MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

FORMER GERMAN NAZI
CONCENTRATION AND EXTERMINATION CAMP

Lichtewerden

A sub-camp at a thread factory in Světlá (Lichtewerden in German), not far from Bruntal in Czech Silesia, annexed at the time to the Reich as part of Sudetenland. The factory was owned by Gustav Adolf Buhl und Sohn, a textile company. About 300 women, mostly Jews of Polish, Czech, and Slovakian origins, were sent there from Birkenau in November 1944. They were housed in two residential barracks, and two other barracks contained a kitchen, washroom, and storage space. The camp was surrounded with barbed-wire fencing, with wooden guard towers in the corners. SS-Oberscharfūhrer Hans Reeg was probably the camp director. The women called him “Schnauze” because his usual answer to any question was “Halt die Schnauze!” (German for “Shut your trap”). SS men too elderly for front-line service were the guards, along with four SS Aufseherinnen. The prisoners worked on thread-making machinery and in the linen spinning mill, where the conditions were especially unfavorable and the dust hanging in the air made breathing difficult. The hardest work that the famished and exhausted prisoners had to do was weighing and carrying 50-kilogram sacks of cotton. They frequently fainted while doing so. On Sunday, May 6, the entire camp staff, led by the director, walked away after changing into civilian clothing. The Soviets entered Lichtewerden two days later. 

Source: Auschwitz from A to Z. An Illustrated History