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SS-Truppenübungsplatz Heidelager

SS-Truppenübungsplatz Heidelager was a World War II SS military complex and Nazi concentration camp in Pustków and Pustków Osiedle, Occupied Poland. The Nazi facility was built to train collaborationist military units, including the Ukrainian 14th Waffen SS Division "Galician", and units from Estonia. This training included killing operations inside the concentration camps – most notably at the nearby Pustków and Szebnie camps – and Jewish ghettos in the vicinity of the 'Heidelager'. The military area was situated in the triangle of the Wisła and San rivers, dominated by large forest areas. The centre of the Heidelager was at Blizna, the location of the secret Nazi V-2 missile launch site, which was built and staffed by prisoners from the concentration camp at Pustków.

SS-Truppenübungsplatz Heidelager
SS-officer training camp
Concentration camp
Heidelager Museum
Location of Pustków on the map of Poland today
Coordinates50°5′59″N21°31′8″E /50.09972°N 21.51889°E /50.09972; 21.51889Coordinates: 50°5′59″N21°31′8″E /50.09972°N 21.51889°E /50.09972; 21.51889
Operated bySchutzstaffel (SS)
CommandantOberführer-SS Bernhardt Voss
Original useSlave labour, POW internment
OperationalJanuary 1940 – August 1944
InmatesJews, Poles, Russians
Killed15,000 total: 7,000 Jews, 5,000 Soviets, 3,000 Polish
Liberated by Armia Krajowa
Red Army

Contents

The Nazis originally planned to erect a large SStraining camp near Pustków with barracks, warehouses, and buildings for the intelligence services. The facility was built by order of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler under provision OKW No. 3032 of 21 December 1939, which allowed for construction of an SS military training centre in the area eastward of Dębica in Generalgouvernement Polen. The training site was to be built as a barrack camp with four ring roads (called: Lager Flandern). It was planned to be completed on 1 October 1940 for two reinforced infantry regiments. To accomplish this, about a dozen villages near Pustków were evacuated and then razed.

In order to provide sufficient labor to build this project, the Nazis initially set up a workers' camp. The camp opened on 26 June 1940 with the arrival the first forced labourers, mostly Jews and Belgian prisoners. Most of the Jewish prisoners were relocated from the Krakow, Rzeszow, and Tarnow ghettos and brought to the camp. The Jewish camp comprised two barracks, which, at the camp's height, were filled with around 465 prisoners. The conditions were so terrible that most prisoners did not survive the first few months. Over its four-year history, the name of the SSmilitary training centre changed several times. During the planning stages, it was named "Ostpolen" (between 21 December 1939 and 26 June 1940.) When construction of the site started on 26 June 1940, it was renamed SS"Dębica". From 15 March 1943, the site was designated as SS "Heidelager". The camp had been in use since the autumn of 1941 under the command of Oberführer-SS Werner vonSchele.

The location was expanded into a prisoner of war camp for Red Army soldiers captured in the Soviet zone of occupied Poland after the implementation of Operation Barbarossa. The first of them arrived in October 1941. In the beginning, the POW camp was no more than an enclosed area. The prisoners received minimal or no food, and were reduced to eating grass and roots. There were no barracks, so prisoners had to sleep out in the open. This lack of shelter killed many prisoners during the severe winter of 1941–42. Many were tortured and mistreated, or were executed en masse at the foot of what became known as the Góra Śmierci ('Hill of death'), its real name being Królowa Góra. On this hill the dead inmates were cremated in specially built funeral pyres.

A third camp for Polish forced labourers was established in September 1942. The conditions were no better than those at the first two camps. The forced labourers were involved in the development and production of the V-1 and V-2 rockets in the nearby missile launch site in Blizna. From 1943 the camp was guarded by units of the 204th Schutzmannschafts Battalion, a battalion consisting of ethnic Ukrainians from the area of Lviv. In addition to working on the development of the V-1 and V-2 rockets, the AEG used labor from Jews in the Pustków camp for electrical installations in the Waffen-SS Dębica training areas beginning in 1941.

