Soviet Union: "Mass Graves
containing the bodies of 12,500"
Source : The New York Times - September 24, 1992
Investigators digging at the site of a Soviet-run prison camp in the former East
Germany have uncovered mass graves containing the bodies of 12,500 people, the
Brandenburg state government said today.
The camp was at Sachsenhausen, north of Berlin, and was open from 1945 to 1950.
Victims were said to have included real and supposed supporters of the defeated
Third Reich, as well as citizens considered unfriendly to Communist authorities.
Until the Communist Government of East Germany collapsed in 1990, it was impossible
to conduct research like that now under way at Sachsenhausen. Similar excavations
are underway at other sites, and officials expect further discoveries like the
one announced today.
The excavation around Sachsenhausen revealed 50 graves, each about 25 feet long
and 13 feet wide. Under the earth, bodies were stacked in heaps as high as 15
feet and higher.
Pathologists have determined that most of the victims died of starvation, exposure
or communicable diseases. Some had evidently been beaten. Most were children,
adolescents and elderly people.
In the years after the end of World War II, occupying Soviet forces imprisoned
thousands of Germans. Many were accused of war crimes, and their trials were
perfunctory if they were held at all. Some were simply picked off the street,
victims of Stalinist crackdowns.
The victims were taken to one of a network of prison camps. Some of them, like
the one at Sachsenhausen and another at Buchenwald, were built on the sites of
Nazi concentration camps.
The German Government estimated that 65,000 people died in those Soviet run camps
or in transportation to them.
During the four decades of Communist rule in East Germany, memorials were built
at places like Sachsenhausen and Buchenwald. But the memorials implied that the
camps closed at the war's end. They did not mention that in the post-Nazi era,
the camps became brutal Soviet-run military prisons.
Submitted by Alan Newark firstname.lastname@example.org
#2932, Land Niedersachsen (British zone) mostly Polish
My father was in a DP camp in Salzgitter Germany British Sector, til he was re-settled in Britain in 1947, but from what I read there are a few DP Camps in the Salzgitter region and I'm trying to locate the one he was in and also from where he was prior to going to the camp ie: slave labour camp etc. I have been trying for several years since his death to piece together his movements during the war, as you can appreciate he never much spoke of the war years as too painful for him. I know he could never return to his beloved yugoslavia due to persecution of the communist regime. The only information of his time in the DP camp is his identity number..... PWX/DP Reg identity card No 439484, this is the only reference I have. Does this give any identification as to where he was, plus what does the PWX stand for. Is there any records to people whom were in the camps. I look forward to your reply. Kind regards Tina Maria Ryan <email@example.com>
Schleissheim (US zone); Russian boy scout troops
- See Munich
Munchen - Schleissheim
2/20/2011 Dear Olga,
as I was passing on information of your great website I had a complaint that the DP Camp of Munich 'Schleissheim' was not mentioned. I am attaching a Schleissheim document to whomever is interested, but unfortunately it is in Ukrainian which I am ashamed to confess that I cannot understand. Click here to access and print SchleissheimPg1.jpg and SchleissheimPg2.jpg.
Thank you for this wonderful site which I recently discovered! Like many children of DP's I know virtually nothing about this period in the lives of my parents. This is a phenomenon of not only DP's. It has been often reported that American GI's also rarely spoke about their experiences during the war.
I am seeking anyone who may have had contact with my parents in the postwar DP camps from 1945 - 1949 when they were able to immigrate to the USA (Gonzales, Louisiana). My father Alexander Kuzichev and mother Nadejda (maiden name = Smoliak - DOB=1929) were married in 1949 and came to the USA via special DC-4 flight to New York in 1949 and then on to work on their sponsor's cattle/tobacco farm in Gonzales, Louisiana. Their last residence in Germany was the Schleissheim DP camp. My parents were actively involved with the Baptist group in Schleissheim which her uncle Georgg Winogradski led.
Prior to the war, my mother had been living with the Winogradski's (Georg & Maria)in Kramatorsk (Donbass area of USSR) when they were taken to work in Munich by the retreating German army ARO 1944. Georgg Winogradski was an electrical engineer and the Germans had him running the Munich power plant? My father was born in Stavropol, USSR in 1924 but I have no information on how he came to be in Munich at the end of the war. Initially he was in the Russian army and I believe ended up in the German army toward the end of the war defending Berlin against the approaching Russian army.
