KZ Natzweiler Struthof

Eingang ins Lager. Dahinter das dolchförmige Holocaust-Denkmal.
entrance into the camp. Behind it the dolchförmige Holocaust monument.

The KZ Natzweiler Struthof was a concentration camp (KZ) near the place Natzwiller in the Elsass, about 55 km to the west of Strasbourg, 8 km of the station red-strikes far away, on a summit of the Vogesen in 800 m height.

Table of contents


the prisoners had, with meager meals served, into whom surrounding quarries work. If they became physically too weak, they were executed and burned in a crematorium. There were here several kinds of the execution: Death by neck shot (practices in particularly the premises built for it) and death by Erhängen. With the Erhängen there were again two variants: with secret executions the persons were placed on a bolster, which was then away-pushed. The neck fallow and the concerning died immediately. With public executions, particularly for deterrence, the death candidates had to place themselves on a Falltür. The cord around the neck was before already tightened, so that the neck did not break through. Slowly opening the Falltür provoked a miserable asphyxiation death, which dragged on several minutes long.

camp prison

for punishment ungehorsame prisoners were held in the camp-own prison. It was differentiated thereby between three arrest stages:

  • First stage: In a bright area with daylight with water and bread, up to ten days, with up to 18 other prisoners together in the same area (for instance 4m x 4m). The prisoners a bucket was made available here to the metabolism (a bucket per room, thus for altogether 19 persons).
  • Second stage: In a dark area with daylight, with water and bread as food, up to 42 days, only every four days a tidy meal, otherwise similar conditions as with stage one.
  • Stage three: It is not well-known a passenger camps of the Struthof, which survived this procedure. Up to five prisoners became closed into a small niche (height for instance 1,50m, width for instance 0,8m, depth for instance 1m), in which they had to remain up to their execution (all already died before their execution). There was no possibility for metabolisms. One could not stand or lie. Probably it gave little to no meal. Like all areas of the camp this niche is extremely hot in the summer, in the winter erfriert one fast. These small chambers were day and night stick-darkly. Originally they were intended for heating systems, but in the KZ Natzweiler Struthof was never also only one heating in enterprise (let alone it was at all only built). If one of the five passengers died, the others had to spend the time with the corpse until one found the attendant them. It could occur also easily the fact that in a chamber four corpses and a survivor lay (then also soon died).

escape attempts

a prisoner dug, during the work in the quarry, ungesehen a hole into the earth and covered myself with grass, in order to be seen. After the other prisoners in the evening had again in the camp back, it remained - the whole night over in its hiding place. It was very close actually to the escape, because on the next morning still to nobody had somewhat been noticeable. With the morning appeal however, which was always held with largest care, the absence of the man was noticeable and search dogs was used, in order to search all possible places of residence. „The escapee “was placed and arrested by the dogs. With cruel bite wounds he was kept imprisoned several-day-long, to he then exeptionally again normally in the camp works “was allowed” (normally escape attempts were punished with death by Erhängen). In the case of a later transport in another KZ succeeded to it a renewed escape attempt.

It succeeded to a man to acquire itself the uniform of the commander. With whose it could disappear from cars unnoticed from the camp. The guards saluted to the perfectly dressed commander even still. Since in the Elsass the Résistance was very present, the former prisoner could penetrate within fewer days until Algeria, without to be arrested. In Algeria he had to then fear nothing more. This was the only well-known successful escape attempt in the KZ Natzweiler Struthof.

„enterprise desert “

in ten „branch offices “of the KZ Natzweiler Struthof should break , into Meiler laminate between Reutlingen and Rottweil in the Vorland of the Alb in thereblack law “the slate in the open mining, smolder and to oil convert, when Nazi Germany had due to the refineries and depots destroyed by allied bomb attacks as well as the omission of the oil promoted to Romania into the last both war years engraving lack of oil.

