Natzweiler-Struthof

D130, 67130 Natzwiller


Category

Description

Natzweiler-Struthof was a German-run concentration camp located in the Vosges Mountains close to the Alsatian village of Natzwiller (German Natzweiler) in France, and the town of Schirmeck, about 50 km (31 mi) south west from the city of Strasbourg. Natzweiler-Struthof was the only concentration camp established by the Nazis on present-day French territory, though there were French-run temporary camps such as the one at Drancy. Between years 1941 to 1944 Alsace was administered by Germany as an integral part of German Reich. The camp operated from 21 May 1941 and was evacuated during early September 1944. Only a small staff of Nazi SS remained until the camp was liberated by the French First Army under the command of the U.S. Sixth Army Group on 23 November 1944.About 52,000 prisoners were estimated to be held there in its time of operation. The prisoners were mainly taken from the resistance movements in German-occupied territories. It was a labor camp, transit camp and as the war went on, a place of execution. Some died from the exertions of the labor and the poor food. There were an estimated 22,000 deaths at the camp, including the network of subcamps. Many prisoners were moved to other camps; in particular, the former head of Auschwitz concentration camp was brought in 1944 to evacuate the prisoners of Natzweiler-Struthof to Dachau as the Allied Armies neared in 1944. August Hirt conducted some of his efforts in making a Jewish skeleton collection in this camp. A documentary movie has been made about the 86 named men and women who were killed there for that project. Some of the people responsible for atrocities in this camp came to trial after the war ended.