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NEVER FORGET
VISIONS OF THE NAZI CAMPS


Stutthof

   
           

Concentration Camp Stutthof

Below you can see photographs of some of the Stutthof concentration camp. next >>

Photographs courtesy of the USHMM.

 
View of the Stutthof concentration camp after the liberation.

View of the Stutthof concentration camp after the liberation.

Stutthof was the first concentration camp built by the Nazi Germany regime outside of Germany.

Completed on September 2, 1939, it was located in a secluded, wet, and wooded area west of the small town of Sztutowo (German: Stutthof). The town is located in the former territory of the Free City of Danzig, 34 km east of Gdańsk, Poland. Stutthof was the last camp liberated by the Allies, on May 9, 1945. More than 85,000 victims died in the camp out of as many as 110,000 people deported there.

The Nazi authorities of the Free City of Danzig were compiling material about known Jews and Polish intelligentsia as early as 1936 and were also reviewing suitable places to build concentration camps in their area. Originally, Stutthof was a civilian internment camp under the Danzig police chief.

In November 1941, it became a "labor education" camp, administered by the German Security Police. Finally, in January 1942, Stutthof became a regular concentration camp.A crematory and gas chamber were added in 1943, just in time to start mass executions when Stutthof was included in the "Final Solution" in June 1944. Mobile gas wagons were also used to complement the maximum capacity of the gas chamber (150 people per execution) when needed.

Tens of thousands of people, perhaps as many as 110,000, were deported to the Stutthof camp. The prisoners were mainly non-Jewish Poles. There were also Polish Jews from Warsaw and Bialystok, and Jews from forced-labor camps in the occupied Baltic states, which the Germans evacuated in 1944 as Soviet forces approached. These totals are thought to be conservative, as it is believed that inmates sent for immediate execution were not registered.

View of two ovens of the crematorium at the Stutthof concentration camp after the liberation.

View of two ovens of the crematorium at the Stutthof concentration camp after the liberation.
 

Prisoners involved in the construction of the camp queue up for food.

Prisoners involved in the construction
of the camp queue up for food.

 
Conditions in the camp were brutal. Many prisoners died
 in typhus epidemics that swept the camp in the winter of 1942 and again in 1944. Those whom the SS guards judged
too weak or sick to work were gassed in the camp's small
gas chamber. Gassing with Zyklon B began in June 1944.
 Camp doctors also killed sick or injured prisoners in the infirmary with lethal injections. More than eighty-five thousand people died in the Stutthof concentration camp.
The Germans used Stutthof prisoners as forced laborers. Some prisoners worked in SS-owned businesses such as the German Equipment Works (DAW), located near the camp. Others labored in local brickyards, in private industrial enterprises, in agriculture, or in the camp's own workshops. In 1944, as forced labor by concentration camp prisoners became increasingly important in armaments production, a Focke-Wulf airplane factory was constructed at Stutthof.

The evacuation of prisoners from the Stutthof camp system in northern Poland began in January 1945. When the final evacuation began, there were nearly fifty thousand prisoners, the majority of them Jews, in the Stutthof camp system.

About five thousand prisoners from Stutthof subcamps were marched to the Baltic Sea coast, forced into the water, and machine gunned. The rest of the prisoners were marched in the direction of Lauenburg in eastern Germany and were cut off by advancing Soviet forces. The Germans forced the surviving prisoners back to Stutthof. Marching in severe winter conditions and treated brutally by SS guards, thousands of died during the march.

Soviet forces liberated Stutthof on May 9, 1945, and liberated about 100 prisoners who had managed to hide during the final evacuation of the camp.

A naked prisoner is led to an execution site in the Stutthof concentration camp, where others either have been shot already or forced to lie face down prior to being shot.

A naked prisoner is led to an execution site in the
Stutthof concentration camp, where others either have been
shot already or forced to lie face down prior to being shot.

 

Text adapted from Wikipedia.

 


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