Lager III: Teichgrund
Camp for: Germans and Polish civilian workers, forced labourers from Soviet Union
Camp Population: Around 2400
Camp Lagerführer: Theodor Pillich, Theodor Winkler
Lager III Teichgrund was built on the road that ran directly south of the main IG Farben complex, in line with the British POW camp, Pulverturm and Buna Monowitz. The camp was surrounded with a barbed wire fence that was spread between concrete posts (without the electricity). Around half of the workers who were from Russia were housed in the Ostarbeiterinen towards the west part of the camp. Poles were kept separate and fenced off in the north western section. They were treated very harshly by the Germans and received less rations and were subject to beatings for trivial reasons. Although kept separate, they were easily identified by the letter ‘P’ that was prominent on their clothing.
The female section in Lager III was located in two wooden barracks. There were four rooms inside every barrack, and nine bunk beds with mattresses, where 18 women could sleep.
Generally speaking, the food in the camp was not fit for purpose. A small portion of bread and inedible soup was issued in the mornings, a parallel to other camps designated for prisoners in the Auschwitz camp network. However, the majority of those in Teichgrund were supposed to be civilian workers, not prisoners.
Showering was only permitted on occasions but it was either boiling hot water or ice cold. It is possible that the inconsistencies were at the discretion of those Germans who were in charge of the showers as a form of torment.
The working day started at 5am and lasted around 12 hours. In the morning, the workers could drink as much coffee as they wanted but the soup issued was so bad it often left a sandy texture in the mouth afterwards.
Many of the workers in Teichgrund had to clean the land, dig the dykes, place the wires around the IG Farben camp. Some workers possibly toiled in the pipe warehouse nearby. On occasions, the workers would be assigned by the British POW’s who they noted, worked very slowly as a protest to their overseers. Like the British POW’s, the workers of Teichgrund had to work in all weathers and could not stop even in the rain, but many workers were issued jackets as part of their work uniforms.
As of 2016, the camp has not been commemorated.
Prisoner Testimonies of Teichgrund
Existing Camp Relics
A watch tower existed on its north perimeter until 2015, but have since been demolished. 4 SS bomb shelter exist on the north and east perimeter.
Bomb shelter on the east perimeter of Teichgrund
Photo by Michael Challoner ©
SS utility building to the north-east of Teichgrund
Photo by Michael Challoner ©
Zwansarbeitslager no 50 that was just next to the camp for female Ukrainian prisoners
of Lager III Teichgrund. Photo courtesy of the Auschwitz Birkenau Archives
Information about sources we used while researching the werk kamp you can find here.