Sunday, March 29, 2015


The prisoners of the SS special camp/KZ  Hinzert were required to perform physically demanding and dangerous work. Most of the prisoners were assigned, for example, to clearing work in the surrounding forests, which had to be carried out with totally inadequate tools in so-called external commandos (Außenkommandos). Often quarry, earthworks and drainage work was being undertaken.
With the change in command of the camp with the Office Group D of the SS-WVHA in February 1942, taking charge,  it was intended to organize the work assignments of the prisoners more effectively and profitably. According to a statement from Oranienburg of the 12th February 1942  only 10 percent of prisoners in the camp, are to be used in so-called internal commandos. This was strictly adhered to by the Camp Administration. The Luxembourger Deportee Metty Barbel wrote in retrospect: 'For prisoners who had to stay in the camp during the day in Hinzert it was usually still inexorable than the heavy external commandos. The SS-thugs Pammer, Ivan and other henchmen would flay and torture them all day to pass the time. Particularly the ill and disabled prisoners who had not yet found acceptance in the Revier, the tormentors did not go out of their way to target them'. The classification of prisoners into the various working commandos was undertaken now  by the Division III (labour) of the commandant's office, which cooperated with the detention camp leaders and the 'Rapprtbüro' that ensured the numbers of commandos formed at morning roll call was correct. [Some of the prisoner would try to hide]
Some external work details were far away from the camp. The guards then  had to take the train with the prisoners from Reinfeld or Pölert. It was standard procedure that at least six guards for example would accompany the 'Kommando Trier' to the station where they went into a 'reserved' wagon. In Trier the work detail performed mainly contract work on sewer projects or road construction. To be assigned to an Aussenkomandos could increase the chances of survival as the inmates were given additional meals on
Trier-Saarburg District Map'
                                                                      Looking at the sub-camp detachments in Trier, Gusterrath (company Romika), Hermeskeil, Pölt and in other places, a system of self-sufficient camps were formed with their own accommodation for prisoners to concentrate the workforce directly at the locations without a long journey from mid-1944. The importance of Hinzert concentration camp within the system of exploitation of the SS under the direction of the WVHA becomes more evident. As in the early days of the camp a network of police detention centres [they held prisoners] with considerable distance from the main camp, of which the central camp Wittlich lasted the longest time until February 1942, now  Hinzert was again the organizational centre for a new network of camps, formed only for war economic reasons.
An anonymous letter to the Reichsführer SS, dated the 18 March 1944 from Hermeskeil shows that the neighbourhood knew much, what type of crimes happened behind the camp fence and in the treatment of prisoners that took place: 'The camp is supposed to be a training camp (Arbeitserziehungslager) , why is it performed with punches? People who work in the vicinity of the camp doing field work, hear the prisoners scream. Are these GPU methods? Even the camp leader is treating the prisoners with kicks and punches. Would a German Officer ever have  done that in the past?  This only occurs within the SS! In any case, in the summer an SS officer  killed in the camp a prisoner by a shot through the neck. Every child here knows about this horrible crime. Whether that's fine and acceptable, I do not know, enemies of the state should and must disappear. But in November, a German woman did run through the village and has cursed the camp by loudly screaming: "in Hinzert those murderers have killed my child". The son had loitered at work, was put into the camp and died suddenly. When his parents found out about it, they wanted to lay a wreath on his grave. But they had been threatened and  forced at the point of a  gun to leave the cemetery and take the wreath with them. The local population is very upset about these methods. A transfer of their deceased son had been denied to the mother, perhaps because the boy was  mistreated and tortured  until he died, which an autopsy could have confirmed. Then it is known that the food made available to the inmates is very bad in the camp, because a large portion is deducted from the prisoners allocation and used by the SS to get more '. (Ref .: Engel/Hohengarten, Hinzert, page 435: BArch Berlin, Pers. Staff Reichsführer SS, NS 19.1808)

