Lichtenburg concentration camp

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Lichtenburg Castle

Lichtenburg was a Nazi concentration camp, housed in a Renaissance castle in Prettin, near Wittenberg in the Province of Saxony. Along with Sachsenburg, it was among the first to be built by the Nazis, and was operated by the SS from 1933 to 1939.[1] It held as many as 2000 male prisoners from 1933 to 1937 and from 1937 to 1939 held female prisoners.[2] It was closed in May 1939, when the Ravensbrück concentration camp for women was opened.


Details about the operation of Lichtenburg, held by the International Tracing Service, only became available to researchers in late 2006.[1] An account of the way the camp was run may be read in Lina Haag's book A Handful of Dust or How Long the Night. Haag was perhaps the best known survivor of Lichtenburg, having obtained release before it was shut down.

Lichtenburg was among the first concentration camps in Nazi Germany operating from 13 June 1933, it became a kind of model for numerous subsequent establishments. Soon overcrowded, the detention conditions increasingly aggravated. Most of the inmates were political prisoners, from 1934 also persecuted homosexuals and so-called habitual offenders (Gewohnheitsverbrecher).

The castle today houses a regional museum and exhibit about Lichtenburg's use during the Nazi period.[2]


Camp commandant[edit]

Protective custody chief[edit]

Director of women's camp[edit]

Deputy director of camp[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Holocaust Papers Pyramid of Persecution
  2. ^ a b Lichtenburgprettin Germany
  3. ^ Stefan Hördler, Sigrid Jacobeit (Hrsg.): Dokumentations- und Gedenkort KZ Lichtenburg, Berlin 2009, p. 125ff.

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Stefan Hördler: Before the Holocaust: Concentration Camp Lichtenburg and the Evolution of the Nazi Camp System. Holocaust and Genocide Studies 25, no. 1 (Spring 2011): 100–126.

Coordinates: 51°39′45″N 12°55′55″E / 51.66250°N 12.93194°E / 51.66250; 12.93194