In order to supply hard coal to their chemical factory, IG Farben acquired a mine in Libiąż Mały in 1943. British prisoners of war used to work in there, but as their productivity wasn't high, its authorities decided to have Auschwitz prisoners sent there. The Janinagrube sub-camp was officially established on September 4th, 1943.
There were a couple of thousand prisoners transferred to the sub-camp during its existence. Around 80% of them were Jews coming from various European countries, the rest were i.e. Poles, Russians and Germans. In late 1944, some of the non-Jewish prisoners were moved to Monowitz and later to Birkenau.
The sub-camp prisoners were divided into various work squads. Most of them operated in the mine beds, but one squad helped for example in operating electrical and motorised machines, too.
In the mid-January 1945, there were around 850 working in Janinagrube. On January 18th approximately 800 of them (60 seriously ill people were left in the sub-camp). were evacuated on foot to Gross Rosen concentration camp. After 18 days, only 200 of them reached the camp.