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Prisoners lined up for roll call at Sachsenhausen concentration camp, 1941
Roll call at Melk concentration camp [de]
Appellplatz at Dachau concentration camp (2007)

Appellplatz (often spelt appelplatz) is a compound German word meaning "roll call" (Appell) and "area" or "place" (Platz). In English, the word is generally used to describe the location for the daily roll calls in Nazi concentration camps.

Concentration camp usage[edit]

Roll calls were a more than daily part of the regimen in Nazi concentration camps. The first was at 4:00 in the morning. All prisoners were made to line up in rows and be counted early in the morning and again at night, even those who had died in the interim. The roll calls were held every day, regardless of snow, pouring rain or any other foul weather. The purpose of the roll calls was to count the prisoners, but also to inspect, humiliate, and intimidate them. Sometimes they would be chosen for death if not healthy anymore.[1] Selektions were also sometimes made during roll calls.[2] There were harsh reprisals for anyone who was late or did not remain perfectly still during the roll call. Reprisals included beatings and death. Prisoners were made to stand at attention for the entire process of counting thousands of prisoners, which sometimes had to be done more than once, if a mistake was made. Prisoners had thin uniforms and were made to stand for roll calls year round, regardless of the weather or temperature. Some people died during the roll call.[3]

See also[edit]

  • Lagerordnung – the disciplinary and penal code for the concentration camps
  • Muselmann – especially weakened concentration camp prisoners


  1. ^ "Glossary of Terms" Illinois Institute of Technology, official website. Voices of the Holocaust, Galvin Library. Retrieved November 30, 2010
  2. ^ "The Procedure for Selections in the Camp" Wollheim Memorial, official website. Retrieved November 30, 2010
  3. ^ "Just a Normal Day in the Camps" Jewish Gen, official website. Retrieved November 30, 2010