobacco industry, and is still known for its distilled spirit, Nordhäuser Doppelkorn.
After the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, much of Nordhausen's surroundings became part of Brandenburg-Prussia, although the city itself remained independent. During the Napoleonic Wars, Prussian troops occupied Nordhausen on 2 August 1802; the city lost its status as an Imperial Free City during the German Mediatisation. It became part of the Kingdom of Westphalia created in 1807. Following the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte, Nordhausen was included in the Kingdom of Prussia's Province of Saxony created in 1816. Nordhausen was an urban district from 1882-1950.
The Mittelbau-Dora Nazi concentration camp was located on the outskirts of town during World War II to provide labor for the Mittelwerk V-2 rocket factory in the Kohnstein. On April 3 and 4 April 1945 three-quarters of the town was destroyed by bombing raids of the Royal Air Force, in which around 8,800 people died. Earlier on August 24, 1944, 11 B-17 Flying Fortresses of Mission 568 bombed the airfield at Nordhausen as a target of opportunity. On 11 April 1945, the Americans occupied the city, and on 2 July the Red Army took over.
Nordhausen was part of East Germany from 1949-1990 and was administered within Bezirk Erfurt. After the German reunification of 1990, Nordhausen was made part of the recreated state of Thuringia. Its medieval city center has since been rebuilt. On 1 December 2007, the former municipalities Petersdorf, Rodishain and Stempeda were incorporated by Nordhausen.