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KL-Natzweiler-Struthof - "Kartoffelkeller"

Article about: Konzentrationslager Natzweiler-Struthof - "Kartoffelkeller" Created in the summer and latter part of 1943, this unusual structure was constructed by the first "Nacht und Nebel

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    Default KL-Natzweiler-Struthof - "Kartoffelkeller"


    Konzentrationslager Natzweiler-Struthof - "Kartoffelkeller"

    Created in the summer and latter part of 1943, this unusual structure was constructed by the first "Nacht und Nebel" ("Night and Fog") prisoners who had just arrived at Natzweiler, the largest concentration camp in France. Built partially concealed by the earth, this structure became known by the code-name "Kartoffelkeller" ("potato cellar"). Despite its location near to the vegetable garden, the building was not likely designed for such a purpose. However, the truth has long since been lost to time as no information is available concerning the purpose of the structure, despite its existence for approximately one year before the camp was evacuated. Some have understandably assumed the building was intended as a form of prison block, with confinement areas below ground for the camp's worst inmates. However, the fact that a large Zellenbarrack (cell barrack), complete with torture devices and solitary confinement rooms was already present at the camp leads one to consider other purposes. Generally, prison blocks were also located within the Häftlingslager (prisoner's camp) area of a KL site - not within the SS-zone such as this structure at Natzweiler. Whatever the true purpose, the structure remains another curious facet of the Konzentrationslager system.

    Images:

    1. External view of the "Kartoffelkeller" structure, taken on the camp road leading away from the Haupteingang.

    2-3. Underground images of the stone interior of the structure, photographed within the modern museum building.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture NATZ-KARTOF (7).jpg   NATZ-KARTOF (3).jpg  

    NATZ-KARTOF (6).jpg  
    Experienced guide and published author leading detailed study trips to the former KZ sites of Nazi Germany. Contact for further details.

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    Interesting Info, Carl . Thanks for sharing. I've been reading a book title, " piepel " an account of day to day life in KL Auschwitz-Birkenau. One reference to the ' potato peelery' is that nobody knew why is existed because none of the regular inmates ever saw a potato in the "soup" while at the camp! But I'm sure the kapos did.

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    What are the "Jack-o-lanterns" sitting all over the place for? Strange.
    William

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

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    Quote by Dean View Post
    Interesting Info, Carl . Thanks for sharing. I've been reading a book title, " piepel " an account of day to day life in KL Auschwitz-Birkenau. One reference to the ' potato peelery' is that nobody knew why is existed because none of the regular inmates ever saw a potato in the "soup" while at the camp! But I'm sure the kapos did.
    Thank you Dean. Indeed, the "Kartoffellager" ("potato camp") at Auschwitz-II, Birkenau was located at the side of camp B-Ia, formerly the women's camp. Whilst the vegetables were produced for the camp staff, prisoners were left to scuffle pathetically for discarded scraps such as potato peelings.

    William, I agree that these are rather an unusual sight - particularly as part of a memorial exhibition, yet somehow they do add to the strangeness of the place. Jack o'lanterns can also be used to represent spirits too.
    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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    Thank Carl, I highly suggest the book I mentioned. Very informative and good reading but pretty disturbing. Also, I may have said the wrong camp. I believe I mean Auschwitz proper. My bad. The potato peelers was next to the turnip and soup kitchen, I believe.
    . The jakolanterns kinda look like death masks. But I'm sure they are for effect.

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    Interesting read, thanks for sharing.

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    Today, 23rd November 2016, marks the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of Natzweiler-Struthof. On this day in 1944, American troops arrived at the site where tens of thousands had died. Due to the advancing allied forces, the SS had already began their process of departure in September, with outbound transports of inmates to numerous other Konzentrationslagers. Following the abandonment of the Stammlager (Main Camp) at Natzweiler-Struthof, the sub-camp system continued to operate and did so until as late as spring 1945. The majority of the final prisoners to be held within the Natzweiler-Struthof camp system had to wait much longer to be liberated, with forced marches headed south to KZ-Dachau, near München, the destination for many of them. Dachau itself was not liberated until later that spring, on 29th April 1945.

    Carl
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Yom.Hashoah.candle.jpg   Roma.Sinti.memorial.jpg  

    memorial.cross.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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