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In July 1934, shortly after the infamous Nazi blood purge known as the Night of the Long Knives, Kummersdorf was attacked by the Schutzstaffel troops led by Johann Schmidt. Almost the entire personell of the base was killed, but Zola was spared because he agreed to join Schmidt's SS division HYDRA and start working on genetics.
In September 1935, Zola was allowed to resume his work on exo-skeleton battle suits and various high-tech weaponry because Schmidt captured Abraham Erskine, a German scientist who worked on the Super Soldier Serum.
In 1937, the exo-skeleton battle suit was finished. It was used by HYDRA during the Spanish Civil War against the Spanish Republicans at Guernica. At the time, it was believed that the German air force, the Luftwaffe, was responsible for the destruction of the city. However, the footage of the slaughter was smuggled out of Germany by the British agent Margaret Carter and handed over to the United States Armed Forces in January 1940.
In April 1944, the exo-skeleton was in a HYDRA castle on an island in the Nazi occupied Danish Straits. The castle was invaded by Captain America, who managed to destroy the exo-skeleton and a tank.