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Osthofen KZ

Article about: Last year my wife and I were visiting her mother in the Palatinate. Having recently read Anna Seghers 'the seventh Cross ' which I can highly recommend. This novel tells the story of a break

  1. #1

    Default Osthofen KZ

    Last year my wife and I were visiting her mother in the Palatinate. Having recently read Anna Seghers 'the seventh Cross ' which I can highly recommend. This novel tells the story of a breakout from the fictional Westhofen KZ which is based on Osthofen KZ conveniantly located in the next village to my Mother in laws we decided to pay it a visit.

    Concentration camp Osthofen was in service between 1933 and 1934 and was established in a paper factory. Nowadays the former camp residents a documentation center with exhibits and archive.

    In March 1933, the first political prisoners arrived at concentration camp Osthofen. Till the autumn of 1933 the camp was under SA control, after this period it came under control of the SS. In total, there were 3,000 internees imprisoned in this camp. In contrast of other concentration camps there were no deaths in KZ Osthofen. Nevertheless, the internees suffered from abuse, disease, hard work and bad hygienic conditions. The detention duration amounted to usually 4 to 6 weeks, in individual cases up to one year. In May 1934 all German concentration camps were reorganized and it was concluded that Osthofen was not useful anymore. July that same year, KZ Osthofen was closed.

    Pic 1 and 2 is the main entrance now and then.

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    Pic 3 is the entrance to what would have been administration, processing etc

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    Pic 5 is prisoners accomodation block and pic 6 is looking out of the main gate past the admin building.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Osthofen KZ

    Interesting pictures.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Osthofen KZ

    Thank you for posting

    Link to the KZ Osthofen website (in German)
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Osthofen KZ

    many thanks.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Osthofen KZ

    Robin looks like an interesting place...I like the then & now photo..very good. I need to get my butt in gear & get around this big world of ours so many places to visit!!!!. Cheers Terry.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Osthofen KZ

    The paper factory originally belonged to a Jewish owner.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Osthofen KZ

    Thank you,most interesting. Leon.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Osthofen KZ

    I remember that the supposed The Osthofen Concentration camp "Arbeit Macht Frei" iron gate sign was recently offered for sale by US dealer for $5000.

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    At 41" x 16" it would seem to be a very small for such a sign notwithstanding any other question marks.


    The KL Osthofen photo album looked more interesting (not part of the original sale)

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    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Osthofen KZ

    Some interesting items there.The photo album looks good....It must be an interesting place to visit! so many places & not enough time to do it!! Cheers Terry.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Osthofen KZ


    Nicely presented Robin, thank you.

    KL-Osthofen was among the early "wild camps", known by this name due to the initial lack of organisation that came later once the SS took over the administration and developed Konzentrationslager Dachau, the model concentration camp. Other early camps included Colditz (see http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/after-...olditz-278411/ ) and the Emsland camps such as KL-Esterwegen. Apart from Dachau and Esterwegen, none of the fifty or so early camps held upwards of 1,000 prisoners at any given time - much was to change later, when these relatively low numbers would only be present at the countless Aussenlagers throughout the KL system.

    Osthofen was typical of the early camps in that the site was chosen from a number of abandoned factories, castles, army barracks and remote depots. The specifically designed camps that became infamous later, were only in their inception during this early "wild camp" period. Gestapo chief Rudolf Diels later convinced his master Hermann Göring that specific camps were required in order to hold the growing number of individuals that the regime deemed a threat or potential threat.

    One of the interesting facts about Osthofen was the high percentage of Jewish prisoners - unusual for an early concentration camp. The names of approximately 1,500 former Osthofen prisoners are known today, of which almost 10% were of Jewish origin. Work duties involved general upkeep tasks, carpentry and such. The worst conditions were at Camp-II, located in an empty timber mill on nearby Schwerdstrasse. Here, punished prisoners were forced to live in even worse conditions than in the main camp, with meager rations and poor sleeping conditions among the ills of the site.

    SS-Stürmbannführer Karl Heinrich D'Angelo (pictured below), a WWI EKII recipient was the Lagerleiter, later transferring to Dachau as head of the Schützhaftlager. D'Angelo is believed to have committed suicide toward the end of March 1945. Other notable camp staff included Gottfried Lebherz - Leiter der Staatspolizeiaussenstelle KZ-Osthofen, Lagerarzt (camp doctor) Reinhold Daum and guards Richard Hofmann and Heinrich Worster, who later served at Lublin-Majdanek where he was identified by witnesses as among those responsible for the deaths of thousands of Jews. Despite this, he was never tried and died in 1963 in Osthofen.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Karl D'Angelo - Lagerleiter Osthofen.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


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