In late July or early August 1944, a women’s satellite camp of Neuengamme concentration camp was established in Salzwedel. The Polte factory in Magdeburg had a branch in Salzwedel which had operated under the name of “Draht- und Metallfabrik Salzwedel” since before World War II. When the war started, the factory began producing infantry and flak ammunition. The Polte factory requested a total of 5,600 prisoners to use as forced labourers. Most of the 1,520 Jewish women in the Salzwedel satellite camp came from Hungary, while the rest came from Poland and Greece. The women arrived at Salzwedel on three transports from Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen in late July/early August, in October and in December 1944. They were forced to work in two 12-hour shifts and were housed in a camp of huts in the grounds of a fertiliser plant on Gardelegener Straße.
In April, women from the evacuated Porta Westfalica-Hausberge and Fallersleben satellite camps arrived at Salzwedel, bringing the number of prisoners to around 3,000. Salzwedel was the only satellite camp of Neuengamme concentration camp not to be evacuated. The prisoners were liberated by members of the Ninth U.S. Army on 14 April 1945.
The name of the commander of the Salzwedel satellite camp for women is not known.
Late July/early August 1944 to 14 April 1945
1520 Female Prisoners
Production of infantry ammunition
Draht- und Metallwarenfabrik Salzwedel GmbH
Tu.–Fr. 1:00 PM –4.30 PM
Sa. u. Su. 1.00 PM –5.00 PM
A boulder with a memorial plaque is located in the grounds of the former satellite camp, on the edge of what is now an industrial estate. An additional memorial plaque was dedicated in 1996 by survivors of the camp during a visit organised by the Salzwedel city council and the Friends of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial. An informative plaque was unveiled in October 2002 as part of the nationwide “Frauenorte” network which marks important sites in the history of women in Saxony-Anhalt.
From the end of 1998 to the end of 2001, an exhibition on the history of Salzwedel during the Nazi era which was held in the Jenny-Marx-Haus, part of the Salzwedeler Museen (the Salzwedel museums), included detailed documentation on the women’s camp and the fate of the Jewish prisoners. Parts of this documentation were incorporated into the permanent exhibition of the Salzwedeler Museen.
An der Marienkirche 3
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