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The first and the only transport of prisoners. Learn history of the Czech sub-camp Lichtenwerden

The Lichtewerden Sub-Camp of Auschwitz was 1 of 3 in total which were established in former Czechoslovakia. It's history begins on 11 November 1944 at a textile factory in Světlá Hora.

2 days earlier, 300 women were selected in Auschwitz II Birkenau and then transported to Lichtewerden. One of the selection criteria was ability to work hard and that was decided by looking at the prisoners' hands - they had to be tough from work. What is important, that was the only transport of prisoners to the new sub-camp.

The women worked in the thread factory along with civilian employees. The Czech women were the prisoner staff supervisors, although they were banned from communicating with them at the same time.

In comparison with the Birkanu camp, the living and sanitary conditions in Lichtewerden were better. Nevertheless, the camp commandant- according to testimonies - was a sadist towards the sub-camp's prisoners. In total there were 16 SS guards and 4 women supervisors, but their names are unknown due to lack of records after the war.

The SS staff evacuated themselves on 6 May 1944, but the prisoners were liberated 2 days after by the Red Army.

Read more about the Lichtewerden Sub-Camp's history here.

Lichtewerden sub-camp of Auschwitz
The area of the former sub-camp, now populated with agricultural housing
Photo by Michael Challoner ©