Execution site next to the crematorium, US Army Signal Corps, April 30, 1945
(National Archives, Washington D.C.)

From the be­gin­ning, pris­on­ers per­ished at the Floss­en­bürg con­cen­tra­tion camp. They died of star­va­tion, cold, and ran­dom vi­o­lence. After es­cape at­tempts or al­leged acts of sa­bo­tage, in­mates were hanged on the roll-call square to serve as ex­am­ples. In Feb­ru­ary 1941, theSS be­gan mass kill­ings of cer­tain ca­te­go­ries of pris­on­ers.

Al­though the SS at­tempt­ed to car­ry out the kill­ings in se­cre­cy, the ex­e­cu­tions did not go un­no­ticed. In­mates saw the SS ex­e­cu­tion com­man­dos in the camp, and their fel­low pris­on­ers van­ished with­out a trace.

Pris­on­er de­tails re­moved the dead, and the cre­ma­to­ri­um com­man­dos had to dis­pose of the vic­tims’ re­mains. Pris­on­er-clerks were put to work cross­ing off names from camp lists.

In pro­gram­mat­ic fash­ion, the SS mur­dered Pol­ish con­cen­tra­tion camp in­mates, fo­reign forced la­bor­ers, So­vi­et pris­on­ers of war, and the el­der­ly, sick, and in­firm. Short­ly be­fore the end of the war, many pris­on­ers ac­tive in the re­sis­tance joined the vic­tims. The SS in the Floss­en­bürg camp took part in at least 2,500 sys­tem­at­ic ex­e­cu­tions.

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