MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

FORMER GERMAN NAZI
CONCENTRATION AND EXTERMINATION CAMP

Gleiwitz III

Fence with the watch tower no. 5 (1969)
Fence with the...

A sub-camp located at an inactive mill belonging to Vereinigte Oberschlesische Hüttenwerke AG, part of which had been leased to the formerly Polish firm Zieleniewski Maschinen und Waggonbau GmbH, now under German trusteeship and evacuated from Cracow. The first transport of prisoners was sent there at the end of July 1944 and quartered in a masonry factory building. Initially they worked at putting the grounds in order, erecting a barbed-wire fence, and unloading machinery and installing it in the factory halls. Production started up late in the year, with the prisoners employed making train-car wheels, chassis for flak cannons, components for naval mines, and artillery shells.  The director of the sub-camp was SS-Hauptscharführer Karl Spiker, who had a garrison of several score SS men at his disposal.

In October, the population of the sub-camp was about 600. They were evacuated on foot in January 1945, but they were soon turned back to the vacant Blechhammer sub-camp. From there, some of them joined prisoners from other sub-camps on a march to Gross-Rosen. Others managed to hide or escape. Those who could not do so were shot by the SS shortly before liberation. 

Source: Auschwitz from A to Z. An Illustrated History