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Sabotage, Resistance and Escape. Find out about the Auschwitz sub-camp Laurahütte

In late March and early April 1944, a new sub-camp of Auschwitz was established in a Polish town of Siemianowice Śląskie. The location was a former Laura steel mill belonging to a German corporation Rheinmetall-Borsig AG manufacturing aircraft guns.

During next months of 1944 there were several transports of Jews mainly from France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Hunguary to Laurahütte. The sub-camp population numbered 937 in mid-January 1945. The prisoners worked in various manufacturing and transport detachments, as well as in administration office, camp kitchen or as cleaners. Civilian people also worked in the company.

The Laurahütte sub-camp was managed by 5-6 SS men in total. There were also other guards working who were not the SS.

There were several - successful and not - escape attempts. The prisoners also used various opportunities to take resistance when possible. For example, those working in offices were able to sabotage production of guns.

The evacuation of the camp started on 23 January 1945. The prisoners were transported to the Mauthausen concentration camp, and 134 of them died during the journery. At Mauthausen, 400 Laurahütte prisoners ere sent to the Neuengamme camp to work for anti-aircraft manufacturer. From those 400, only 254 prisoners surived after death march do Bergen-Belsen.

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

Laurahütte sub-camp of Auschwitz
The former Laurahütte chimney which is by the former prisoners barracks inside the sub-camp
Photo by Michael Challoner ©