Gross-Rosen concentration camp
|Gross-Rosen concentration camp|
Gross-Rosen Concentration Camp (German: Konzentrationslager Groß-Rosen) was a German concentration camp, located in Gross-Rosen, Lower Silesia (now Rogoźnica, Poland). It was located directly on the rail line between Jauer (now Jawor) and Striegau (now Strzegom).
KZ Gross-Rosen was set up in the summer of 1940 as a satellite camp of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp from Oranienburg, and became an independent camp on May 1, 1941. Initially, the slave labour was carried out in a huge stone quarry owned by the SS-Deutsche Erd- und Steinwerke GmbH (SS German Earth and Stone Works). As the complex grew, many inmates were put to work in the construction and operation of the subcamps.
In October 1941 the SS transferred about 3,000 Soviet POWs to Gross-Rosen for execution by shooting. Gross-Rosen was known for its brutal treatment of the so-called Nacht und Nebel prisoners vanishing without a trace from targeted communities. Most died in the granite quarry. The brutal treatment of the political and Jewish prisoners was not only in the hands of guards and German criminal prisoners brought in by the SS, but to a lesser extent also fuelled by the German administration of the stone quarry responsible for starvation rations and denial of medical help. In 1942, for political prisoners, the average survival time-span was less than two months.
Due to a change of policy in August 1942, prisoners were likely to survive longer because they were needed as slave workers in German war industries. Among the companies that benefited from the slave labour of the concentration camp inmates were German electronics manufacturers such as Blaupunkt or Siemens. Some prisoners who were not able to work but not yet dying, were sent to the Dachau concentration camp in so-called invalid transports. The largest population of inmates, however, were Jews, initially from the Dachau and Sachsenhausen camps, and later from Buchenwald. During the camp's existence, the Jewish inmate population came mainly from Poland and Hungary; others were from Belgium, France, Netherlands, Greece, Yugoslavia, Slovakia, and Italy.
At its peak activity in 1944, the Gross-Rosen complex had up to 100 subcamps, located in eastern Germany and occupied Poland. In its final stage, the population of the Gross-Rosen camps accounted for 11% of the total inmates in Nazi concentration camps at that time. A total of 125,000 inmates of various nationalities passed through the complex during its existence, of whom an estimated 40,000 died on site and in evacuation transports. The camp was captured on February 14, 1945, by the Red Army.
A total of over 500 female camp guards were trained and served in the Gross-Rosen complex. Female SS staffed the women's subcamps of Brünnlitz, Graeben, Gruenberg, Gruschwitz Neusalz, Hundsfeld, Kratzau II, Oberaltstadt, Reichenbach, and Schlesiersee Schanzenbau.
During the Gross-Rosen period as a subcamp of Sachsenhausen the following SS officers served as Lagerführer:
As an independent concentration camp from May 1941, the following were commandants:
- SS-Obersturmbannführer Arthur Rodl, May 1941 – September 1942
- SS-Hauptsturmführer Wilhelm Gideon, September 1942 – October 1943
- SS-Sturmbannführer Johannes Hassebroek, October 1943 until evacuation
- Second-in-command: In the spring of 1944 Fritz Ritterbusch was second in command at Gross-Rosen, where from May 1944 to 13 February 1945 he was the Commander of the company, as well as the Manager of subcamps of Parschnitz in Pozici and Trautenau in Trutnovie in the Czech Republic. Fate unknown.
- List of Nazi-German concentration camps
- List of subcamps of Gross Rosen
- The Holocaust in Poland
- Nazi crimes against the Polish nation
- Project Riese
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gross-Rosen.|
- Harthoorn, W.L. (2007). Verboden te sterven: Oranjehotel, Kamp Amersfoort, Buchenwald, Grosz-Rozen, Dachau, Natzweiler. ISBN 978-90-75879-37-7.
- Willem Lodewijk Harthoorn (nl), an inmate from the end of April to mid-August 1942: Verboden te sterven (in Dutch, meaning Forbidden to Die)
- Teunissen, Johannes (2002). Mijn belevenissen in de duitse concentratiekampen. ISBN 978-90-435-0367-9.
- Druhasvetovavalka.cz collection of photographs from the KZ Gross-Rosen World War II field trip.