Flossenbürg (camp)

Historical background

The KL Flossenbürg concentration camp was built in May 1938 close to granite quarries. Until 1942, the prisoners worked mainly for the DESt factory (German Earth and Stonemasonry Works). After 1942, the SS established more than a hundred sub-camps subordinate to KL Flossenbürg in North Bavaria, Saxony and Bohemia (the Czech Republic – the town of Flossenbürg is about 5 km away from the Czech border in a straight line) and most of the prisoners at the time worked for the Messerschmitt aircraft factory.

The camp was originally built for about 400 prisoners, but a year later there was space for 2,500 prisoners. At the end of the war, 15,000 “criminals”, “anti-social element” (including Roma and Sinti), “political prisoners”, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses as well as Jews were imprisoned there. The largest groups came from Poland, the Soviet Union, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Women were also imprisoned in satellite camps. Between 1938-1945, for every 100,000 prisoners in the main camp and sub-camps from 30 countries, at least 30,000 did not survive.

In April 1945, nearly all prisoners were forced to leave the camp in the so-called death marches. During the liberation, on April 23, 1945, the US Army found about 1,500 half-dead prisoners in the camp.

About 1,000 Roma and Sinti, mainly women, were detained in the camp. They performed forced labour in the arms industry in the sub-camps, especially in Wolkenburg and Zwodau. The exact number of Gypsies murdered in the Flossenbürg camp network is unknown.

Map of satellite camps: http://www.gedenkstaette-flossenbuerg.de/geschichte/aussenlager/


Description of commemoration


In May 1945, the authorities of the Flossenbürg camp prepared funeral ceremonies for 18 camp victims. All town residents participated in the funeral. A year later, in June 1946 Poles who survived and were living in Flossenbürg built the first memorial commemorating their countrymen. A memorial site called “the Valley of Death” was created near the crematorium and the ramp on the slope between the complex of death barracks and the crematorium to facilitate the transport of countless bodies. On one side the valley is closed with a reconstructed watch tower (next to it there is an inlet of the ramp for bodies that were sent to the crematorium below), on the other side, there is a chapel of Jesus Imprisoned (literal translation: “Jesus in the dungeon”). In the Valley there are also the Pyramid of the Ashes and the so-called Square of the Nations with memorials and commemorative plaques dedicated to the victims, including Poles, Lithuanians and the Roma.

XXXX NIE MA TEJ STRONYXXX See also: TESTAMENT – http://www.gedenkstaette-flossenbuerg.de/fileadmin/dokumente/Verm%C3%A4chtnis/Testament_PL.pdf



Gedächtnisallee 5, 92696 Flossenbürg, Germany


+49 9603 903900


49°44’01.5″N 12°21’30.8″E

49.733755, 12.358562

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In Polish: http://www.gedenkstaette-flossenbuerg.de/pl/strona-glowna/

In English: http://www.gedenkstaette-flossenbuerg.de/en/home/


Interesting facts

It is worth knowing that the the museum cafe employs the disabled, for whom jobs were created as part of the project ”fordern und fördern” (‘Challenge and promote’). See: http://museumscafe-flossenbuerg.de/




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