Before the establishment of f.KL-Ravensbrück, the only major concentration camp established primarily to hold female inmates, the majority of women deemed a threat to the National Socialist state were housed at Schloß Lichtenburg. From as early as 1933, a concentration camp had been in operation at the site in Prettin, south of Berlin. During the early years of its existence however, Lichtenburg held male inmates. From 1937, women were held at the castle until it was eventually closed in May 1939, when the female inmates were transferred to the newly established major camp at Ravensbrück.
The Renaissance castle in Saxony, used to hold the prisoners, received its first inmates during late spring 1933. One of the first concentration camps established by Nazi Germany, it served as a model of sorts for future camps before eventual closure after some six years in operation. The vast majority of prisoners were political prisoners although homosexuals and repeat offenders were also incarcerated at Lichtenburg from 1934.
Several notable individuals were appointed as Kommandant or held other prominent positions at the camp, including Theodor Eicke (Kommandant during spring/summer 1934), Karl Koch (later served at several other camps including Buchenwald and Lublin-Majdanek), Egon Zill (later, Kommandant at Natzweiler-Struthof and Floßenbürg) and Günther Tamaschke who would hold the title of director of the women's camp until its closure, then moving to the newly established women's camp at Ravensbrück. The sadistic Aufseherin Juana Bormann, later executed for her crimes, was among the fifty women appointed to guard inmates at Lichtenburg. Bormann's nicknames of "the woman with dogs" and "wiesel" need no further explanation.