Dresden (Bernsdorf) subcamp

November 24, 1944 to mid-April 1945

Prisoners

500 Jewish prisoners, including whole families, were deported, via the Stutthof concentration camp, from Lodz ghetto to Dresden. Most of the 216 men and 284 women and children were Poles. Also registered were a few German, Czech, Hungarian, and Lithuanian Jews.

Forced labor and quarters

Production of machinegun munition for Bernsdorf & Co. Men and woman were given separate quarters in the upper floors of the factory. After extensive bomb damage during an air raid on Dresden, the prisoners were transferred to the Mockethal subcamp. Later, most of them were forced to perform debris clearing work in Dresden.

Guards

15 SS men and female overseers each. Detail leader Schmerse and head overseer Ida Guhl were especially feared for their violent treatment of the prisoners.

Death toll

At least 16 persons died of undernourishment or illness. The air raid of February 13, 1945, also claimed further victims. Some prisoners were shot dead while in Mockethal.

Disbanding of the camp / end of the war

In mid-April 1945 the prisoners were forced to march via Zwodau to Theresienstadt, where they were liberated on May 8, 1945.

Commemoration

On the initiative of a former prisoner, a commemorative plaque was erected on the building of the former subcamp in October 2002. The building houses – as before the war – a cigarette factory.
Dresden (Bernsdorf) - Bild 1The F6 cigarette factory Dresden, October 2002. The prisoners were accommodated here and forced to work for the armaments company Bernsdorf.Dresden (Bernsdorf) - Bild 2Commemorative plaque at the factory entrance, October 2002. On the initiative of the former prisoner Harry Radzyner, the plaque for the subcamp was mounted in October 2002.Dresden (Bernsdorf) - Bild 3Survivors of the Bernsdorf subcamp, 2002. The women are on the top floor of the factory, where they were quartered.