  Some former deportees in their memoires  state that they have experienced signs of human compassion from civilians in the vicinity of the camp. One prisoner who was taken with a transport to Germany in June 1942 at the age of 15 years, as a 'Nacht und Nebel' suspect,  Michel Goltais remembers that a large bucket of water on the side of the road was put there by a women on the day of his arrival at Reinfeld railway station on the way to the SS special camp (SS-Sonderlager Hinzert),  where inmates who walked on that side of the road, could dip briefly into the bucket to still their thirst, until the accompanying SS man kicked the bucket over with loud profane curses. The woman was chased away and deportees struck with the butt of his rifle. The Luxembourgian Resistance fighter Tun Weyer reported that he and his comrades had something to eat and drink from a farmers wife before working at the 'potato commando' in front of the angry eyes of SS guards: "The farmers understood our situation, and wanted what the others  had committed against us, rectify in some small way. [...] Their good intentions did not do us any good, because our stomachs no longer tolerated the rich food and we were sick. The duration of the potato commando was short, so that we had the normal food again we got used to ". (Ref.: Tun Weyer, prisoner in Dabrowica-Lublin, in:. Rappel. Bulletin trimestriel de la Ligue Luxembourgoise des Prisonniers et Deportes Politiques, 58 (2003), H.2, page 205)
The total death toll of Hinzert concentration camp can not be determined exactly. According to the research of the 'Conseil National de la Resistance', they established a death toll of 321. In this figure the victims of mass killings are included. The French military administration estimated the number of concentration camp deaths in 1946 to about 1,000 men. Often the bodies buried in shallow graves in the woods were sprinkled with chloride of lime to accelerate decomposition and were never found. According to the accounts of former prisoners one must assume that the actual death toll was higher than this number of actual deaths accounted for and exhumed after the war. 217 victims of the SS-Sonderlager HInzert that could not be transferred to their home countries were, at the instigation of the French military administration in 1946 buried  at the "Cimetière d'Honneur" (Honorary Cemetery), which characterizes the memorial today.
Coffins containing the remains of exhumed prisoners
The documentation and meeting house in front of the cemetery, the so-called ”cemetery of honour” was established in 1946 by the French military administration on the grounds of the former guard accommodation. 217 people are buried here who could not be repatriated to their home countries after the war. It became more and more the beginning of the memorial. Georg Baldy and later his son, Bernhard Baldy, have been taking care of the graves since 1958. Many of the meanwhile deceased survivors of the concentration camp from different countries contacted them whenever they returned to the place of their imprisonment to pay their tributes to their murdered comrades. Until the 1990s, the grounds of the cemetery had a shadowy existence. The character of the furtive place was reinforced by the name ”cemetery of honour“ which was used until 1994 and actually covered up the background of the concentration camp. An open air information tableau in four languages which was installed at the south-east corner of the cemetery in 1997 briefly explains the historical background of the grounds. On the  initiative of the Federal State Central Authority for Political Education and the Development Association of the Documentation and Meeting House from the former Concentration Camp at Hinzert, the Rhineland-Palatinate State Government together with support from all four parliamentary parties, decided in favour of a memorial.
Through increased air raid attacks at the beginning of 1945, the transport infrastructure collapsed largely in the Trier area at the end of February all together. The Reichsbahn (railway) line Trier-Hermeskeil was interrupted by the bombing of a bridge at Waldrach. The use of external commandos of camp inmates had to be restricted more and more.
  On November 21, 1944, the Hinzert concentration camp was formally subordinated to the Buchenwald concentration camp, but the enforcement was apparently not performed correctly. On the 17th of January 1945  camp commander Sporrenberg signed his last Hinzert documents. Sporrenberg was transferred to Buchenwald and got to oversee a satellite camp in Thuringia. Now only a  provisional camp, it was taken over by a chief criminal inspector and Obersturmfuhrer from Trier. As the 3rd US Army had reached  Trier, the SS special camp Hinzert (SS-Sonderlager) was officially closed on 2/3 March 1945. The prisoners were accompanied by some men of the SS guards, and hastily taken on an evacuation march with the aim to reach Buchenwald. The exhausted prisoners walked across the Hunsrückhöhenstrasse R-327, R-50 and R-9 to Mainz and then over the bridge across the Rhine into Hesse. Two carts with files and partially seated by SS personnel had to follow at the rear. Three prisoners who could not continue due to their exhaustion, were killed during the march by their captors. Some prisoners succeeded to escape in Hesse from the column, especially since gradually also guards made their own get-away. The US forces overtook the columns which were split into different groups and freed the prisoners at last at Giessen.
  Some prisoners, however, had remain in the camp. While American solders approached the camp, the remaining SS-Guards had disappeared , so that the prisoners were left to themselves. Fearing a possible return of the SS men they fled into the surrounding forests. It was only after the arrival of American troops that they came out of hiding places to face their liberators. According to the survivor Philip Golowatschenko those that were still in a good physical condition from Western European countries made their own way to their home countries. He himself was still under medical care and brought later into a refugee camp at Siegen and from there to Frankfurt.  He returned to Ukraine in July 1945. [He was still alive in 2004 and did speak to this author.]
In 1946 a US military court sentenced the former camp doctor Dr. Waldemar Wolter for his crimes he had committed during his tour of duty in Mauthausen concentration camp, to death, he was hanged in 1947 at Landsberg am Lech. In 1947, the former Lagerkapo Eugen Wipf, who was a Swiss citizen, was arrested in Switzerland and received a life imprisonment after a trial of the federal circuit court in Zurich. Wipf died a few weeks after the pronouncement of judgement from a blood disorder. Hermann Pister was sentenced in Dachau by an American military tribunal during the Buchenwald Trial in 1947 to death. He died prior to execution in the US War Crime Prison at Landsberg am Lech. In June 1948, the [French] Tribunal General Government Militaire de la Francaise d'occupation zone en Allemagne en Autriche got established in the castle of Rastatt and indicted 15 former members of the SS, and in September 1948 another seven members from the SS-Sonderlager/KZ Hinzert. The Tribunal imposed in the first instance four death sentences against the defendants: Pammer, Reiss, Schattner and Fritz. Life imprisonment with hard labour was the verdict for the defendants Windisch and Heinrich. Five defendants were in terms of the indictment found not guilty, another was set free for lack of evidence, about the rest of them, the court imposed prison sentences for the others. After a subsequent revision process, the death sentences were reduced in part to life imprisonment.
On 14 April, Georg Schaaf,  called "Ivan the Terrible", and Joseph Brendel  were sentenced by the Mannheim Regional Court to ten years, and two years and six months respectively. Brendel was in 1961 again before the court because the murder of Soviet prisoners of war had not been part during the first trial. The district court Trier considered him innocent on December 20, 1961 on the charges that he assisted in the murder of 70 Sowjet Prisoners of War in October 1941 at Hinzert.
Egon Zill, second in command of the SS-Sonderlager Hinzert/KZ and later commander of Natzweiler-Struthof and Flossenbürg, was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Circuit Court of Munich in 1955. In 1961 he was set free. He died in Dachau in 1974.

Celui qui se targue de répondre n'a, comme moi, pas connu cet enfer. Celui qui l'a vécu ne répond pas, parce qu'il ne peut répondre. Il tait son angoisse, il tait ses souffrances, il enfoui en lui toutes les cruautés subies. Et, si un jour il avait eu à choisir de donner son morceau de pain à son meilleur camarade en train de mourir pour qu'il vive un quart d'heure de plus, il ne vous le dira pas.                                                                              Soyons humbles. Taisons-nous et n'oublions pas !

                                Let us be humble. Let us be silent and do not forget!



Der Ort des Terrors

SS-Sonderlager Hinzert

Researcher /Author: Uwe Bader/Beate Welter

C.H.Beck oHG, München 2007

Wikipedia, Methapedia

Vetted by:

