KZ-AUßENLAGER NÜRNBERG-SSW (SIEMENS-SCHUCKERT WERKE) - SUB-CAMP OF KZ-FLOßENBÜRG
Located near the Südfriedhof (south cemetery), just south of the central Nürnberg ring road, the camp was established in October 1944. The prisoners, Hungarian Jewish women and girls aged between 14 and 40 years old, were selected at Auschwitz-II Birkenau by representatives of the Siemens company, and then transported in railway cattle trucks - with very little space or food, to the new camp in Nürnberg. Two Auschwitz transport lists record 580 Jewish women and girls being transferred to the new site, yet Floßenbürg records differ, recording 550. The discrepancy likely is due to either the refusal of 30 women on arrival - probably due to poor physical condition, or a number of deaths during the transport. The prisoners were accompanied by 13 SS-Aufseherinnen (female wardens).
The camp was a typical barracks camp, surrounded by barbed wire fencing. The staff, comprising 10 SS guards and a group of female guards supplied by the Siemens concern, were led by Kommandoführer SS-Oberscharführer Theodor St.Mont. Following a month long training period, the female guards were transferred to Außenlager Holleischen, another sub-camp of Floßenbürg.
Around 200 of the women and girls were considered too weak or untrained for work, instead remaining inside the camp performing duties such as rust removal and metal shifting. A training period would precede any period on the production line. Some women worked at the Trafo und Zählerwerk, a part of the Siemens concern located in the southern part of the city. Due to their poor condition and lack of training, many accidents, such as burns, occured in the workplace.
In mid-January, the SS transferred a prisoner nurse to the SSW site from the sub-camp at Neurohlau. Conditions remained very poor for the inmates, who rarely had underwear or warm clothing, despite the winter of 1944-1945. A solitary thin blanket was all the protection they were given from the cold. Many women and girls did not even have shoes. Roll call was generally orderred as a measure of punishment - with long periods of kneeling tormenting the inmates. The cutting of hair and regular beatings also blighted the women and girls at the camp.
Floßenbürg records list three casualties, namely Rosa Kuhan, Bertha Katz and Helen Klein. Klein's ashes were buried in the western cemetery, along with six other female victims of concentration camps - five of whom were unknown Hungarian Jewesses. It is possible that some of those who died lost their lives during a bombing raid toward the end of February 1945, when the area suffered heavy damage. Following the air raid, which saw the accommodation facilities destroyed, the prisoners were moved to a school building on Zeltnerstraße, near to the main railway station and Siemens HQ. The women and girls were forced to eat snow in order to survive and even slept out in the open during this period. At the school site, the female prisoners were forced to remove rubble following the bombing raids. The site at Zeltnerstraße technically became another sub-camp, designated Außenarbeitslager Nürnberg 13a Zeltnerstraße, it also became a transit station for prisoners.
Amid chaotic scenes in the first days of March 1945, three transports left the camp. On the 3rd March, 144 women and girls were transported to the Meltheuer sub-camp, with a further 146 leaving for AL-Holleischen - see links below:
AFTER THE BATTLE No.162 - MY ARTICLE ON HOLLEISCHEN
Two days later, another transport took the remaining women and girls, around 260, to Holleischen. Both the Holleischen and Meltheuer sub-camps were liberated later in spring.
Investigations eventually brought negotiations between several German firms and a Jewish Claims organisation, which led to few women receiving financial compensation from Siemens in the 1960's. After the war, Siemens directors Dr.Knott - director of the Nürnberg factory, and Dr.Georg Grieshammer - the official negotiator for Siemens, both denied responsibility for the poor conditions endured by the Hungarian Jewesses at Außenlager Nürnberg-SSW.
1) Map of the Floßenbürg sub-camps located in Nürnberg
2) Modern image of Katzwangerstraße, former location of the camp
3) Another image showing Zeltnerstraße in modern times. The building on the left of the image now stands where the former school building - utilised to hold the women and girls of Außenlager Nürnberg-SSW, once stood