Prison camp in Rabstein (today Rabstejn, Czech Republic), October 1944
(private property)

Be­ginn­ing in 1942, the Floss­en­bürg con­cen­tra­tion camp, like oth­er main camps, be­came the epi­cen­ter of a wide­ly dis­persed aux­il­ia­ry camp sys­tem. Its near­ly 90 sub­camps ex­tend­ed from Würz­burg to Prague, and from Sax­o­ny to Low­er Ba­var­ia. Twen­ty-five sub­camps held fe­male pris­on­ers. Work con­di­tions and chances of sur­viv­al varied great­ly among the sub­camps.

The Floss­en­bürg com­mand staff as­signed pris­on­ers to busi­ness­es and SS agen­cies, and was re­spon­si­ble for guard­ing the pris­on­ers. It also col­lect­ed the month­ly pay­ments for the pris­on­ers’ forced la­bor. At first, a pris­on­er’s oc­cu­pa­tion de­ter­mined his or her as­sign­ment to a spe­ci­fic sub­camp. To­ward the end of the war, the SS ar­bi­tra­ri­ly shift­ed pris­on­ers bet­ween the main camp and the sub­camps.

Ci­vil­ian au­thor­i­ties and busi­ness­es par­tic­i­pat­ed in con­struct­ing most of the sub­camps. In many cases, the loc­al pop­u­la­tion was con­front­ed for the first time with con­cen­tra­tion camp in­mates. Of­ten pris­on­ers of war and forced la­bor­ers pro­vid­ed as­sis­tance to camp in­mates. On oc­ca­sion, Ger­mans also gave food to the in­mates or se­cret­ly passed along let­ters from the in­mates to their fam­i­lies. Heavy la­bor and hun­ger char­ac­ter­ized ev­ery­day life in the sub­camps. Many in­mates at­tempt­ed to es­cape, but sel­dom with suc­cess.

» Interactive map of the subcamps

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