Flossenbürg Concentration Camp
Flossenbürg was not what most people think of a typical concentration camp in that only a few Jews were held prisoner in the camp until 1944. Up until that point, Flossenbürg had been a camp for political prisoners, criminals, and "asocial" individuals. After August 1944, thousands of Jews arrived in Flossenbürg from Eastern Europe where the Soviet Army was pushing back Nazi troops. Prisoners in the camp and sub-camps worked mining granite, making armaments, and producing aircraft parts. Flossenbürg housed members of the failed Valkyrie conspiracy who were executed there in April 1945. This camp was unique because a few of the prisoners incarcerated for criminal activity achieved a kind of “veteran status” where they exerted control through intimidation of the other inmates. In this camp, like the others, cruelty and torture were common, but in Flossenbürg, the prisoners were horrendously cruel to one another in unimaginable ways.
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Flossenbürg's Major Subcamps
Altenhammer, Ansbach, Bayreuth, Bruex, Chemnitz, Dresden, Eisenberg, Floeha, Freiberg, Ganacker, Gieblstadt, Grafenreuth, Graslitz, Gundelsdorf, Hainchen, Heidenau, Helmbrechts, Hersbruck, Hertine, Hohenstein, Holleischen, Holysov, Hradischko, Janowitz, Johanngeorgenstadt, Kirschham, Konigstein, Krondorf, Leitmeritz, Lengenfeld, Mehltheuer, Meissen, Mittweida, Mockethal, Moschendorf, Mulsen, Neu-Rohlau, Nossen, Nurnburg, Obertraubling, Oederan, Plattling, Plauen, Porschdorf, Poschetzau, Pottenstein, Rabstein, Regensburg, Rochlitz, Saal, St. Georgenthal, Schlackenwerth, Schoenheide, Seifhennersdorf, Siegmar, Stein- Schoenau, Stulln, Teichwolframsdorf, Venusberg, Willischthal, Wolkenburg, Wurzburg, Zschachwitz, Zschopau, Zwickau and Zwodau.
Julian Noga Describes conditions in Flossenbürg [1990 interview]
"And there was just so many, so many bad things happening in Flossenbürg. The life, daily life was terrible. You get up 4:30...quick, quick, quick, quick, and go to the quarry, work twelve hours, six days a week, twelve hours a day. Sunday...Sunday before noon we do the chores, so-called, you know. Clean out your lockers, clean out the barrack, clean up yourselves, and everything. Then we had inspection, you know. If you had button missing or something like that, you was punished for that, see. So, it was clean. That time from the beginning was clean, I must say. Yes. Oh, they cut our hair every month, and every week they cut with the clippers in the middle, you know. Yeah. And then you work twelve hours a day. The food was...wasn't enough to survive no matter how strong you are for six months you know. The stronger peple I saw, in six months they die. Like in the morning you get only half a liter, what you call it...black coffee, ersatz coffee, so-called, made out of a bark... Then when you was working in a quarry, around nine o'clock they give you two slices of bread with margarine, as a heavy worker. Yeah. At noon, as you see on this picture what I got, we had, uh, soup. Soup. Cabbage, red cabbage. I though I'm never going to eat red cabbage in my life. Spinach. Spinach. Spinach...I says, "My gosh, spinach again," and that was watery, you know. There was no fat to it, see. So I thought as long as I going to live I never eat spinach. But I tell you something. I like spinach!"