Institute for Research on Anti-Semitism-Berlin

Translated from German by: Herbert Stolpmann, March 2015

Sunday, March 22, 2015


Between September 1939 and March 1945 a total of at least 13,600 men were taken to the SS special camp. An accurate determination of the number of inmates of the camp is not possible. In the five and a half years of its existence Hinzert was a detention facility of prisoners from the German Reich, Poland, the Soviet Union, Luxembourg, France, Italy, Albania, the Netherlands, Belgian, Yugoslavia, Spain, Switzerland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and the United Kingdom. Within the barracks a total of 560 beds were provided, but if simultaneously several major prisoner transports arrived in Hinzert as during the great waves of arrests in Luxembourg in November 1941 and Belgium, France and the Netherlands in 1942 a temporarily increase from 1.000 to 1.200 prisoners huddled into the barracks. In this revival over the initially facilities sufficient even by NS-standards of the barracks had not enough bunks, lockers, or still washing facilities available. On average, about 800 prisoners were normally in Camp Hinzert.
As in all concentration camps Jewish prisoners, gypsies and deportees from Eastern Europe were often treated very badly and with unbridled brutality in Hinzert. So far, it can be assumed that about 100 prisoners in Hinzert were Jews and that they were not primarily there for racist reasons, but for political reasons, mostly from the Benelux countries. They were recognizable in the camp by the yellow 'Star of David'. About a third of the Jewish prisoners were murdered, beaten to death, scalded, starved or drowned. Proof of Roma prisoners have been limited to one case that has become known for the murder of a Roma boy by the Oberkapo Eugen Wipf.
 The 'prisoners' society' changed from year to year, depending on the political circumstances and the course of the war. Shown in simplified form, the following  groups of prisoners were noticeable in appearance: In the early days of the camp mostly Reichs-German labour reformatory detainees, police and custody-prisoners were brought to Hinzert. From 1941 regular transports of Luxembourger resistance fighters, who had set themselves up to defend against the use of their country, in particular the inclusion of the Grand-Duchy (Großherzugtums) into the Gau of 'Moselland' and against the forced recruitment into the German Army. Luxembourger interned in the camp had limited scope to receive mail from home, and with good behaviour were often released. As a result of the "Nacht und Nebel' decree from May 29, 1942,  large transports of French prisoners arrived at the camp. These NN deportees were completely isolated from the outside world and were used in commandos in the context of specific camp-work. The holding of the group 'E-Poles' was due to the necessary 'probation' as a future German citizen and had only limited contact with another inmate group. They were used in enclosed commandos in part at given work details.
Interior of a Barrack at Hinzert
 One particular group of prisoners represented the former Foreign Legionnaires, as France surrendered and in pursuant to Article 19 of the ceasefire agreement of 1940, the German Reich demanded the return of them. These former Foreign Legionnaires of German nationality were deported from the distribution/holding centres Frejus via Charlonsur-Saone to Hinzert. Between June 1941 and the end of 1942, more than 800 former members of the French Foreign Legion were imprisoned in Hinzert. Statements of Luxenbourg  witnesses indicate that these foreign legionnaires were separated from the others and housed in their own barracks. They were checked for their loyalty towards Germany to fulfil duties with honours within the Wehrmacht and if found satisfactory incorporated into the armed forces, or transferred to other prisons, for example,  the jails of Bruchsal or Krislau.
The Legion’s toughness and ruthlessness are indisputable, but there is no reason to suppose that it has produced better warriors than those of other crack units. The mystery and diverse origins of its recruits do more than its battlefield prowess to create the ethos that catches the imagination of military romantics.
After the WW II:
There definitely were former members of the SS in the Foreign Legion, but a lot of it is based on exaggeration. After the Second World War France lacked the will to keep fighting another war and was short on men: To recruit foreigners was an obvious choice, the first recruitments took place as early as 1944 when they recruited in North African prisoner camps, even though they only took Italians and Austrians.
When the war had ended one year later they started recruiting on a wider base and then there indeed was a swap of former SS soldiers. However due to bad press and obviously because of the grudges held by the French towards the Germans and especially the SS they soon started sorting out SS soldiers (recognisable by blood group tattoos under the left armpit, even though many carved them off there, it still left a scar). Interesting fact: While they were relatively strict about German SS soldiers they didn't do background checks on other nationalities, so many SS members from Eastern Europe and even French collaborators managed to get into the Legion, often because they would have faced trials in their homelands.So its more correct to say: Yes, there were former members of the Waffen SS, but many of them weren't German, but in fact Polish or Russians.
Free French Foreign Legionnaires assaulting an Axis strong point at the battle of Bir Hakeim, 1942.
 Another group of prisoners were the forced labourers from Western and Eastern Europe, which were brought for different reasons to Hinzert, to date only  sporadic evidence is at present available on this subject.  Detentions into Hinzert are known for trying to escape from work, lack of due zeal at assignments, absenteeism, or for illegal consumption of alcohol. If a forced labourer worked in agriculture, after his release from Hinzert, he would put into another type of profession or work detail. If his detention in the camp was due to his fault in an industrial plant, he had to return to the same job. The administration's point of view was: "With the temporary incarceration and subsequent assignment to the previous occupation it  was intended that in such tenacious cases of absenteeism, such as it may be, an immediate exemplary punishment or transfer to a concentration camp will have the desired effect, and certainly have an educational attitude towards productiveness on the other workers. It spreads otherwise too fast around, the view that the authorities did not not crack down severely enough". The Belgian Francois D., who had to work at a company in Ludwigshafen, was not coming for work several times and was admitted in the summer of 1943 for eight weeks into the the SS special camp, then he had to go back to work for the same company.
'Historical road sign at the Hinzert concentration camp. The sign is presently part of the permanent exposition in the National Resistance Museum in    Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg'.
 On admission into the Labour Education Camp, eight weeks detention were common as a rule. Since the Hinzert concentration camp had not only the function of a work camp, an extension of the detention period could already be specified at the briefing. The young Petro D. from Ukraine was apprehended  at the age of 16 from his home in the Ukraine  and had to work in Euskirchen and later at the Ford plant in Cologne, had fled but was arrested by the Gestapo in Trier. Petro D. remained from 1943 until the dissolution of the camp in Hinzert and was liberated in 1945 on the evacuation march by American soldiers.

The special camp was led successively by three commanders: first commandant was SS-Sturmbannführer Hermann Pister, who worked in Hinzert from the 9 October 1939 to 21 December 1941, before his move as commander in Buchenwald until  in mid-April 1945. His successor at Hinzert was Sturmbannführer Egon Zell, but at the end of April 1942,  he was first commander of the KZ Natzweiler and later at Flossenbiirg . Third camp commander was Hauptsturmführer Paul Sporrenberg from 23 April 1942 to January 1945. The commander was responsible next to the camp, also for the guards, slightly elevated and diagonally opposite the prisoner camp, a house was available for him. The commanders had complete  disciplinary powers in a supervisory capacity over the the guards. The 'First protective custody camp' and the other 'protective custody sections' were responsible for the supervision of prisoners in the camp. The protective custody camp 'teacher'(Erzieher) or 'block leader' who had to supervise the inmates in their barracks and to ensure the implementation of the orders of the commander or protective SS camp leader. For the registration of incoming or Return-transports of prisoners, this came under the jurisdiction of 'the Rapportführer' ' . The prison records were maintained at headquarters.
SS with their officer posing for photo in front of one of the camp barracks at Hinzert

