On 13 September 1944, the SS set up a satellite camp for women in a former POW camp near the Mellingburger Schleuse. The Sasel satellite camp held 500 prisoners, most of them Jewish women from Poland who had been deported from the Lodz ghetto and Auschwitz-Birkenau to Hamburg, where they initially spent four weeks in the Dessauer Ufer satellite camp.
The women were forced to build makeshift accommodations in the Poppenbüttel and Wandsbek districts of Hamburg for the companies Möller and Wayss & Freytag. Some of the prisoners also had to manufacture concrete slabs from rubble on the Heiligengeistfeld for the companies Moll and Kowahl & Bruns. Other prisoners were deployed to Sternschanze, St. Pauli, Altona and Freihafen and the Rübenkamp urban rail station in Barmbek.
The commander of the satellite camp was Wehrmacht Captain Merker, followed by SS-Oberscharführer Leonhard Stark. Customs officers from Hamburg were conscripted as guards.
The satellite camp was probably evacuated by the SS on 7 April 1945, and the women were taken by train to the Bergen-Belsen “reception camp”.
Two weeks later, on 21 April 1945, more female prisoners were moved into the Sasel satellite camp following the evacuation of Neuengamme concentration camp. These women, originally 2,000 in number, had come from the Helmstedt-Beendorf satellite camp and endured a ten-day journey in goods cars with nearly no food or water. In Hamburg, the survivors were sent to the Langenhorn, Eidelstedt, Wandsbek and Sasel satellite camps. Twelve women died the day they arrived at Sasel.
On 1 May 1945, most of the prisoners left Hamburg on a Swedish Red Cross train and were taken to Sweden via Denmark. The women who had remained in Hamburg were liberated by the British army a few days later, probably on 4/5 May.
At least 35 prisoners died of starvation, disease, maltreatment and exhaustion in Sasel. These prisoners were buried in the Bergstedter Cemetery. Six of them had died by 7 April, while the others had been among those women taken to Sasel from the Helmstedt-Beendorf satellite camp.
a) 13 September 1944 to 7 April 1945 b) 21 April to 4/5 May 1945
Number of prisoners
Kind of work
Construction of makeshift housing and clearance work
Slave labour on behalf of
Möller, Kowahl & Bruns, Wayss & Freytag, Moll