Vechelde

2,000 concentration camp prisoners who had been selected for work in Auschwitz were taken to Braunschweig on three transports between September and November 1944. They were forced to manufacture utility vehicles for Büssing-NAG in satellite camps of Neuengamme concentration camp. 200 men, mostly Polish Jews who had survived the Lodz ghetto, were taken to a former jute spinning mill located in a meadow between Spiegelbergallee und Spinnerstraße, around ten kilometres from Vechelde. Production was being moved because of Allied attacks, and the outlying location of this building complex was probably a key factor in choosing this site for the satellite camp.

The former jute spinning mill in Vechelde was turned into a production facility for replacement vehicle parts. The prisoners were probably housed in two halls in the immediate vicinity. The concentration camp prisoners were poorly housed and fed in every respect. The food situation only improved somewhat when the malnourishment of the slave labourers began to have a negative effect on production.

The SS cleared the Vechelde satellite camp in late March or early April 1945. The prisoners were initially taken back to the satellite camp on Schillstraße in Braunschweig before being brought to the  Salzgitter-Watenstedt/Leinde satellite camp near the Braunschweig steelworks, and then to Ravensbrück concentration camp via Berlin. The SS transported the prisoners from Ravensbrück to the Wöbbelin "reception camp" near Ludwigslust, where the survivors were liberated by American troops on 2 May 1945.

The commander of the satellite camp was H. Heinrich Sebrandke.

Period

September 1944 bis Ende März 1945

Number of Prisoners

200 Male Prisoners

Kind of Work

Production of replacement vehicle parts

Labor on Behalf of

Büssing-NAG

Location

Directions

Spinnerstraße/Flachsring, 38159 Vechelde, Germany.

Directions by public transportation: From Braunschweig railway station, take bus 450 in the direction of Vechelde to the "Rathaus" stop. 

Memorial

In October 1989, Vechelde council erected a memorial plaque in the archway of the former jute spinning mill where the satellite camp had been set up. In November 1998, an exhibition was held in the town hall to commemorate the prisoners forced to work at the satellite camp.

Contact

Gemeinde Vechelde
Hildesheimer Straße 85
38159 Vechelde
Germany

Tel.: +49 (0) 5302 – 8 02 27 8
Email: info@vechelde.de