Chelmek


In October 1942, a satellite camp was set up next to a railway in Chelmek. About 150 prisoners (mainly Jews) who arrived at Auschwitz in transport from France, Belgium and Holland were used as slave workers in a local shoe factory. Their task was to clean ponds from where the factory took its water. Hunger, hard work and beatings from the SS guards caused 47 prisoners to die during the first and only two months of operation. Another 64 prisoners were so badly injured that they were moved to the Auschwitz infirmary. In 1942, the camp was closed and the remaining 34 prisoners were sent to Auschwitz. Of these, at least 28 died within a month, which means that virtually all prisoners who were in the camp died.

Current status: Demolished with monument (2015).

Location: 50° 6' 14" N 19° 16' 24" E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

Considering that the camp only existed for two months, it is much more lavish than many other monuments at camps that existed for a much longer time. What governs this, I leave unsaid, but one reason may be that it is private financiers who have financed the monument and who have some kind of personal connection to the camp. For those who sat in the camp, however, it hardly matters because suffering does not take into account how long a camp existed.

Follow up in books: Kogon, Eugen: The Theory and Practice of Hell: The German Concentration Camps and the System Behind Them (2006).