MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

FORMER GERMAN NAZI
CONCENTRATION AND EXTERMINATION CAMP

SS Hütte Porombka

A rest and recreation center for SS men from the Auschwitz garrison, located near an artificial inlet on the Soła river in Międzybrodzie Bialskie, not far from the Porąbka dam (Porombka in German). Built by camp prisoners in 1940‒1941 and 1942, it served as a weekend destination for officers and noncoms, their families, and women from the SS auxiliary staff. Recreation was also organized there for other members of the garrison, training courses were held, and convalescents from the SS hospital went there to recuperate. The personnel were women prisoners employed in the kitchen and occasionally men prisoners who delivered supplies and made minor repairs. The center functioned until January 1945.

In 2007, an anonymous benefactor donated a photo album that had once belonged to Karl Höcker, former adjutant to the commandant of Auschwitz, to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. More than 30 of the pictures were taken in Porombka in mid-1944. Among the high-ranking SS men from the camp garrison portrayed in the photos are Rudolf Höss, then acting commander of the garrison; Auschwitz I commandant Richard Baer; Birkenau commandant Josef Kramer, Birkenau head physician Josef Mengele, and crematorium boss Otto Moll. 

Source: Auschwitz from A to Z. An Illustrated History