Buchenwald (subcamp Altenburg), seeking information

Discussion in 'The Holocaust' started by siwmeve, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. siwmeve

    siwmeve Member


    I am hoping for help about where I can find documentation about Buchenwald consentration camp, specifically subcamp Altenburg. My grandmother was involved in resistance activities in Norway and was arrested and sent to Ravensbruck/Buchenwald due to this.

    I have been able to get her prisoner number, the transport lists showing when and where she was sent, but I have not been able to find a lot of information about subcamp Altenburg specifically. Since that was where she was kept from August 1944 to April 1945, this is the area of information that I am most interested in. For instance:
    • who was the commander?
    • female guards?
    • how many were killed in the camp
    • how many were killed in the death march from it?
    • any other information that could be relevant/any archives that I can find information in???

    I would really appreciate any help I can get in finding more information regarding this!

    Best Regards
  2. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

  3. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    Encyclopedia Of Camps & Ghettos Vol 1 Part A published by the USHMM has an entry for Altenburg (Women) that runs to about a page. The camp was commanded by SS-Oberscharführer Johann Frötsch (who also commanded the male camp at Altenburg). Both he and the Oberaufsherin Elisabeth Rupper were described as brutal. The guard consisted of 34 SS men and 32 SS women.There are 8 recorded deaths for Altenburg, all from Tuberculosis, but it is believed that the total would of been much higher but when inmates were too weak or ill to work they were transferred back to Ravensbrück. For example in September 1944 just a few weeks after the camp was established 123 Jewish women and 49 Sinti and Roma were transferred back to Ravensbrück, while another 216 were transferred back in October 1944 which included an unknown number of pregnant women.
    The camp was established on 1st August 1944 at the branch of Hugo-Schneider AG (HASAG). The first transport from Ravensbrück consisted of 850 females consisting of 727 Poles, 108 Soviets, 8 French as well as small numbers of Italians, Czechs, Norwegians, Hungarians & Croatians. Another transport of 752 females arrived on 17th August while another of 327 women arrived on 21st August. There were other transports to the camp including one of 600 Polish women who had been rounded up during the Warsaw Uprising. According to a camp report dated for 7th September the camp population was 2,440 women, including 1652 political female Poles, 500 Jews and 288 Gypsies.
    By the end of March 1945 there were 2300 women in the camp with the evacuation commencing on April 11th or 12th.
    In the 1970's the Central Office of State Justice Administrations (ZdL, now BA-L) commenced investigations into the events at the camp and during the evacuation marches, but the investigations were inconclusive.

    Altenburg also had its own subcamps, within the sphere of the HASAG company. Those that worked in the HASAG factories made shells and Panzerfäuste and worked 12 hour shifts.

    Among the Sources used for the camp's entry in the Encyclopedia it states....
    Details of the subcamp are held in the AG-B and BA-K (NS 4 Bu). Investigations by ZdL (now BA0L) are under the file reference IV 429 AR-Z 13/74.
    Details on HASAG and its subcamps are featured in the publication 'Die Schnellaktion Panzerfaust' by Martin Schellenberg.
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  4. siwmeve

    siwmeve Member


    Thanks a lot for the help, there was some totally new information for me in what you have described above. I am just wondering, what is and how can I find:
    Details of the subcamp are held in the AG-B and BA-K (NS 4 Bu). Investigations by ZdL (now BA0L) are under the file reference IV 429 AR-Z 13/74.

    And the Norwegians that were mentioned in the text, is my grandmother and her two friends. They were the only Norwegians in the camp, and they all managed to escape during the death march and get safe back to Norway again :) '

  5. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

  6. siwmeve

    siwmeve Member

    Thanks a lot for the help, I will get in touch with them!

    Does anyone know what happened to Joseph Frötsch and Oberaufseherin Elisabeth Ruppert after the war? These two are listed as the ones in command of Altenburg, and my grandmother is actually refering to them in her diary.

    Best regards
  7. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

  8. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    Wonderful women - thanks for the story Siw. And others for the links.
  9. siwmeve

    siwmeve Member

    I actually found out what happened to Joseph Frötsch, he was shoot by the Americans (the 4th panzer division) on the 16th of April 1945. My grandmother has described it in her notes, that Irka (a Polish prisoner and friend of her in the camp) had told her that he and another SS-man was pointed out by her to the Americans, and they just shot them down on the road. They had changed into civilian cloths, trying to blend in.
    I did not understant at first that it was him, but now that I read the notes more carefully I see that it is him. She is just calling him the Commander, and she is describing some really horrific personal experiences with him. A real bastard from what she is telling about him.

    Again,thanks for all help!!

    And if anyone knows anything about Elisabeth Ruppert, I would be really grateful. I am not able to find out anything about her, exept that she was in charge together with Joseph Frötsch.

    Best regards Siw
  10. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

  11. noman

    noman Member

  12. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Link attached with film footage of Elisabeth Ruppert with another female in detention for alleged War Crimes1946.

    Some hanging Scenes from around 5min onwards believed to be defendants fro Malmedy Massacre.



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