Pomiechówek – Fort III

Between 1883 and 1888, this fort was built as part of a larger defensive citadel around Modlin about two miles north of Warsaw. During the first world war, the fort was captured by the Germans but was recaptured by Poland in 1918. In 1920 it came to be used as a detention camp for Russian prisoners of war taken by the poles during the polish-russian war (1919-1921). In september 1939 the fort was defended by polish forces but at the end of the month was forced to surrender to the superpower german armed forces.In 1940, the germans began to use the fort to arrest all possible opponents of the nazis. In 1941, until the Germans closed the prison in July 1944, the Gestapo controlled the prison. The officers of the prison could not be determined.

What is known is that between 1943 and July 1944 SS-Obersturmführer Jerzy Scherfer was commandant. Who or what his predecessor is not known. The reason for this is that all the documents brought by the Germans were destroyed. For the same reason, it is difficult to establish how many prisoners ended up and/or were murdered in prison or deported to other places. An estimated 100,000 prisoners were imprisoned, including about 10,000 Jews murdered in the camp. A total of 65,000 prisoners were killed in prison. The majority of prisoners killed in the camp were shot at the fort walls and buried within the fort’s confines. But prisoners were also made about life through, among other things, hanging and abuse. Jewish prisoners were forced to. working to transport water to the camp and in January 1944, about twenty Jewish prisoners were forced to dig up the corpses of prisoners murdered and cremate the corpses on open fires. The soviet army re-introduced the fort in January 1945.

Current status: Preserved with information board (2012).

Location: 52°28'07.9"N 20°43'30.3"E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

Between 1952 and 2006, the Polish army used the fort as a storage room for ammunition. Since 2006, the fort has been abandoned but is cordoned off and can only be visited if you contact an organization called Modlin Twierdza. An organization that takes care of all the forts in the area. The monument and the information board are located just outside the barriers. There are ambitions that the fort will become a museum, but as so often it is an economic issue. The fort is still relatively intact and preserved, although the vegetation is palpable. The traces of the Nazi crimes remain in the form of marks in the walls where the prisoners were shot and on the former. the cemetery contains some thirty crosses with the names of some of those who were murdered in the fort. The English literature on the fort is inadequate but there is a detailed book in polish, but as long as it is not translated into english, the knowledge and knowledge of the fort in western circles will be limited.

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