Of special brutality towards the prisoners were SS-men George Schaaf and Joseph  Brendel. Georg Schaaf was called in the camp 'Ivan the Terrible'. He was enlisted into the guards of the police camp Hinzert since October 23, 1939. Former prisoners report that he participated in countless abuses towards prisoners . Josef Brendel, by profession a mason, conducted duties from October 1939 in the infirmary. He tortured the prisoners by arbitrary decision, made surgery trials without anaesthesia and abused seriously ill prisoners with kicks and punches and often refused any medical care.
A special role played In January 1942, Eugen Wipf, he was, in the autumn of 1943, promoted by the Camp-Administration and served as 'room elder' until June 6, 1944 as 'Lagerkapo' and thus had an overseer function of its prisoners. He spread fear and terror by its brutality and killed several prisoners. In  the summer of 1941, Eugen Wipf originally from Switzerland, who after he had been sentenced several times in a [German] criminal court, had been admitted as an 'undesirable Alien and 'Antisocial' into the SS-Sonderlager. Numerous reports of former prisoners who had served their time in Hinzert and were then transferred into other concentration camps or detention centres, testify that in that tight little camp it was not even temporarily possible to hide from arbitrary action by the SS tormentors. Shortly after the war, he was arrested while crossing the border into Switzerland in May 1945 and later imprisoned. Responsible for several murders and acts of violence against detainees, he was by a Zurich Circuit Court on 6 July 1948 convicted to life imprisonment. Wipf died shortly after the verdict in the University Hospital of Zurich . The cause of death was a blood disease.
The prison camp was surrounded with a 3.50 meter high fence of chain-linked wire mesh, barbed wire was attached at the top of this. Against this high fence at a distance of about 1 meters away from from it, coiled barbed wires had been placed, to prevent prisoners from creeping under the high fence during an escape attempt.. At the four outer corners of the trapezoidal camp were four watchtowers. In the prison barracks, the 'bunker', were about 21 barred cells along a lined up central aisle. Barred cell window let in skylight. In addition, there was a dark cell  in which the bunker overseer frequently committed abuses towards the occupants.
 The SS officers, NCOs and men were transferred dated back to July 1, 1940 and incorporated into SS Death's Head units (SS-Totenkopfverbände) of the Waffen-SS. The man-power allowance for this special camp of December 12, 1940 which should have been an authorized strength of a total of 304 SS guards, could never be filled. In fact, only 192 personnel were at that time considered as active. The staff strength had dropped to 106 by the 10 June 1941. By January 15, 1943 there was a slight increase and amounted to 118, up to July 15, 1944 very little had altered with 117 people. The guard company, which originally consisted of three Units rapidly dwindled by year's end 1943-44 down to only two, resulting in a 24-hour guard shift. Thus, the free shift could be used for part of daily service tasks. This in turn led to disciplinary actions, arguments in a competitive sense evolved ,  rivalries occurred, holiday overruns was the norm, they overstayed their home leave, and staff was effected by the increasing consumption of alcohol.
 Some prisoners were constantly in contact with SS guards almost side by side within the camp, especially in the Clothing Unit, Drying Room and Showers, where, for example, Scharführer Johann Schattner the newly arriving deportees plagued with his sadistic behaviour, and in the 'infirmary' where Untersturmführer Schneider used to say: 'Here we have  only healthy or dead, you have the choice'.
Wire Fence at Hinzert
As of spring 1943, a special department the 'SS dog unit' (SS-Hundestaffel) was used at Hinzert, which reported directly to the camp commandant Sporrenberg, and was assigned to the SS special camp (SS-Sonderlager) from Oranienburg and the Central Dog School of the SS there, after a representative of the RFSS for the 'Dog Department' (Hundewesen)' had inspected the camp between February 22 and March 1, 1943. The task of the trained dogs were primarily to roam at night between the inner and outer high camp fence to prevent escapes of prisoners or to follow the trail of a fugitive picking up the scent. Dogs were placed in the camp onto prisoners as well, to drive prisoners faster to a running stage or to attack them intentionally.
 A security measure and intimidation was that the prisoners after their arrival during hair cuts had an approximately three centimetre wide strip from the forehead down to the neck shorn twice, and was regularly re-cut to leave a bare strip. The prisoners called this strip the 'Autobahn'. It probably served the fact that the guards could easier identify escaping prisoners. (Ref.: Testimony of Dr. Claude Meyroune and Michel Goltais, former deportees at Hinzert on 16/03/1996 in Paris, in: NS-Documentation Centre Rhineland-Palatinate in Osthofen).
  Three mass executions were carried out at Hinzert. A few weeks after the invasion of the Wehrmacht into the Soviet Union on June 6, 1941,  Hitler's issued orders detailing the 'Kommissar Befehl'  when it got its full meaning, that  'political commissars' of the Red Army are not treated as prisoners of war in accordance with the Hague Convention, but should be liquidated after being taken prisoner. Because of this 'Commissar Order'  when in mid-October 1941 from a work detail at the military training area at Baumholder, near Birkenfeld) 70 Sowjet [political] soldiers were selected, literally 'released' from captivity [legally becoming civilians] and brought to Hinzert concentration camp. Pister, as camp commander had days earlier discussed in advance with the Higher SS and Police Leader in Wiesbaden, Erwin Rösener, the method of execution. The Soviet prisoners were expected by the camp physician, Dr. Waldemar Wolter and other SS officers, which took place in the quarantine barracks,  which was previously partly separated and had been prepared as a first aid room. A staged medical examination was performed  on the Soviet prisoners, they were told  that prior to an assigned work detail, that their physical condition had to be verified, checked and vaccinated before their transfer. Commander Pister was in temporary attendance as an observer. The physician was assisted by paramedics Brendel and Fenchel, while the doctor allegedly inoculated the Sowjet Prisoners against influenza , which in fact were cyanide injections. Those killed were buried secretly in the surrounding forest. [What I personally did experienced, Officers and NCO's in the Wehrmacht would often equivocate when given orders to conceal the truth]
'Leonid Brezhnev in 1942 (right), then a brigade commissar, handing a Communist party membership card to a soldier
 The Army commander in chief, Field Marshal Walter von Brauchitsch, was highly sceptical of the order's legality. Brauchitsch issued a written order providing that discipline was to be maintained as it had been in the past. The entire Wehrmacht leadership were deeply corrupt men who all received enormous bribes from a secret slush fund known as Konto 5 run by Hans Lammers in exchange for loyalty to the National Socialist state. Brauchitsch received a monthly bribe of 4, 000 Reichmarks, which he greatly valued, and as a result was extremely loyal to Hitler because of his greed. In February 1940, Brauchitsch had brushed aside complaints from the retired Field Marshal August von Mackensen [who had British ancestors] that German forces had committed all sorts of war crimes in Poland in 1939 and were still committing war crimes on the grounds that he cared more about the money that he received from Hitler than he did about the lives of Poles. Given this history, Brauchitsch had no hesitations about enforcing the Commissar Order because his greed overwhelmed his scruples about enforcing an illegal order. During the campaign against the Soviet Union, all the senior German officers enforced the Commissar Order despite its manifestly illegal nature out of the fear if they did not, Hitler would cut them from their monthly bribes of 4, 000 Reichmarks from Konto 5 which they cared about so much.
Von Brauchitsch with Hitler. Brauchitsch was sceptical about the legality of Hitler's Commissar Order.
The second murder action concerned the participants of the Luxembourg General Strike against the German occupation policy which took place on 30 August 1942 after the Decree by Gauleiter of 'Moselle' (Koblenz-Trier-Luxembourg) Gustav Simon, in his political/civilian capacity announcing compulsory military service for males in the Wehrmacht. The strike movement against the forcible Germination (Eindeutschung) of its inhabitants probable a significant deviation of international law and the conscription of males into the German army had all of the occupied Grand Duchy (Großherzugtum) in uproar. Workers left their factories, farmers dumped milk onto streets, teachers and students boycotted classes. The telephone wires between the Gestapo in Luxembourg and the Reich Security Main Office ran hot. Fritz Hartmann, director of the Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the SD in Luxembourg, obtained from  Berlin, the declaration of a state of emergency and martial law (Standrechtes). On 31 August Gauleiter Simon imposed as 'head of the civil administration in Luxembourg' the state of Emergency (Ausnahmezustand). [With that all legal procedures were observed to take appropriate actions.] 20 Luxembourger patriots were condemned as the main accused, and sentenced to death by a court martial (Standgericht- there is no defence, consider it a Military Tribunal.) For further details read:
Camp Commander Sporrenberg
They were taken to Hinzert in several groups and summarily shot in a quarry near the SS special camp between 2 and 10 September 1942 and subsequently buried in a common grave in the nearby woods. The executed Luxembourger patriots were by profession: four mechanics, a lath operator and a metal worker, four teachers and a professor, two postal workers, two rail-road workers, one telephone worker, a roofer, a city clerk, the manager of a business office, and a type setter. Posters in red colour displayed the death sentences throughout Luxembourg, but without naming the place of enforcement -Hinzert-. The first posters were already displayed in Luxenbourg, when the strikers were brought to Hinzert prior to their execution. Camp Commandant Sporrenberg had first hesitated because he had only been handed over a judgement of the court-martial, but he had not yet received orders from Berlin. Yet he then personally participated in the shootings.(Ref.: ibid, page 174)
Poster announcing the death sentences of 9 of the 21 Luxembourgers executed for their participation in the 1942 General Strike.'

