Czestochowa – HASAG

In 1863 a company was founded in Leipzig called Hugo Schneider Aktiengesellschaft Metallwarenfabrik (HASAG). Initially, small-scale production of metal products began, but during the First World War began to produce war materials. After the war, the demand for war materials drastically decreased in Germany as a result of the Versailles Treaty. But in the thirties when Germany under the Nazis began to rearm, the demand for war material again increased and the company entered into lucrative contracts with the German armed forces and the SS.

When Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, the demand for war material increased even more and the company expanded in both Germany and occupied Poland, where factories were established in three cities, Czestochowa, Kielce and Skarzysko-Kamienna. HASAG came to exploit slave workers from both ghettos and concentration camps in occupied Poland. HASAG expanded to become the third largest company to exploit slave workers in its production. The factory in Czestochowa existed between 1942 and 1945 and was mainly used to produce ammunition.

By exploiting slave workers, HASAG was guilty of war crimes when the conditions in the factories were substandard. The Germans carried out regular selection of the slave workers and the prisoners who could no longer work were at risk of being murdered. 500 Slave workers from HASAG were murdered in Czestochowa at the Jewish cemetery in July 1943. As the Soviet Red Army advanced westward in the fall of 1944, the Germans evacuated the factories in Poland and its workers to factories inside Germany. In total, the number of slave workers at the three HASAG factories in Poland amounted to about 60,000, of which about half died.

Current status: Partly preserved/demolished with monument (2023).

Location: 50°47' 52.72" N 19°07' 07.27" E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

Some factory premises are certainly long gone, others seem to be empty/abandoned, some seem to be rented out to various companies or private individuals, some houses seem to be housing. The premises are located in an industrial area mixed with housing and it feels like a small run-down area.

Follow up in books: Gilberg, Martin: Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War (1987).