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Map Helps to Clear up Fate

A map kept in the archive of the International Tracing Service (ITS) has contributed to ultimately clear up the fate of a prisoner from Concentration Camp Dachau and paved the way to the scholarly conclusion: the Hungarian Jew Laslo Schröter, in fact, had died on a death march in Bavarian Antdorf. “Until now, his fate has been considered unsolved or even unsolvable”, said Albert Knoll, archivist of the Dachau memorial. “Planning to publish a death book in the year to come, we consider new finding or knowledge emerging from the ITS documents as precious as a gemstone.”  

According to the map that sketches in the route of the death marches leading off Concentration Camp (CC) Dachau, in all, ten persons lost their lives in Antdorf. All files on the research the Allies pursued immediately after the end of the Second World War attempting to identify the ten can be found in the ITS archive today. The then mayor of Antdorf gave evidence to the US Army on 11th December 1948 saying that a concentration camp inmate wearing the prisoner’s number 155660 had been buried in a mass grave in Antdorf on 12th May 1945.

A comparison made between this number and its analogue in the documents of the International Tracing Service’s archive led to the name. “Neither the documents that allow a clear identification of the victims of the death marches, nor the maps have been available to us so far”, elucidates Knoll. “So, I truly hope that we, thanks to the help of the ITS, may shed light on some individuals’ fates which have remained a question mark for our memorial until today.”   

The Hungarian Jew Laslo Schröter, a family man and car mechanic by trade, had been seized by the Nazis in Budapest on 20th November 1944. Following a first deportation to Concentration Camp Sachsenhausen, he was moved to Concentration Camp Buchenwald on 7th February 1945 and to Concentration Camp Natzweiler on 12th March 1945. When his bad health condition made it impossible for him to qualify for the prisoners’ caste “fit for work” any longer, he ended up in the SS labour and invalids’ camp Allach, a subsidiary of CC Dachau. Here he had to line up and begin the last march of his life – a march which had cost so many prisoners their lives that its survivors retrospectively named it “death march”. Tolerating almost no exception from the rule, the SS executed everyone who was unable to walk on. Schröter died at the age of 40.

Hitherto research has come to know of about 10 death marches starting from CC Dachau. “The reports on the routes of the marches, the maps drawn by the survivors and Allies alike and the files on the attempted identification of the victims held in the ITS archive are most beneficial to our work”, so Knoll. “While enriching our research with fresh finding, they affirm that death was not confined to the camps, but had poured over the whole country by the end of the war.”