Due to the forced recruitment of young Luxembourger, the resistance of various groups in the occupied Grand Duchy increased in the subsequent years. Mostly it was resistance in the form of assistance during escapes, providing of hiding places and intelligence work was done. Early in 1944 an attempted deterrent action to intimidate the Luxembourger Resistance was contemplated by the German occupier. 350 Luxembourger  resistance fighters were brought to Hinzert at the end of January 1944. Originally it was planned to have 50 of them sentenced to death by a special court. Gauleiter Simon and the Inspector of the Sipo and SD Wiesbaden, SS Standartneführer Otto Somann, agreed instead of a process with 50 death sentences to settle the matter on 'Police 'Security Policy' and to reduce the number to be shot to 25, because both expected an unfavourable political reaction with regard to the proposed Eindeutschung (Germanization) of the  Luxembourger population. February 25, 1944, was the deadline date: 25 should be shot without trial in Hinzert. Two inmates escaped execution because they had previously been transferred to other camps and could not be brought back in time for the execution. Two other prisoners who were being treated for diphtheria and a stomach ailment in the hospital at Hermeskeil were collected as planned, however, and shot. So, finally 23 Luxembourger were executed in the forest near Hinzert and buried in a mass grave. The conformist newspaper 'Luxenburger Wort' wrote of a martial law enforcement in order to hide from the public that the resistance fighters were killed without due process. The 22-46 year old victims came from different parts of the country, it was intended that the the terror would spread over the whole Duchy.
In addition to these killings, there were those in the forest and the others in the quarry where numerous prisoners were murdered, plus many others by different methods. For example the Jewish Josef Hanau and other prisoners were drowned by SS men in a water trough. The indictment against the camp commander Paul Sporrenberg from 21 December 1960 lists a total of 93 killings. [Ref .: Albert Pütz, Das SS-Sonderlager/KZ Hinzert 1940-1945. Bd. 1: Das Anklageverfahren gegen Paul Sporrenberg, hrsg. vom Ministerium der Justiz Fheinland-Pfalz und der Landeszentrale für politische Bildung. 1998, Seite 178 ff.] [Ref. Albert Pütz, The SS special camp/KZ Hinzert 1940-1945. Vol. 1: The impeachment proceedings against Paul Sporrenberg, edited by the Ministry of Justice Rheinland-Palatinate and the Regional Centre for Civic Education. 1998, page 178 ff.]
He was arrested in Münchengladbach in 1959 and accused of 60 cases of personal injury and deaths, and the execution of 23 Luxembourgers. He died before the opening of the proceedings.
Many monuments in Luxembourg are dedicated to the occupation and liberation of Luxembourg. They remember the victims of the forced labour camps and the forced conscripts, the forced deportations and resettlements as well as the Luxembourg Jews dragged off to unknown destinations and killed. Many memorials commemorate the battles during the winter of 1944/45 and the American liberators.

Instead of calling prisoner by their name as soon as they entered Hinzert [and elsewhere, this was standard procedure] they were addressed by their Number. Foreign prisoners who initially did not understand or pronounced their number in their own tongue were brutally beaten and punished. Here the Luxembourger prisoners played a special role, as they mostly grew up bilingual, they could at least help the French prisoners. They translated the orders of the SS-men or practised with the French, so that they could memorize their prison number in the German language and they could pronounce it properly when reporting. So they kept the prisoners that did not speak German often from further beatings or ill-treatment by overseers, which in some cases were foreigner themselves.
Through letters, characters, or the Star of David on the handed out tattered, mismatched clothes, the prisoners were classified into different groups and thus made directly visible to the guards. Particularly characteristic of the this SS special camp/concentration camp, according to many former deportees that it was a 'run camp',(Lauflager) were everything had to be performed and settled on the run. In particular, for malnourished, sick and elderly prisoners continuous running coercion was painful and led to health problems.
The food was totally inadequate. The French 'Nacht und Nebel'-deportee Dr. Claude Meyroune outlined after the war the situation: ''A very small ration of protein,  almost without fat,  no raw food in the form of fruit, very little vitamins and almost no calcium. A ration under 800 calories, is a starvation rations, on top of this, the worse  forced hard working conditions". The daily rations consisted mostly of 300 to 500 grams of bread, an average of half a litre of tea or coffee substitute in the morning and evening and at noon a low-fat watery soup, containing mostly cabbage. The lack of of carbohydrates, fat, and protein resulted in prisoners loosing massive weight losses. Some lost in the first two months of their stay in Hinzert over 25 kg of their regular weight.
For the whole camp, there were only 20 beds in the medical hut where also sick members of the security guards were treated. Until the beginning of 1941 led by Dr. Waldemar Wolter, physician of the Waffen-SS, was in charge of the Revier. He was succeeded by the surgeon Dr. Theophil Hackethal, a contract physician and Obersturmbannführer from Hermeskeil, who was also the senior doctor at the hospital there. Dr. Hackethal, who took part in the mass shootings of Luxembourger resistance fighters, signed death certificates of dead prisoners without even seen the corpse, with false information about the cause of death, based on the statement of others. [involved as a secretary of a firing squad in the shooting of a total of 43 people.] Since he was often absent, medical care was until early 1943 at the mercy of an incompetent SS-Paramedic. Many prisoners were already upon their arrival in Hinzert in a physically poor condition. Camp Commandant Sporrenberg reported on 25 January 1943, to the RSHA in Berlin: 'Since April 1942 constantly French prisoners are transferred here to Hinzert. The state of their health is so poor that they represent a danger for the whole camp. The reason for these conditions is not the state of our facilities but poor condition of the prisoners. A large proportion of prisoners  are already sick when admitted. So it often happens that prisoners are transferred here that are already over 80 years old, others can not walk the route from the station to the camp and must be carried. In many cases, even prisoners are admitted with active TB, which must be immediately referred to the local civil hospital. Since we do not have an isolation Unit at present, the infected detainees with a contagious disease must be brought to the hospital at Hermeskeil. There are currently over 40 prisoners, most of them there are French. The hospital and the civil population can not be expected that in the long run these condition to be acceptable. It is therefore (es wird gebeten) requested that the admission authorities, especially in Paris which is  the cause of these problems, that sick prisoners are not transferred here in future". A life-sustaining for many prisoners was ensured in Hinzert by the French doctors Dr. Chauvenet, Dr. Chabaud and Dr. Jagiello, who were themselves arrested as "Nacht und Nebel" deportees in the camp. (Ref.: Andre Chauvenet, Une experience de l'esclave. Souvenirs d'un resitant poitevin deporte, Le Poire-sur-Vie (Vendee) 1989.)
After the war, he was indicted together with 60 other representatives of the Camp Administration in the Mauthausen-Gusen trials. Among other things, he was accused of having ordered the gassing of 1400-2700 prisoners shortly before the war ended. The assessment of his behaviour  as medical officer in Mauthausen proved to be controversial. There were a number of former prisoners who attested of his decent behaviour. Thus, it was stated Wolter had sought to improve the medical care of inmates and fought for a better food supply in the camp. Still, he was convicted as a war criminal and executed at Landsberg on 28 May 1947.
At the end of February 1945, Hackethal lived in his holiday cottage near Fulda. There he was arrested by American soldiers on April 16, 1945. In 1947, he was extradited to the French occupation zone. On October 28, he was sentenced to seven years in prison at  Rastatt, on appeal on May 25, 1949, the sentence was increased to 15 years, rather than reduced. Subsequently, several appeals for Hackethal who was detained in the prison of Wittlich had been filed. Both, the Trier Bishop Bernhard Stein and Rhineland-Palatinate's Prime Minister Peter Altmaier campaigned for him. In April 1952 Hackethal was released and his financial benefits under the Act of Returnees  were granted. He returned to Hermeskeil and practised there until his death as a doctor. He was married and had eight children.

