View from the hill onto the future camp grounds, mid-1930s

The Floss­en­bürg camp was es­tab­lished in May 1938 dur­ing the SS re­or­ga­ni­za­tion of the en­tire con­cen­tra­tion camp sys­tem. In the new sys­tem, the pur­pose of the camps was no long­er only to im­pris­on and ter­ror­ize po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents of the Nazi re­gime. Rath­er, the SS now also aimed to prof­it from the ex­ploi­ta­tion of pri­son­er la­bor.

Pris­on­ers were put to work in SS-​owned eco­nom­ic en­ter­pri­ses for the pro­duc­tion of build­ing ma­ter­i­als. To this end, the SS found­ed new camps, and de­por­ted ever lar­ger num­bers of peo­ple to the camps.

The con­struc­tion of new camps be­gan in 1936-37 with the found­ing of the Sachs­en­haus­en and Bu­chen­wald camps. SS eco­nom­ic in­ter­ests played an in­creas­ing role in the se­lec­tion of new camp sites. The large gran­ite de­pos­its around Floss­en­bürg at­trac­ted the at­ten­tion of the SS.

The de­cision on the Floss­en­bürg site was reached in March 1938. The first SS guards ar­rived in late April. On May 3, the first trans­port of 100 pris­on­ers ar­rived at the con­struc­tion site from the Da­chau con­cen­tra­tion camp. By the end of 1938, the ini­tial in­take of the camp had in­creased to 1,500 pris­on­ers.

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