There were two branches of Gross-Rosen concentration camp in Jelenia Góra and Cieplice - AL Hirschberg and AL Bad Warmbrunn. Both camps were one of a few concentration camps in Lower Silesia built in 1944 by Gross-Rosen authorities specifically for Jewish prisoners. Both of them were for men. In 1944 Gross-Rosen formally seized the forced-labor camp called „SS Sonderbauftrand“, which was attached to the cellulosis and elastic fibers factory (Schlesiche Zellwolle A.G. – Hirschberg i. Riesengebirge). According to Konieczny, both camps were organized in 1944[1.1]. The authorities of Gross-Rosen created a camp to satisfy the needs of „Dorries-Füllner“ factory, which produced military equipment.

In October 1944 70 Jewish prisoners from Auschwitz-Birkenau came to the camp. There were about 1,000 prisoners in the area of the camp at that time[1.2]. At the beginning of 1945, due to the liquidation of many Gross-Rosen’s subcamps, the groups of several hundred Jewish prisoners from the liquidated camp in Bolków (AL Bolkenhain) as well as Jews evacuated from Auschwitz-Birkenau came to the camp in Jelenia Góra.

The evacuation of the camp begun towards the end of 1945 – the prisoners that were able to march set off on foot to the south, to the area of former Czechoslovakia, to the concentration camp in Reichenau (present Rychnov). However, after the prisoners column reached the place, they were rejected. That is why they embarked the open cars of the train and they went to the camp in Buchenwald. Only 621 of prisoners managed to reach Buchenwald on the 7th of March 1945.

 

Print
Footnotes
  • [1.1] A. Konieczny, KL Gross-Rosen – hitlerowski obóz koncentracyjny na Dolnym Śląsku 1940-1945, Wałbrzych 2006, p. 34.
  • [1.2] R. Olszyna, KL Hirschberg, [in:] KL Gross-Rosen. Wybór artykułów, Wałbrzych 2005, p. 109.