Quarantine barrack in Flossenbürg after liberation,
April 30, 1945 (National Archives, Washington D.C.)

In mid-1944, the SS be­gan to evac­u­ate the con­cen­tra­tion camps in oc­cu­pied Eu­rope. Mas­sive pris­on­er trans­ports thus be­gan to ar­rive at Floss­en­bürg.

At this point, con­cen­tra­tion camp pris­on­ers were the fi­nal re­serve la­bor force for the ar­ma­ments in­dus­try. Con­di­tions in the camp con­tin­ued to de­te­ri­o­rate due to per­ma­nent over­crowd­ing. At the end of 1943, over 3,300 pris­on­ers were in­car­cer­at­ed at Floss­en­bürg; one year later, the num­ber ex­ceed­ed 8,000. On March 1, 1945, the Floss­en­bürg camp held 15,445 pri­son­ers.

Due to the e­va­cu­a­tion of the Auschwitz, Groß-Ros­en and Plasz­ow con­cen­tra­tion camps, thou­sands of Jew­ish pris­on­ers were de­port­ed to Floss­en­bürg for the first time since 1942. A fur­ther 3,000 Poles ar­rived at Floss­en­bürg af­ter the War­saw up­ris­ing was crushed.

New arrivals to Floss­en­bürg were first con­fined to qua­ran­tine blocks. Each of these bar­racks housed up to 1,500 pris­on­ers. In­mates as­signed to work de­tails worked for Mess­er­schmitt in Floss­en­bürg or in one of the many newly e­rec­ted sub­camps. The SS moved any­one un­able to work to the death bar­racks 22 and 23. In the win­ter of 1944, dis­ease, star­va­tion, and ex­haus­tion re­sult­ed in a rap­id in­crease in death rates. Dur­ing the fi­nal year of the war, more in­mates died than dur­ing any oth­er phase.

Back «» Next