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Project on Concentration Camp Commando Horgau

Claudia Ried and Wolfgang Kucera spent two days at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen looking through the records kept here on inmates of Horgau, a former concentration camp branch. Their work dealing with the site of the former Dachau Concentration Camp commando in the woods of Horgau is based on a project titled “Zeigefinger weg – Arbeitshandschuhe raus” (Get away with the index finger, take out your labour gloves). “We intend to investigate in full detail the history of commando Horgau”, the two historians describe their project.  

“The social education worker Markus Sailer has taken the initiative in the project“, narrates Kucera. “In collaboration with pupils of the district youth association in charge of the Augsburg rural surroundings and of secondary high school Neusäß, he has taken a closer look at the remainder of the camp in the woods between Horgau and Adelsried.” Various individuals and the office for cultural projects and local history at the district administration in Augsburg have got involved in the work meanwhile.

Built and set up by prisoners early in 1945, the Horgau concentration camp branch was run for the benefit of armaments industry. The inmates of the camp were assigned to produce parts of jet fighter ME 262. Around 300 inmates were transported from Bergen-Belsen to Horgau in March 1945. On 4th April 1945, the camp was closed, and its inmates were sent to Augsburg and Dachau.  

“At ITS, we could gain some new findings“, says Ried. “The records prove that some prisoners had in fact escaped from, or died in, Horgau. That is something we did not know before.” In pursuit of their research, Ried and Kucera could view card files from the camp, transport lists and individual records on the prisoners. “The ITS documentation will help us better retrace and reconstruct the single inmates’ lives“, adds the 51-year-old Augsburg resident. The general public will be provided with access to the research results in the forms of a) a brochure and b) wall charts at the site of events.