Flossenburg and Hersbruck
After the Symposium in Nuremberg on March 16, the participants visited the Flossenburg Memorial Centre and Museum and Documentation Centre Hersbruck Concentration Camp in Germany. The Flossenburg concentration camp was established in 1938 by the SS units as one of the first labour camps, with the aim of using prisoners for the exploitation of granite ore. From 1942 most of the prisoners have worked in the weapons sector, mostly in newly established satellite camps. The largest of these satellite camps in Bavaria was the Hersbruck concentration camp, where prisoners worked on excavations at the nearby mountain. Despite the fact that Flossenburg was conceived as a labour camp, economic considerations were not in the focus of prisoners’ exploitation, but rather their humiliation and destruction. In eight years the existence of the Flossenburg and its satellite camps, 84,000 men and 16,000 women from more than thirty countries have been interned. About 30,000 of them died under inhuman living and working conditions or were killed by the SS in camps or on death marches.
During the study visit to the Hersbruck camp, the group was led by one of the representatives of the Documentation Center Hersbruck Concentration Camp. Information boards and a small exhibition are placed at the site of the former concentration camp, which today serves a different purpose. An employee at the Flossenbourg MemorialCentre and Museum gave a tour of the site and the permanent exhibition.