                                                                                                                                                           CONTINUED UNDER PART 3

Wednesday, March 18, 2015



Background Introduction
1938 established the German Labour Front [Deutsche Arbeitsfront] (DAF) in the vicinity of the village of Hinzert located in the Rhineland-Palatinate, (Hunsrück)  a [barracks] camp for workers of the Western Wall, the so-called Siegfried Line, 30 km from the Luxembourg border.  During 1939 the camp was taken over by the Organisation Todt (OT).  It was now used as a 'training camp' for detained individuals by the police, referred to as 'special camp'(SS-Sonderlager). On 1 July 1940, Hinzert was subordinate to the inspector of concentration camps and through this process assigned the status as a main concentration camp, however, it was not until February 1942, that the  Group D of the SS Economic-Administrative Main Office controlled these facilities. Hinzert served first as a 'work camp' (Arbeitserziehungslager) for Western Wall workers and became the centre of the completed 'West camp', in fact a police detention camp, and were initially reporting to the Inspector of the Security Police and the SD. From November 1944 onwards Hinzert was subject to the control of the the Buchenwald concentration camp, until the evacuation of the last prisoners, which took place in March.  In addition to labour education prisoners (work-shy), as well as political people held in 'protective custody', especially resistance fighters from Luxembourg and France, but also Italians, Poles, German Foreign Legionnaires, when they returned to Germany, [it was outlawed under the NS-regime to join the French Foreign Legion] and members of other groups of undesirable persons were kept here. For many, Hinzert was a transit station on the way to other camps.

The Siegfried Line in 1938'
As an SS special concentration camp (SS-Sonderlager/KZ) Hinzert comprised of a total of 29 satellite camps in the Rhine-Main area, in the Eifel and Saarland. They had partly the function of 'labour education camps' or police detention centres. Some were kept for the Organisation Todt as a working reservoir, others were built at sites of the arms industry or established and made available on airfields and other military installations of the Wehrmacht. Often the prisoners were used to remove air-raid war damages. About the majority of the satellite camps of Hinzert, there is only scant information.
The longest existing satellite camp was in Wittenberg at the Phrix works where the prisoners were used in the production of cellulose. Because the company's management was not satisfied with the condition of the workers, they were sent back to the main camp, (Return Transfer) not out of care for them, but from considerations of less further utility and of no practical use, they demanded healthier prisoners as a substitute, on the grounds that there was no purpose for starved labour, the prisoners returned in February 1945. Thus, the factory management got rid of a burden, considering the given war's end-threatening conditions.
A special case is the camp Wöbbelin that was ten weeks at the turn of 1944/45 built as an evacuation and death camp for 5,000 prisoners and became for many the last station for them. About 1,000 people died there. Quite late, only in April 1945, a POW camp at Sandbostel had been established as a concentration camp, where about 10,000 prisoners languished.
THE SS SPECIAL CAMP/KZ HINZERT (Researchers Uwe Bader / Beate Welter)
The camp was designated in the Nazi era as 'SS-Hinzert special camp' (SS-Sonderlager Hinzert), and in it's early days run as a 'police custody camp Hinzert'[which was compulsory labour, by people kept in jails]. This is explained by the history of the camp. The historical name after 1945 led to repeatedly denying the character of a concentration camp and German officialdom only conceded its existence from the beginning as a functioning 'work camp'.  Until into the 90s  the claim was made to call the camp  what it actually was, had been ignored by the German authorities. The pertinent efforts of former deportees, especially from Luxembourg, or of persons who had dealt with the history of the camp were blocked. However, the camp Hinzert was far more, and a special part of the concentration camp system during the Second World War.

