MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

FORMER GERMAN NAZI
CONCENTRATION AND EXTERMINATION CAMP

Sosnowitz (II)

Camp kitchen building (1967)
Camp kitchen...

A sub-camp at a rolling mill belonging to the Oberschlesiesche Maschinen u. Waggonfabrik in Sosnowiec. The first group of about 200 prisoners, almost all of them Jews, were taken there in May 1944 and quartered in a former camp for foreign conscript workers. Later, the population of the camp increased to 600 over the summer and almost 900 by the end of the year. They lived in three wooden barracks surrounded by an electrified barbed-wire fence with seven guard towers. There were also a kitchen, storehouse, washroom, and latrine inside the fence. The camp director was SS-Hauptscharführer Albin Vaupel.

The living conditions were somewhat better than in Birkenau and the work at the forging presses, stamping presses, lathes, the turning of gun barrels, and the production of artillery shells was relatively lighter. The worst work was on the forging presses where prisoners handling red-hot cannon parts, working in high temperatures, were at risk of burns because they had no protective clothing. The others, and especially the qualified machinists and lathe operators, performed work that did not demand such great physical effort.

In January 1945, the prisoners were evacuated on foot to Opava in Bohemia, from where they were taken by train to the Mauthausen camp. 

Source: Auschwitz from A to Z. An Illustrated History