MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

FORMER GERMAN NAZI
CONCENTRATION AND EXTERMINATION CAMP

Günthergrube

A sub-camp founded in February 1944 next to the Günther coal mine in Lędziny, which belonged to Fürstlich Plessische Bergwerks AG. The mine was under construction. This was the only Auschwitz sub-camp that changed its location over the course of its existence. At first, the prisoners were quartered in a former camp for compulsory laborers, in two barracks with a kitchen, bathhouse, and latrine, surrounded by a barbed-wire fence. In June, it was moved to a new, somewhat larger camp surrounded by a high brick wall along which stood eight masonry guard towers. The prison population was dominated by Jews from France, the Netherlands, and Poland (from Będzin and Sosnowiec) and, after mid-1944, by Hungarian and Polish Jews from the Bliżyn labor camp. SS-Unterscharführer Alois Frey was the camp director. The initial population was 300, and grew to nearly 600 over the summer. The number of those who died is not known precisely. Between February and May 1944, 106 sick and exhausted prisoners were transferred out of the camp. Up to 20 prisoners died in the camp itself. In January 1945, about 600 prisoners were evacuated on foot to Gliwice.