The emergence of the camp on the outskirts of the small village Hinzert, about ten kilometres from Hermeskeil and about 25 km from Trier, was directly related to the construction of the 'Westwall' (Siegfried Line) along the German border with France and Belgium. Using the 'Regulation in ensuring the workforce-needs for special tasks of state political importance', which was adopted and enforced on July 1, 1938, workers were specially committed to serve on the Westwallbau (building the Siegfried Line). This Regulation was also the basis for convening the first guards of the SS Special Camp Hinzert (SS-Sonderlager). The camp complex was built in 1938, first for conscripts workers who were employed in the construction  by orders of the German Wehrmacht to complete the Westwall, or in the construction of a projected nearby Reichs-Autobahn. These workers became the responsibility of the Organisation Todt, or were organized members of the Reich Labour Service (RAD) [All German males and later females from the age of 18 had to join the RAD which were Labour Service Companies, for two years]. However, already in early summer 1939 'work-shy' or 'work refusal individuals' (Arbeitsverweigerer) were brought in as 'a three-week' re-education stint into the camp at Hinzert. After a fire broke out in a larger camp  part on 16 August 1939 new barracks were built for the Reichs Labour Service.(RAD)
RAD squad, 1940
On October 9, 1939 SS-Standartenführer Hermann Pister took office as the first camp commander. Under his direction, he changed the 'Polizeihaftlager' (Police Detention Centre) which was erected at the same time in a built-up area in the same camp complex as the 'SS-Sonderlager' (SS special camp). While in a police custody camp, detained workers were released after three weeks as appropriate by management and the completion of 'Re-education' towards working habits. But 'Backsliders Volksgenossen (citizen-comrades) or those workers who were convicted by Field- and Courts-martial stayed longer as prison punishment, or were to be regarded as habitual drunkards and notorious slackers went  into the special camp (SS-Sonderlager) Hinzert for a longer time', thus Pister noted in a report to the SS Main Office on 25 July 1940. In Hinzert there was in the spring as it were, two camps in one. According to previous research, the term 'Hinzert concentration camp' was used for the first time on 23 November1939. [The order from Berlin reads: The Standartenführer Pister, Hermann, SS no. 29892, is commanded with immediate effect for the supervision and management of education camps in the West.. Berlin, October 9, 1939]
In the fall of 1939, the 'Security Offices' the competent authorities responsible for the Westwallbau superstructure responsible for delinquent workers, built more 'police detention camps', in which the inmates should not only be 're-educated',  but were also collected and used on special work details. These camp structures were built at location at Vicht south of Aachen, in Uthlede at Wesermünde in Hamburg-West, in Mörsch in Frankenthal, in Reinzabern near Germersheim and Hinzert. All these camps were reporting and controlled by the camp commandant of the 'SS special camp Hinzert' (SS-Sonderlager') and thus assumed a national function from the beginning. These Polizrihaftlager should and would implement the 'Local Emergency Arresting Law' whereby to relieve overcrowded prisons and ensure that the prisoners were not lost for use in the labour process requirement, but were brought to heel by tighter labour laws in line with Nazi ideology. Looking at the background of their commercial use, the promotion of the Westwall building by allocating previously disciplined workers in the Nazi sense to build at the 'Superstructure Westwall'. These camps were also called 'the West Camps' in official communications.
[As a side issue: Volunteers of the Hitler Youth from the age of sixteen did participate in the construction of the Westwall and were awarded a special commemorated Medal for their endeavours. It was not all forced criminals that worked there,sic]
Hinzert, view of the camp 1941

The year 1939/1940 by Hinzert administrated system for the 'West camps' had lost its essential importance with the rapid success of the German armed forces in Western Europe. The expansion of the Western Wall was stopped. Thus, the associated camps to Hinzert were closed, and also for the SS special camp now raised the question of its existence. After an examination of the camp by the Chief of the SS Main Office, August Heißmeier, and an Annual Report of the camp commandant Pister it was decided that the Hinzert concentration camp would be transferred with effect of 1 July 1940, to the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps (IKL) in Oranienburg and the SS leaders who were subordinate leaders and other teams with equivalent effect incorporated into the Waffen-SS (SS Death's Head units'). Instead of the previous cost carrier, the Organisation Todt, now the Gestapo-Office would  regulate the financial allocations for the remaining camp and the prisoners. The IKL took over the cost of the transferred and retained Waffen-SS guards and its leadership to Hermann Pister. But the camp was in its role as a 'work camp' assigned to Department II of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), which was responsible for 'organizational, administrative and legal aspects'. It was managed there in the office group C Division III, which administrated the area under the term 'accommodation and prisoners well being'. Between the IKL and the RSHA there were obvious rivalries about these camps. Pister as commandant simply ignored instructions from the Gestapo-Office to designate the camp as 'Hinzert concentration camp/tabor education camp'. (SS-Sonderlager Hinzert/Arbeiterziehungslager)
The Westwall (Siefried Line) and the Maginot  Line' The Americans never conquered the Westwall!

In addition to the 'labour education prisoners' increasingly political prisoners were now brought to Hinzert, especially members of the Resistance from neighbouring Luxembourg, which after the German invasion on the 10th May 1940, the Gauleiter of Koblenz-Trier, Gustav Simon, was appointed on the 2nd of August as head of the civil administration of Luxembourg. Simon incorporated the conquered state of Luxembourg into his Gau 'Moselland'. The first protective custody admission of political prisoners was taken by Luxembourg, and commenced from the summer of 1941.
On August 30th 1942, Gustav Simon publicly announced the introduction of compulsory military service. Having had wind of this ordinance, the resistance fighters decided to call a general strike. In order to inform the population that nobody was to go to work or school on August 31st 1942, fliers were printed and distributed. The strike commenced in Wiltz in the morning and, from there, spread through the entire country. The Germans retorted savagely, arresting those alleged to have been responsible and sentencing them to death by courtmartial (‘Standgericht’). Consequently, twenty people were shot in September 1942 at the concentration camp Hinzert.
When military service became mandatory, a good many young men fled the country, be it to enlist with the allied forces or join the French and Belgian resistance movements. Others completed their training but did not return from their home leave. If, for some reason or other, they could not or would not go abroad, they went into hiding aided by resistance fighters or common citizens. For this purpose, a large number of special hideaways were created, with utmost secrecy, in forests, mines, churches and on farms. About two thirds of the objectors made use of this arrangement, which came at a prize: Discovery could mean death for both the young men and their helpers, as well as the dreaded deportation to the eastern border of the Reich (‘Ëmsiedlung’). Nonetheless, a total of 3,500 out of the 10,200 young men that had been summoned managed to circumvent recruitment.

Gauleiter Simon under Hitler's portrait
The detained prisoners saw their protective custody authority not at all, they were mostly 'submitted' to them after the arrest. The SS special camp became from 1941/42 more and more assigned with tasks in common with concentration camp practises, such as the protective custody admissions and the 'special treatment' of 70 Soviet prisoners of war who were executed in October 1941. (the German text reads 'murdered' (ermordet)
Oswald Pohl and Richard Glücks could show at the foundation of the SS-WVHA from available statistics of the IKL, to convey to the Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler that the RSHA, had not run the camp Hinzert economically effectively until 1942. Himmler declared on 7 February 1942 at a meeting at Hitler's headquarters 'Wolsschanse': "I believe that we can not afford at the present time that the SS special camp 'Hinzert', which currently is under the Reich Main Security Office shall continue in its present form, because as I have noted, there is nothing rational done or what is performed there is not vital for winning the war. Anyway In the winter virtually nothing is ever finished. I reckon it as important that the Hinzert concentration camp on an economically basis should be incorporated into the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps ".

