MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

FORMER GERMAN NAZI
CONCENTRATION AND EXTERMINATION CAMP

Althammer

Brick barracks (1967)
Brick barracks...
Situation plan of the subcamp
Situation plan of...
Blockführerstube (1967)
Blockführerstube...
A sub-camp in Stara Kuźnia (German: Althammer) near Halemba, now within the city limits of Ruda Śląska. The first prisoners were taken there in mid-September 1944. At the beginning of October there were about 500, mostly Jews from Poland, France, and Hungary. They stayed in eight wooden barracks (earlier occupied by Italian prisoners of war) surrounded by a double barbed-wire fence, with the inner fence electrified. The prisoners worked digging foundations and drainage ditches, and laying cable, for an electric power station. The camp director was SS-Oberscharführer Hans Mirbeth. The SS men at the places where prisoners labored were reinforced by older Wehrmacht and Kriegsmarine reservists and industrial watchmen. At least 20 prisoners died in the camp, and the number taken to *Birkenau is not known. In January 1945, the majority of the prisoners were evacuated on foot to Gliwice, and next by train to other concentration camps. Several dozen, left behind, were liberated by Soviet soldiers.