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Holocaust History: Concentration Camps

This LibGuide is a starting point for general research on the concentration camps, with resources on genocide, survivor memoirs, and primary sources.

Brief History

Built in May 1938, the Flossenbürg concentration camp was located near the Czech border in Bavaria, Germany. The initial purpose of the camp was to provide forced labor for the mining of granite for construction. Later, prisoners were assigned to weaving factories and to work in the Messerschmidt aircraft factory. Before 1944, there were few Jewish prisoners, but from August 1944 to January 1945, at least 10,000 Jewish prisoners from Hungary and Poland were sent there. By January 1945, there were almost 40,000 prisoners, including 11,000 women in Flossenbürg and its nearly 100 sub-camps. Among them were some prisoners linked to or suspected of supporting the failed July 1945 assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler. On April 10, 1945, these men, including the eminent pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, were hanged.

As the United States Army approached the camp, the prisoners were forced to evacuate toward Dachau. Many of the prisoners died from either exhaustion or starvation or were shot if they could not keep up the pace. An estimated 30,000 prisoners died in Flossenbürg and its sub-camps or on the marches. The 358th and 359th US Infantry Regiments liberated the 1,500 prisoners remaining in the camp on April 23, 1945.

The following summary derived information from the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust.

Sala and Aron Samueli Holocaust Memorial Library

Archival Material