Location: Stara Wieś, Pszczyna, Poland
Camp commandant: unknown
Number of prisoners: around 20
Employer in charge: Oberforstamt Pless (Pszczyna Forestry Authority)
Dates of camp's existence: from October 1942 to Spring 1943
Altdorf was a sub-camp in the small village of Stara Wieś close to the town of Pszczyna. Around 20 prisoners from Auschwitz were sent there in October 1942, which is around 25 minutes from the main camp in Oświęcim.
The Forestry Authority (Oberforstamp Pless) required a small number of prisoners to carry out work in the nearby woods including the preparation of land for planting trees, nurseries and creating meadows. Prisoners also worked in the brick factory that had already been established.
Due to the short contract of work required and the relatively small amount of prisoners that formed the sub-camp, a decision was made not to build a new construction of barracks to house the prisoners. This was because prisoners were under permanent escort and a suitable building with a large basement opposite the place of work was identified by the SS.
Inside the basement were two rooms. The largest one had bunk beds with blankets and straw mats. The second room which was much smaller had a kitchen with two stoves for cooking meals. The prisoners were locked in at night under the security of a lone SS man guarding the door. Other SS men patrolled the outer part of the building.
The building still exists today and has recently been converted into flats. The ruins of the former brick factory where prisoners sometimes worked can also be seen close by.
Prisoners selected for this work were later transferred to Kobier and Radostowitz where similar work was carried out. Rudolf Höss had previously mentioned these sub-camps when talking about forestry work as the ‘Plesserforstkommandos’, although he didn’t mention any camps by name.
When the work for this project was completed in the spring of 1943, the Forest Authority informed the Auschwitz Administration that the prisoners were no longer needed.
Information about sources we used while researching the sub-camp you can find here.