HASAG Leipzig

Type   Prison Camp, Factory
Historical Name of Location   Flösenberg, Bayreuth, Germany

Contributor:

ww2dbaseThe HASAG Leipzig slave labour camp was a subcamp of the satellite Camp of Buchenwald Concentration Camp. It was built in 1944 just northwest of the village of Flösenberg, about 20 kilometers southeast of Leipzig, Germany, the location of the headquarters of HASAG (Hugo Schneider AG). It was one of seven slave labour camps operated by HASAG. The first prisoners arrived from Buchenwald in Dec 1944, building Panzerfäust production facilities (capable of building 1,200 units per month), warehouses, barracks, and rail tracks. The work force was almost entirely Jewish women from Poland although there were also a few Political prisoners. The company guarding the prisoners was composed mainly of older members of the SS and the supervision of the work force was carried out by a company of approximately 120 ethnic Germans from Hungary and Ukraine (Volksdeutsche). These two companies, led by Oberrecharführer Strese, known by inmates as "Zick-Zack", treated the women with excessive cruelty. Those who were beaten or starved to death were buried by work details in pits concealed in the nearby wooded mountainside. In Mar 1945, an Allied air raid destroyed the factory. In early April 1944, Strese hastily ordered the SS guards to start moving the surviving prisoners out of the area by rail. About 1,100 were packed into cattle boxcars bound at first to Chemnitz to the south, then further south on to Munich (Munich), Germany or Prague, Czechoslovakia. The manager of the factory, a member of the Todt Labour Ministry named Spettnagel, and a number of Polish watchmen remained at the empty camp, most having living quarters in the village of Beucha east of Leipzig. These men were immediately arrested by the American troops under command of 1st Lieutenant W. R. Johnson who reported to the headquarters of 2nd Infantry Division. Johnson decided to arrange decent burials for all of the victims of the SS and the physical labour of disinterring and re-burying the bodies was done by the managers and German employees of the HASAG Company together with any inhabitants of the local villages found to be members of the Nazi Party. A cemetery was located in a public place and burial ceremonies carried out in public before the local inhabitants. All paperwork consisting of many files detailing the names, town of origin and ages of the Jewish women were seized; little attempt had been made to destroy any evidence of this nature and an immediate search was commenced to apprehend further SS personnel in the area.

ww2dbase1,904 prisoners passed through the gates of HASAG Leipzig; at least 235 did not survive the camp. Additionally, several hundred of the 1,100 transported out of the camp at the time of its closure would not survive their journey in rail cars originally meant for cattle.

ww2dbaseSources:
Sir Martin Gilbert, The Holocaust, Collins London, 1986
The Holocaust Education and Archive Research Team
The Holocaust History Society
The Jewish Virtual Library

Last Major Update: Apr 2020



HASAG Leipzig Timeline

28 Dec 1944 The first 150 Jewish prisoners from Buchenwald Concentration Camp arrived at the HASAG Leipzig subcamp near the village of Flösenberg, Germany.
5 Mar 1945 The factory at the HASAG Leipzig slave labour camp near the village of Flösenberg, Germany was destroyed by Allied aircraft.
13 Apr 1945 The HASAG Leipzig slave labour camp in Germany was officially closed; the remaining 1,100 prisoners were transported by train to Mauthasen Concentration Camp, several hundred of whom did not survive the journey.




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Modern Day Location
WW2-Era Place Name Flösenberg, Bayreuth, Germany
Lat/Long 51.1351, 12.5758


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