Between 1945 - 1949 my parents would often visit friends and Churches as well as other Baptist groups in Munich, Stuttgart, Minden, Hanover and presumably they met at one of the Churches on such a trip. My father later attended a Bible Institute in Frille in 1948.
I am also seeking information about my parent's sponsor - a Louisiana farmer. I found one note from Donna Morris (Ingolstadt DP camp) referencing a Louisiana farmer who sponsored her family so perhaps there were other families who ended up in Louisiana. So far I have been unable to connect with Donna or anyone else who came to be in Louisiana. Also so far I have not been able to get any other information from public archives in Gonzales, Louisiana. I have also written to the ITS requesting any information they might have on my parents and her uncle and aunt and am still awaiting a reply.
Hi Olga, I am trying to
trace Olga Buczko or Bernard Leslie who were engaged in 1945 / 1946 . Olga
was in the DP camp Schleswig-Holstein. Are there any records of which British
soldiers or regiments were at the English Unit, and where the displaced persons
went from there? Olga may have travelled on the Castell Bianco to Australia.
Thank you - Tanya Richards
Schöningen (Schoeningen /
Schoningen), city ... Helmstedt
My father, his parents, one brother, and two sisters are WWII survivors (non-Jewish) who were taken from Poland and put to work on farms in Germany. I am trying to track their history (my father was young and can't recall names of places they were at, other than Fliegerhorst). Two of my aunts were born in Schoningen, in 1943 and 1945. Can you tell me the names of DP camps in/around Schoningen during that time? Thank you for any help. Hope Zulisky
I have just come across your great site and was wondering if you or someone out there may be able to help me with information on my wife's father who was in 2 camps between 1938 and 1948, Camp Burgdorf and Camp Schulenburg, before coming to Australia. His name was Michael Kurylko born in Jaslo Poland or Ukraine as he said he was Ukranian but we are not sure....if you can point me in the right direction to follow up that would be so helpful.
thanking you, David Gibson firstname.lastname@example.org
Since about 1990, this Archive (for Schwaben/Suabia, i.e. southwestern part of Bavaria) is located in Augsburg, not in Neuburg any more:
/ Schwaebisch Gmuend (US zone) Lithuanians,
*Rems River, at the
northern foot of the Swabian Jura mts. It has long been known as a gold-working
and silver-working center. Founded by the mid-12th cent., Schwebisch
Gmund was a free imperial city from 1268 until 1803, when it passed to
*Noteworthy buildings include the city hall (1783-85) and the St. Johanniskirche (1210-30), a late Romanesque church. See more: http://www.mv.com/ipusers/butterfly/rev/germany.htm
Sleeping accommodation for a daughter of a Lithuanian choir and orchestra conductor.
On the right, former Lithuanian judges are learning automechanic's trade in DP
Photo from Hearken Then Judge by Juozas Pasilaitis, submitted by Frank
My father Cass Garason was born in Belz, Poland and mother
Christine Wojcicki born in Boiska, Poland, were taken by the Germans
to forced Labor Camps. They were in their teens. I
do not know the names of the forced Labor Camps they were in. I
was born in Heilbronn, Germany (UNRRA camp)
in 1948. After the war they remained
in DP camps in Germany until 1949, when they finally immigrated
to the US from Bremen, Germany.
My father talked about the driving school he attended in Germany (Schwabisch
Gemund). He drove trucks for the US Army until coming to the
US. The photo shows him right under the tail of the Polish Eagle. I
also sent along the book (permit) he had from the driving school. Maybe
some one on your site will read and know about the school.
Thanks again for all your help in my journey to discover my roots.
Polska Szkola Kierowcow Samochodowych
in Prezydenta George Washingtona in Schwäbisch Gmuünd (Wurttembergia)
Polish School Kierowkow Samochodowych
Presient George Washington School
in Schwäbish Gmünd (Wurttemberg)
Graduates of the 6th course of the Polish President Washington Driving School
at Schwabisch Puloski Kaserne, UNRRA Team 166,
Gmünd, June 8 1946
(Email to Barb for large file of this photo if you suspect your relatives
are in this photo.)
Barb's Mom and Dad wearing the
P badge (slave labor from Poland)
distinguished them from legitimate
German citizenship and privledges,
limited their movements, food rations
and subjected them to the rules and
of slave workers.
