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Names of 100 Hinzert concentration camp prisoners found

Dr. Beate Welter, director of the memorial at the SS special camp/concentration camp Hinzert, spent three days at the beginning of September researching documents at the International Tracing Service (ITS) archive.  She found information on the camp, examined transport lists and studied the fates of individual victims.  “It was the first time I laid eyes on a number of the documents.  We also came across roughly 100 new prisoner names,” said the historian. 

Welter plans to update the memorial´s database using information and findings in the ITS archive.  The SS special camp/concentration camp Hinzert was comparatively small; about 13,000 prisoners were incarcerated there.  It was originally established as a police detention and labor re-education camp for so-called vagrants.  French foreign legionnaires and western European resistance fighters were also imprisoned there as of July 1940.

Forced labourers from eastern European were included starting in June 1943.  Because of their “Nordic racial impact” they were to be checked for their “ability to be Germanized” after conducting forbidden relationships with “ethnic German” women.  “We have been doing intensive research on this chapter for over a year, and we´ve learned a great deal through contact with former prisoners and findings in other archives,” reported Welter.  The historian has also been able to find further references at the ITS.  “We want to describe victims´ fates as fully as possible so as to present a comprehensive account of the events at the SS special camp/concentration camp.  Doing research at the ITS has been very helpful,” according to Welter.