Flossenbürg was established in 1938 near the German town of the same name, about 8 miles from Weiden. Built at relatively high elevation, the camp endured a cold climate for most of the year. The location of the camp made additional construction difficult and as a result overcrowding increased and was only slightly alleviated by making the prisoners work and sleep in shifts. Unhygienic conditions inevitably led to epidemic disease and the prevalence of lice. Poor rations of inadequate food resulted in malnutrition and lowered resistance to disease. This situation deteriorated further in the last months of the war with increased food shortages.

Flossenbürg had its own SS Death Head´s Battalion led by SS Untersturmfuhrer Bruno Skierka, whose activities earned him a death sentence (later commuted) from an American military court after the war.

Flossenbürg was originally a men’s camp, although there were subcamps for women during the war and some female political prisoners were brought in to work in a camp brothel located near the cellblock. As of 1st January 1945 Flossenbürg and its subcamps had a total of 3,046 guards (including 521 female warders) responsible for preventing the escape of 40,437 prisoners (including 11,191 women).

Separated from other prisoners were a number of Allied POWs. The NCO in charge of the cellblock from June to December 1944 recalled finding about 15 Allied officers when he arrived there “ two of whom were shot in June or later on, at different times”. A Yugoslav prisoner recalled seeing 13 naked bodies hanging in the cellblock courtyard near the end of the war, one tattooed with the name “Mary” in English spelling. An SS man told him they were Americans and Britons. An Austrian prisoner also recalled seeing these corpses and ascertained that they were Anglo American POWs. A Swiss prisoner imprisoned in the cellblock from February 1944 testified that American and British POWs were brought to the camp in spring 1944 and held in darkened cells.

Between 1938 and 1945 approximately 30,000 prisoners died in Flossenbürg, roughly three quarters of them during the last nine months of the war. As many as 1,500 people were brought to Flossenbürg for the execution of extrajudicial death sentences ordered by the Reich Security Main Office. There were also some public hangings on the roll call square, and one such killing took place in December 1944 in front of the assembled prisoners next to a decorated Christmas tree.

According to a U.S. postwar tabulation (Nuremberg Document NO-393), there were 155 Spanish citizens at Flossenbürg, of whom 60 died.

Jews were shown to be transported to Flossenburg on these dates: 8/13/44, 9/22/44, 10/12/44.  I’m sure there were others, but that’s all my research found as of now.



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3 Responses to “flossenburg”

  1. paolosilv Says:


    1500 Death sentences of German resistance were handed out at Flossenburg b/w April 44 to April 45. There were more corpses than the crematoria could handle, so they began stacking bodies and burning them.

    I wonder if Ivan Demjanjuk helped them. He would have seen or participated in such techniques at the other two camps he was in.

  2. paolosilv Says:


    David Littlejohn’s Foreign Legions of the Third Reich: Volume 4: Poland, the Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Free India, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Russia (San Jose, California: R. James Bender, 1987) details the organization, insignia, and ranks of the Ukrainian Schuma.

    His book notes that they wore either light blue or green (police green?) cuffs and pocket flaps on their second-hand Allegmeine-SS uniforms. Their chief emblem was an elongated mobile swastika encircled by a laurel wreath, worn on the upper left arm where the Polizei would wear their Polizeiadler emblem.

  3. paolosilv Says:

    1. It is patently obvious that the March/April deportations represented the 20,000 strong labour contingent. Of these, nearly 15,000 were assigned to Majdanek and Auschwitz in lieu of the Soviet POWs that had perished in the meanwhile.

    2. Deportations to Lublin ghettos numbered not more than 40% of the total, 60% went direct to concentration or death camps.

    3. The Lublin ghetto deportations began only as soon as the Germans were ready for them. This is borne out by examining the pre-arrival and post-arrival histories of some of the ghettos.

    a) Rejowiec, for example, lost 2400 Jews to Sobibor on April 4 1942, a fortnight before it began to receive Slovak Jews. Two further transports left in August and October 1942, each of similar size, and including many Slovak Jews. The survivors, Polish and Slovak alike, were transferred.

    b) Lubartow similarly lost a transport of 800 Jews to Belzec on April 9 1942, thus suggesting the beginnings of a pattern of ‘ghetto clearances’ prior to the arrival of foreign (Reich or Slovak Jews). The big deportation came in October 1942, when 3000 were transported to Sobibor

    c) Konskowola lost a transport of 1580 Jews on May 18 1942, according to the yizkor book including some Slovaks.The remainder were mass-executed by Res.Pol.Batl. 101 in October 1942, the selected survivors transferred to Poniatowa labour camp

    c) Opole Lubelski lost 2000 to Sobibor on May 6 and another 2000 on May 12. No doubt consulting the yizkor book translations would indicate whether Slovak Jews were among them

    d) Pulawy lost 2500 Jews to Sobibor on May 12, 1942.

    e) Naleczow was evidently a train station as there is no record of a ghetto there to my knowledge. It was probably within Kreis Pulawy which also was where Konskowola was located.

    f) Deblin was also in Kreis Pulawy as far as I am aware, and had lost 2500 Jews on May 6, 1942 to Sobibor, again shortly before the arrival of the Slovak transports. IIRC the ghetto was also liquidated by a mass shooting in the autumn of 1942, with selected survivors transferred to labour camps.

    g) Chelm was half-emptied betweem May 21 and 25 1942, with 5800 Jews deported, presumably including some Slovaks; smaller transports followed over the summer with the last transports in October-November, all to Sobibor.

    h) Lukow was emptied in October and early November 1942 to Treblinka, more than 10,000 were deported.

    i) Izbica was a true transit ghetto, one would need to read the work of Robert Kuwalek to double-check that contingents were not sent elsewhere. The ghetto was annihilated in October and November 1942, as far as I am aware at Sobibor.

    4. The above pattern suggests that the arrival of Slovak and Reich Jews cost the lives of tens of thousands of Polish Jews in the months of April and May 1942, killed in part to create room for the new arrivals. In some cases it seems likely that the new arrivals were themselves sent to death camps within a short time of their arrival.

    5. From June 1942, a wave of transports direct to Sobibor is apparent. Given the confusion of sources it is possible that some may have gone elsewhere, and indeed one source at my disposal has at least 3 direct transports from Slovakia to Sobibor in May 1942, along with five or so to Belzec from April-June 1942. Nonetheless the timing coincides with the known direct transport from Vienna to Sobibor on June 11, which is documented, and from which a small party was selected for Majdanek; this corresponds to the evidence of the Majdanek transport lists.

    6. Thus, at the latest by June 1942, Slovak Jews were being subjected to the same fate as incoming Reich Jews, i.e. were being primarily transported to the death camps while only secondarily being selected. From July 1942 the selection procedure was instituted at Auschwitz as well.

    7. The surviving Slovak Jews in the Lublin district – who cannot have numbered more than 15,000 by this time – were almost all deported in the autumn 1942 wave of transports to Sobibor and Treblinka. A handful of survivors ended up swirling around the Lublin-Majdanek ZAL system, if any survived until November 1943 then yet more likely perished in ‘Erntefest’. The survival of a handful into 1943 was thus little different to the survival of a small handful of Reich Jews sent to the same district, or indeed the survival of ca. 20,000 Lublin district Jews into 1943, out of around 250,000 at the start of 1942.

    8. Since just as high a proportion of Slovak Jews ended up dead by the end of 1942 as in any other national group, it seems specious to fuss over a delay of at most six months in their demise. The strategic aim of Wannsee was fulfilled.

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