A group of SS officers converse outside at a construction site in the Hinzert concentration camp'

After subordination of the camp personnel under the IKL as well as the economically responsibility by the IKL, which in turn was just incorporated as an official group D into the formation of the SS-WVHA, it became clear this meant that the prisoners of the SS Sonderlager of the IKL, respectively, became now under the new SS-WVHA. Up to and until February 1942, only the RSHA Department II had been responsible over the Gestapo-Section Trier's activities. With the intention of SS-WVHA, rigorous use of the concentration camp prisoners as manpower for the war economy would be demanded, and the degree of exploitation of labour of the prisoners in the SS special camp changed up to the 'extermination through hard labour' (Vernichtung durch Arbeit).
Oswald Pohl had succeeded in being awarded the responsibility for the special camp in Hinzert. At the same time he received the budgetary control over the Gestapo-Section Trier and the RSHA Department II for the maintenance and infrastructure for barracks construction and supply of goods plus the amount of lease-hold payments to their original owners. That was a very cost effective solution for him by his newly founded SS-WVHA. The SS special camp, therefore, was in the truest sense of the word a special form of a concentration camp.

Defendant Oswald Pohl, a former SS Obergruppenfuehrer and general in the Waffen-SS, is sentenced to death by hanging at  the Military Tribunal II at the Pohl/WVHA trial.
After the outbreak of war, camp inmates were increasingly deployed in armaments production and mercilessly exploited in the process.This necessitates measures to ensure the gradual transformation of the concentration camps from their previously one-sided political form into organizations more suitable for economic tasks. With the integration of prisoners into wartime production, the camps assumed far greater economic importance than ever before. On March 3, 1942, the camps were placed under the control of the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office [SS-Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungshauptamt or WVHA], which was led by SS-Obergruppenführer Oswald Pohl. His report of April 30, 1942, already announces the shift from a penal- to work-camp structure, a move that introduced certain improvements in camp conditions, at least on a short-term basis, since prisoners were now regarded as an important labour source in the war effort. On the whole, however, the massive, long-term deployment of forced labourers from the camps also entailed the ruthless exploitation of human life.
Portable crates, which the prisoners had to drag while running, were used to transport wood,slates and coal. This is a contrived photo, and originates from an SS guard not known so far

The first admissions to the camp in 1939 was made to discipline workers of the Organisation Todt. The men who had refused to work were designated 'wards' (Zöglinge) and were held  for a period of 21 days in a police custody section or for 56 days in the labour camp. After their release, they had no criminal record in a legal sense, but were considered 'difficult-unworthy'(wehrwürdig). With the outbreak of war this position changed somewhat as people were taken into Hinzert and were abused there, to punish them because of their political beliefs or their religious convictions. During the year 1941, the classification of prisoners was adjusted with the term 'ward', as a category abolished and replaced wit he the term of 'Protective Custody' and  'Work Education Prisoners'(Arbeitserziehungshäftlinge) were now only used. The first major consignments of protection prisoners took place in the summer of 1941 from the Grand Duchy Luxembourg. Henceforth Hinzert was the central prison facility for Luxembourg opponents of the German occupation forces and members of the Luxembourger Resistance. Many were deported from here to other places of detention and concentration camps.
During the second world war, political prisoners were deported from countries occupied by the Wehrmacht into the SS special camp/concentration camp Hinzert. Three times prisoners were taken only to Hinzert in order to be liquidated there in groups: (1941- 70 Soviets, 1942- 20 and 1944- 23 Luxembourger victims). Most of the prisoners who were not released, but deported either after a term in a Hinzert sub--camp of the KZ or to other concentration camps.

Commandant Hermann Pister oversees a column of prisoners.
 Between 1941 and 1944, the SS special camp served as recording and test facility for checking the 'Eindeutschfähigkeit' (Integrating into Germane) of Polish forced labourers, after the individuals were arrested for illegal dealings with German women. These men were given a chance to show their 'Aryan' appearance to survive by their proof of possible Germanic features, called the 'Eindeutschungsfähigkeit'. While those forced labourers who had Slavic character after the Nazi racial ideology, were mostly sentenced to death, while the 'E-Poles', were  (the E stood for 'Eindeutschungsfähigkeit) deported to Hinzert. They were kept in a department with their own rooms and have been used only in particular Polish working commandos. The German 'Racial review - and Settlement Main Office' would undertake the examinations. If a prisoner had been classified as 'eindeutschungsfähig', (acceptable as Germanic) the preparations were conducted for a parole after six months and for the marriage with the German woman could proceed. Those prisoners whose examination was negative were sent into other concentration camps, mostly located into the Alsace concentration camp at Natzweiler, and there usually executed on the basis of 'Rassenschande' (Race-Shame) Yet German males did live in relationships with Polish women,
if she was 'nordic' and if approved even received a Govt. Monetary Grant (Ehestandsdarlehn) quite openly to establish families.
[It should be noted that a number of mixed blood (coloured) people did in fact live normally under the NS-Rgime without persecution, especially those descendants from former colonies, after 1918.]
  A special feature had the SS-Sonderkommando since the decree  'Nacht und Nebel' (Night and Fog) of December 7, 1941 for those in France detained political prisoners. The 'NN-deportation' were brought by rail from French prisons of La Sante, Cherche Midi and Fresnes near Paris via Trier to Reinsfeld, from there they reached on foot or by truck into the camp. The first transport of NN prisoners from France came into Hinzert on May 29, 1942. Until October 1943 at least 40 NN transports have been indicated. According to present knowledge there were about 2,000 French Night and Fog deportees in Hinzert. Among the prisoners there were also Dutch, Belgian and Luxenbourg resistance fighters who had been apprehended in northern France. Women who were caught as' Night-and-Fog' prisoners, were taken to Germany from time to time into the women's camp at Flußbach near Wittlich. Thither the mother of the youngest NN prisoner was brought here. The mother later died in a concentration camp at Ravensbrück, her son was killed during an air raid in a concentration camp at Nordhausen in Thuringia.[Reference: Bader, Hitler's "Nacht und Nebel-Erlaß",page 40]
From Trier to Hinzert:
Priest, painter draughtsman and engraver, the Frenchman John Daligault a member of the Resistance in 1940, through the Volunteer Army Caen branch network, arrested on 31 August 1941 he was detained in Fresnes, tried, and then transferred to Germany, into the prison of Trier (Rhineland-Palatinate). He was then interned in the nearby concentration camp Hinzert from 1942 to March 1943. After several months in captivity in prisons and other  camps, he was executed in Dachau, April 28, 1945.
Hinzert commemorative plaque of the Night and Fog victims

                                                                                                                                                                    CONTINUED UNDER PART 2/3