Four of these “works” began with production:

  • “Work desert 2” (KZ Bisingen)
  • “work desert 4” (KZ Erzingen)
  • “work desert 8” (KZ Dormettingen)
  • “work desert 9” (KZ Schömberg)

the efficiency of the procedure was ridiculous, in the KZ Bisingen poured the commander of camp from time to time something oil in addition, in order its place to probably maintain.

The other six KZs were established, arrested suffered therein, but production was not begun.

In all camps many usually Jewish arrested ones died in inhuman way. In Bisingen a mass grave with crosses and Gedenkstein reminds as well as a museum and a didactic exhibition of it. And give there were mass graves also with the other KZs, some under the French crew by former members of the NSDAP was exhumiert.

further external bearings

on „the air base “ genuine things starting from November 1944 the KZ genuine things was furnished. Approximately 600 Jewish arrested ones were eingepfercht in an area approximately around a white hangar, a Eskimohalle in such a way specified, for which today still on „the South Airfield “ the US-Army stands. They had to repair damages on the airport, and in quarries of the environment under inhuman conditions of work (e.g. in the “Emerland” when Berne living) stones break. The ausgemergelten prisoners could not do every now and then no more from own Kraft back in the camp: Two fellow prisoners had to drag it along or them on a two-wheel truck were withdrawn. They were guarded by soldiers „of the air base “. In January 1945 the SS began with the dissolution of the camp. Back mass graves remained, so for example in the proximity of the piece of forest “RAM blade” and on the airport - and the white resounded.

external bearing Geislingen/Steige

a further external bearing was with Geislingen/Steige. The prisoners worked for the Württembergi metal goods factory. It was furnished in February 1944 as separated part of the foreign labour camp in the Heidenheim first race with a surface of 10.000 m, already existing, ². The 15 intended custodian inside were trained in Ravensbrück „“. The camp consisted of five Wohnbaracken, a district and a restaurant barrack. The first prisoners for the camp, about 700 Jewish women, met to 28. July 1944 and 16 had starting from that. August 1944 for WMF work. The WMF paid 4 RM per prisoner per day to the KZ, received in response 0.80 RM for meals and clothing. The work was divided in two layers; by 06:00 clock to 18:00 clock and 18:00 clock to 06:00 clock. The survivors of prisoners reported that they were correctly treated by the masters and other coworkers of the enterprise and with food and medicines were partly supported. The supply of the prisoners with food in the camp was very unsatisfactorily, partially also, since the few food intended for the prisoners became to partly suppress by the security guards. Therefore WMF saw itself the food rations extending forced by an extra pay cheese and in the nightshifts by 1,5l soup. Ill ones or pregnant woman women were transported into the KZ Auschwitz, to its dissolution among other things after mountain Belsen. More easily hurt in the patient camp of the camp were supplied. In March 1945 the supervisory board and the executive committee of the WMF strove around dissolution of the camp before the US troops the area reach. Starting from at the end of March 1945 the prisoners did not work any longer for the WMF and in April the passengers direction DAK-strike „evacuated “. They did not achieve their goal however, since the course was stopped before by allied troops.


  • Hans Joachim long: The names of the numbers. As it succeeded to identify, the 86 victims of a LV crime. Hamburg 2004.
  • Manuel Werner: Power and faint of juvenile Air Force aids - an example of the air base and KZ Echterdingen/Filder, in: National center for political education Baden-Wuerttemberg/educator committee of the society for Christian-Jewish co-operation Stuttgart (Hrsg.): By fascination to power - the fascination of power. Components to the relationship of power and manipulation. Helps for instruction, Stuttgart 2003.
  • Bernhard Brunner: On the way to a history of the concentration camp Natzweiler. State of research - sources - method. Given change of the national center for political education Baden-Wuerttemberg/paper memorial place work, Stuttgart 2000.

Web on the left of

coordinates: 48° 27 ′ 24 " n. Break, 7° 15 ′ 14 " o. L.


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