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Effektenkammer in Konzentrationslager

Article about: Among the many various buildings at the larger concentration camps, were storerooms known as an Effektenkammer. These large stores were used to hold the belongings of the prisoners until the

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    Default Effektenkammer in Konzentrationslager

    Among the many various buildings at the larger concentration camps, were storerooms known as an Effektenkammer. These large stores were used to hold the belongings of the prisoners until their release. The largest still standing is at Buchenwald, the camp near Weimar, Germany. Nowadays, the building is used to house the permanent exhibition. The Stammlager (main camp) at Auschwitz also had a large such store. Once a prisoner had arrived, the process of registration would begin. Belongings were carefully recorded and stored away until the prisoner was due for release. In the event of a prisoner's death, the belongings were to be returned to the relatives duly noted within the prisoner's files. In reality however, once the belongings left the prisoner, the chances of the owner being reunited with their belongings diminished as time went on.

    M.E.Prenant, a former inmate at KZ-Neuengamme who worked in the Effektenkammer, described their work thus:

    "Our work was to gather the belongings of every prisoner who came into the camp. These belongings were divided up into different categories. Valuables were put into envelopes with the prisoner’s name, number and block number on the envelope, and a receipt was issued. On release and presentation of the receipt the prisoner was handed back his belongings.”

    Images:

    1) Buchenwald, Effektenkammer. To the right, disinfection building - nowadays, art displays and temporary exhibitions.



    2) Auschwitz-I, Blk26. Initial store barracks at the main camp.

    3) Auschwitz-I, this large building was also used to store prisoner's belongings.

    4) At Auschwitz-II, Birkenau, the belongings of those destined for the gas chambers were stored in the "Kanada" complex - thirty wooden warehouses located near the crematoria sector. Here, they were sorted and sent to Germany.

    5) Mittelbau-Dota, Effektenkammer.

    6) Gross-Rosen. The Effektenkammer was located on the grassy area visible behind the main entrance building.

    7) Mauthausen. A large memorial now stands where the Effektenkammer was previously located.

    8-9) An envelope used to hold a gold ring belonging to a former concentration camp prisoner.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture BUCH-EFFEKT.jpg   AUSCH-I-BLK26.jpg  

    Ausch-I.Effekt.jpg   AUSCH-II-BIR-KAN.jpg  

    MIT-EFKTN-A.jpg   GR-ENTR-C.jpg  

    MAUT-EFFEKT.jpg   KL0002 (4).jpg  

    KL0002 (3).jpg  
    Experienced guide and published author leading detailed study trips to the former KZ sites of Nazi Germany. Contact for further details.

    www.concentrationcamptours.com

    www.concentrationcampmoney.com


    "maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wíyópeya oki hi sni"

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    thanks Carl.

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    Interesting. I think it's fair to say that most people (myself included) have always had the idea that when a person entered a KZ, that everything they had with them was immediately lost-taken from them. If you read the books, you'll read bits where the SonderKommandos and such had first dibs on what came in-other than gold and jewelry, of course, as these were gathered for the ReichsBank- but here you have an account from a Prisoner Inmate -Prenant -who describes prisoners leaving and receiving back their carefully noted and stored valuables, and even showing one of the described possessions envelopes for a gold ring with the inmates name and number on it as well.
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

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    Thank you for your comment William, you too Harry.

    The items recorded and returned to prisoners fortunate enough to later be released, were all from inmates at Konzentrationslagers such as those classified as an Arbeitslager (work camp). Dachau, Auschwitz-I etc were such sites. The enormous stock piles of items stolen immediately, including those picked over by members of the Sonderkommando, were taken from people who arrived at the death camps.
    Experienced guide and published author leading detailed study trips to the former KZ sites of Nazi Germany. Contact for further details.

    www.concentrationcamptours.com

    www.concentrationcampmoney.com


    "maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wíyópeya oki hi sni"

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    Always interesting subject.

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    Once again you have taken some great images of these sites Carl. Very interesting information , I must admit when I have read in other accounts of the detailed inventory of prisoners belongings , it surprised me , but then again I would guess that it would serve the Reich well to let the general population see that when a prisoner had served his or her term they would be released with their belongings(obviously not Jewish inmates) intact! Leon.
    "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." Ernest Hemingway

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    To augment image no.4 in the original post, below is a plan of the "Kanada II" complex, located at sector BIIg within Auschwitz-II, Birkenau. The thirty large wooden storehouses held an enormous amount of stolen property, requiring a large workforce - known as the Kanadakommando, that was controlled strictly by their SS masters. As the Soviet forces finally approached the camp in January 1945, the SS attempted to burn down much of the entire Birkenau site. Only six of the Effektenlager structures escaped total destruction, still leaving an incredible amount of clothing and property behind as testament to the vast theft that went hand in hand with the mass murder. Over one million men's and women's outfits were discovered, and this remarkable figure is only a fraction of the amount that went through the "Kanada II" sector. Pictured below, Walter Schmidetzki, head of the Kanada complex and later administrative director of Auschwitz-III, Monowitz.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture KANADA II.jpg   W.Schmidetzki.YadVashem.jpg  

    Experienced guide and published author leading detailed study trips to the former KZ sites of Nazi Germany. Contact for further details.

    www.concentrationcamptours.com

    www.concentrationcampmoney.com


    "maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wíyópeya oki hi sni"

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    At f.KL-Ravensbrück, the Effektenkammer was, for a time, located within this building - which later became known as the Wasserwerke. The building actually served several additional purposes, including garages, drivers' quarters, workshops and the camp's telephone and telegraph station. The attic temporarily housed the Effektenkammer (personal effects store).
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Ravensbrück Wasserwerke - Effektenkammer (4).JPG  
    Experienced guide and published author leading detailed study trips to the former KZ sites of Nazi Germany. Contact for further details.

    www.concentrationcamptours.com

    www.concentrationcampmoney.com


    "maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wíyópeya oki hi sni"

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    At KZ-Dachau near München, the Effektenkammer was located on the first floor of the maintenance building, shown below.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture DACH-MAIN (1).JPG  
    Experienced guide and published author leading detailed study trips to the former KZ sites of Nazi Germany. Contact for further details.

    www.concentrationcamptours.com

    www.concentrationcampmoney.com


    "maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wíyópeya oki hi sni"

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    KZ-Stutthof

    The foundation marker of the large Effektenkammer at the major camp established near Danzig (Gdansk, PL). In the background, (L-R) roof of the SS-Garagen (SS Garages), visible over the former prisoner barrack, the large Kommandantur (camp staff HQ) building standing over the former Verwaltungsbaracke (administration barrack), and the Haupteingang (main entrance) to the Häftlingslager (prisoner camp). Just visible through the main gate is the SS guardhouse.

    Note: Today, 9th May 2015, marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of KZ-Stutthof.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture STU-EFTK (2).jpg  
    Experienced guide and published author leading detailed study trips to the former KZ sites of Nazi Germany. Contact for further details.

    www.concentrationcamptours.com

    www.concentrationcampmoney.com


    "maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wíyópeya oki hi sni"

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