Certificate from Camp Heilbronn
that Garason could work as a mechanic.
Immigration authorization to come to United States
by War Relief Services of the National CatholicWelfare Conference
(Schaebisch) Hall, Jews,
The correct spelling
Hall / Schwaebisch Hall instead of Schwabisch Hall or Schwebisch Hall.
Submitted by: Wolfgang
Strobel, author of Post der befreiten Zwangsarbeiter - Displaced
Persons Mail Paid in Deutschland 1945 - 1949.
City archives: Stadt-und
Hospitalarchiv Schwäbisch Hall
Am Markt 5
74523 Schwäbisch Hall
A documentary on the concentration camps in Schwebisch Hall. Koziol, Michael Sylvester. Library Stacks Rustung, Krieg und Sklaverei: der Fliegerhorst Schwabisch Hall-Hessental und das Konzentrationslager: eine Dokumentation. Sigmaringen: J. Thorbecke, 1989. UG635.G32 F556 1989
1/24/06 Hi there,
I'm hoping you
can help me.
My father (Richard Hufft) was stationed in Germany during WW2 at Schwaebisch
Hall. He was 2nd in Command. He befriended a German artist by the name
of Diebitsch. I am trying to find Diebitsch's family to let them know
what an impact he had on my family. What I know about Diebitsch:
. His first
initial is C or L. I have found a Carl Diebitsch & a Karl Diebitsch
. He was official artist of Hitler's government
. He designed the currency for the Third Reich
. He painted Eva Braun's portrait
After the war
was over & my father came home he recieved a large box filled
with paintings & furniture
that Diebitsch made for him. This is such a big part of my family's
lore that I'd like to know more about the man. My Father died in
1979 and my Mother is 82 so she doesn't remember a lot about the
man. Any help you can give me would be wonderful! Thank you, Mari
Hufft-Gifford, email: email@example.com
Schwäbisch Hall are two different places: Schwebda near Eschwege
is today named Meinhard bei Eschwege. Submitted by: Wolfgang
Strobel, author of Post der befreiten Zwangsarbeiter -
Displaced Persons Mail Paid in Deutschland 1945 - 1949.
I was delighted to find the site dp camps and I have looked through with great interest. Both my Lithuanian parents were in dp camps. My mother was in Luebeck and she says she saw my father in Scwerin dp camp after the war. I would appreciate any help that you could give me. Thanks Birute Davies
Thank you for presenting such a history of ordinary people caught in
Perhaps you can help or point me in the right direction, My father was Latvian who I believe was transported to Germany as a forced laborer, his age at the time was 13 years being picked up by the Germans and placed on a cattle truck. This was the last time time he ever visited the country of his birth--primarily because of the Russian take over after the war. I am simply trying to discover if there any ways in which I can search out back ground details as to his life prior to being sent to Britain as a displaced person. It was a period in his life that he spoke little of. With stories only really beginning with his
liberation by American troops.
His documents recently discovered by my mother point towards Schwerin - Meckienburg but after that , but i can find know real reference to where or what this place was or served as. His only comments was that he worked on servicing railways track and engines. Thanks for any help Tony Jakubovskis
I am looking for a DP camp that was in Esslingen, right by the Neckar River. My uncle called this place the Schwertmuhle, or Sword Mill. He wrote a paper and here are a few places he spoke of:
The Esslingen Burg
Stadt Halle (with a massive clock with figures)
There's a train station with a station pub or stube
There's a large industrial complex there now.
If you have any info on it or pictures, that would be fabulous. My family, the Kurz family, was there from 1949 - 1956. Thank you so much! Cheryln Kurz
Polish POW soldiers held by Germans. Soviets had control over Poland.
