HITLER'S HORRORS WORSEN (Illustration) Famous Historical Events Famous People History Social Studies World History World War II Civil Rights Ethics Film

This picture, maintained by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, depicts a scene at Flossenbürg.  The USHMM provides a description of the image:  “After the liberation of the Flossenbürg concentration camp, two US army infantrymen examine a pile of shoes belonging to victims of the camp.  Flossenbürg, Germany, May 1945.”


Hitler charged Heinrich Himmler with carrying out the "Final Solution" - the Nazis' plan to rid Germany of all Jews and other political undesirables.  A master of terror, Himmler was more-than adept at carrying out his assignment.

The "Final Solution," in part, included concentration camps which carried-out genocide on a daily basis. A report on the camps, originally authored by an S.S. general, provides background on them.

Unspeakable horrors occurred in concentration camps. Some were nothing more than places of execution where innocent people were exterminated because of race or political status. At other camps prisoners performed backbreaking work - slave labor - and even those camps had crematoria.

After the Wolf's-Lair plot against Hitler failed, Dietrich Bonhoeffer became a political undesirable. Initially sent to Buchenwald, a concentration camp northeast of Frankfurt, Bonhoeffer was soon transferred south to Flossenburg, the concentration camp nearest Nuremberg.

Flossenburg inmates either toiled in a nearby Messerschmidt plane factory or labored at a stone quarry.

Crammed inside flimsy barracks, as many as 1,500 people tried to live with some shred of dignity. Nearly 4,000 people had to use the same outside latrine. Most did not feel the heat of the single stove located at the end of each building.

Eight hundred S.S. troops ran Flossenburg. Camp officials piled into supply rooms the clothing of prisoners who could not survive the harsh conditions.

Like most concentration camps, Flossenburg had a crematorium and a courtyard where prisoners were shot. It also had a working gas chamber.

In the last 14 months of its operation, about 14,000 people died at Flossenburg.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Feb 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Apr 26, 2019

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