Smukale


About ten kilometres north Bydgoszcz there is a small town called Smukale. Between 1941 and 1943, the Germans established a transit camp for Poles, mainly from Pomerania, to be deported to other camps and places. The camp was set up in former warehouses and an estimated 4,000 people passed through the camp during its existence. Overcrowding and sanitary abuse led to diseases and during the winter of 1942 a typhus epidemic erupted. The camp was under Gestapo’s control. In February 1943, the camp was dismantled and the prisoners were moved to the camp in Potulice. Although it was a transit camp, the prisoners were used for various slave labor and about 800 people lost their lives while sitting in the camp. About half of them were children. Those who died were buried in a cemetery just south of Smukale.

Current status: Preserved with monument (2021).

Location: 53°11' 40.31" N 17°57' 57.09" E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

There is a memorial plaque outside the former camp. The building now has some form of educating activities. At the small cemetery where some of the victims were buried, there are memorials.

Follow up in books: Lukas, Richard C: Forgotten Holocaust: The Poles Under German Occupation 1939-1944 (2008).