Polish POWs didn't want to go home.
story tells of extreme food shortage in the camp, POW refusal
to go to their Soviet-occupied Poland home.(Computer
camp Sehberg, the British expressed sensitively to documents
issued by the camp line, which showed that one tried tried to
express own authority anzumassen and thereby also British instruction
power to entziehen.[3 ] with this procedure those Poland their
discontent over it that the right of self-determination seemed
no longer ensured to them. Probably for these reasons the British
had already decided in July 1946 to
concentrate on the remaining 9500 Polish soldiers in
few camps of their zone of occupation, in Schleswig-Holstein. Thus
also the camp Sehberg
was vacated on 28 July 1946 and
the Polish soldiers into the large camp after whom peat with Hamburg
was shifted. In response for it 430 Polish civilians, "Displaced
were sent person", on the Sehberg. These with end of war did not
free forced laborers, forced laborer inside and concentration camp
prisoners, who came on 8 August 1946 at 14.20 o'clock to the station
from Melsdorf.[4 ] thereby were however by any means solved for the
British the problems, because in the July of the following year the
competent British authority, the director
of the camp Sehberg, Lewandowski, was
requested by the mission of the new (Soviet-) Polish government in
Warsaw, to remove the Polish minister Mieczyslaw Filipowicz and another
inhabitant responsible for the camp from the camp. All three were accused
They themselves had expressed refusal to return to communist Poland
and concomitantly different camp inhabitants beeinflusst.[5
]. Whether the British obeyed this request, obviously, only the
minister can answer. Filipowicz, who was accommodated in
the neighbour camp remained and emigrated in 1950 to
Baltimore, MD, USA.
A further problem
was the criminality outgoing from the camp. It concerned the typical
offenses of the post-war period: Theft of food, Blackmarket,
Black brennerei in addition, force crimes. Clearly in camp Sehberg
there was an act of violence with connection to the black market business.
In November 1946 in a field a corpse had been found, parts of the
Polish NCO Garbatzki from the camp Sehberg. This murder could
never get completely resolved.[6 ] because also the identity of the
victim only weeks could be clarified after the grausigen find, has
Garbatzki contrary to the deceased of the camp Sehberg specified above
a gravestone on the cemetery of Flemhude. A total evaluation of the
criminality cannot be made for the camp Sehberg in view of the unsatisfactory
living conditions. In the case of an evaluation from historical perspective
however the general lack situation is after the war to consider the suppression
that Poland during the German crew of Poland and the humiliating
and hunger during the time of the hard labour and in the concentration
camps in Germany. To never exclude completely it is also that
the accusations should mask own offences against the laborers deprived
of food by the German population.
The arguments around
the DP criminality in the summer 1947 contributed then also to the
locking of the camp. Both the kreistag of the district Rendsburg and
the federal state parliament had substantial pressure for the British
to react more strongly to the problem. Own historical responsibilities
in these debates ausgeblendet.[7 ] the locking Sehbergs can as a concession
of the British in view of the enormous public pressure be interpreted.
Since the numbers let the political development in Poland
sink however, was not to be thought of a complete locking of the Polish "DP" camps.
From 477 inhabitants in 1946 only 14 camp inhabitants
let themselves be repatriated in November; 52 and in December; still
13 in October. In the extremely hard frozen winter of 1946/1947, the
travels became complete over the Baltic Sea between Luebeck and Stettin
with the "Isar" for
many months eingestellt.[8
If anyone wants to do an accurate translation of this article, the link
to the German site is:
9/26/04 Kudos! It is great to find your website and your work is appreciated.
Can you tell me where I would find the D.P. camp my father was born in after
the war? I was told it was in Stingelfingen, Germany. I don't know if I have
spelled that correctly! I cannot find this camp on your website but would
appreciate being directed anywhere where this camp is mentioned. Would records
exist that can be accessed online of the births in this D. P. camp?
also told that the Poles draped a Polish flag at the head of the bed
and told themselves that this meant the baby was born in Poland!~
#41/179, Land N. Rhine-Westphalia, (British zone), 2,400 Poles, some Balts & Yugoslavs;
My dad is a survivor of Solingen. I would love to see war time pictures. Eric
You have a most interesting website. I am trying to find a friend I had in Solingen, Germany, a Polish DP camp. Her name was Zofia Murawska, Her Father's name Wladyslaw and her mother Maria. She would be about 60-ish. How would I go
about finding her whereabouts? Or for that matter any of the friends I had while living in that dp camp?
Thanks. Lydia Caine
2/18/06 Dear Olga,
I have been hunting for more info about DP camp Soligen. I have papers such as IRO processing cards, wage papers, and immunization records for my parents that state Soligen, North Rhine Westphalia, Land Niedersachsen, and Schleswig-Holstein, also Wentorf (resettlement processing center). I can not find any sites online in English where I can look into further info about this dp camp in Soligen. If possible, could you be of any assistance in this search for more info.. Thank you,