The total number of victims in the Pustków camp is unknown. In 1944, with the Soviet army advancing, the camp was disbanded. All surviving prisoners were sent to nearby camps, such as the Kraków-Płaszów camp. It is estimated that at least 15,000 people died or were killed, including approximately 5,000 Russian prisoner of war, 7,500 Jews, and 2,500 Poles. The last commandant of the training base was Totenkopfverbände-Oberführer-SS Bernhardt Voss, until the summer of 1944.

Heinrich Himmler visiting concentration camp SS-Truppenübungsplatz Heidelager with his Nazi entourage, on 28 September 1943

The facility resembled a small city with its own narrow-gauge railway line, some 3,600 men of different nationalities, cinemas, dining halls, dozens of villas, a newsletter, a large camp brothel staffed by female prisoners from the slave labour camp nearby, and regular hunting parties for the high-ranking officers. This is where the Galizien Division came into existence. The range was visited by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler on 28 September 1943, and abandoned in the summer of 1944 ahead of the Soviet advance.

After the camp was abandoned, the area was still defended by a combat group of the Waffen-SS, under the leadership of a SS storm-troopers. The camp was largely destroyed by fire during the evacuation of the military training centre.

Because of the crimes committed on the military training ground, criminal charges were filed by Polish individuals with the Nazi war crimes commission. From 1959 onwards, extensive investigations were made in Germany to uncover the crimes.

Reconstruction of camp commandant Bernhardt Voss' private office

Today the site houses a reconstruction of huts in the camp. Inside the huts there is a museum, comprising original artefacts from the site, including a reconstruction of the camp commandant Oberführer-SS Bernhardt Voss' private office. There are memorials to the dead and the original crematorium on the adjoining Góra Śmierci.

Notes

  1. "Artilleriezielfeld Blizna" [Blizna (treść tablicy informacyjnej na terenie dawnego poligonu).] (in German). Archived from the original on 29 March 2009.
  2. Metz, Kaj. "SS-Truppenübungsplatz Heidelager / Concentration Camp Pustkow". Traces of War.com. Traces of War. Archived from the original on 5 November 2016. Retrieved5 November 2016.
  3. "Historia poligonu Heidelager" [History of Heidelager military training base] (in Polish). Republika.pl. Archived from the original on 18 April 2014. Retrieved5 November 2016.
  4. Terry Goldsworthy (2010). Valhalla's Warriors(Google Book preview). A History of the Waffen-SS on the Eastern Front 1941–1945. Dog Ear Publishing. p. 144. ISBN 978-1-60844-639-1. Retrieved5 July 2013.
  5. Howard Margolian (2000). Unauthorized entry: the truth about Nazi war criminals in Canada, 1946–1956. University of Toronto Press. p. 132. ISBN 0-8020-4277-5. Retrieved6 July 2013.
  6. Jacek Bracik, Józef Twaróg (2003). "Obóz w Szebniach (Camp in Szebnie)" (in Polish). Region Jasielski, nr 3 (39). Archived from the original on 1 February 2010. Retrieved4 July 2013.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  7. "Pustków Concentration Camp". www.jewishgen.org. Retrieved4 May 2018.
  8. "Forgotten Camps – Pustków". jewishgen.org. JewishGen.org. Archived from the original on 14 March 2007. Retrieved5 November 2016.
  9. "Truppenübungsplatz der Waffen-SS Dębica "Heidelager"" [SS-Truppenübungsplatz Heidelager]. lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de (in German). Lexikon der Wehrmacht.de. Archived from the original on 5 July 2007. Retrieved5 November 2016.
  10. Schulte, Jan Erik Zwangsarbeit und Vernichtung: Das Wirtschaftsimperium der SS. Oswald Pohl und das SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt 1933–1945. Mit einem Vorwort von Hans Mommsen. Schöningh, Paderborn u. a. 2001, ISBN 3-506-78245-2 (Zugleich: Bochum, Universität, Dissertation, 1999). (in German)
  11. Staff writer (2013). "Poligon – Blizna". Teren obozu zaglady w Pustkowie (in Polish). Bizna OVH.org. Archived from the original on 26 February 2009. Retrieved12 August 2013.
  12. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum encyclopedia of camps and ghettos, 1933-1945 Volume 1, Early camps, youth camps, and concentration camps and subcamps under the SS-Business Administration Main Office (WVHA). Megargee, Geoffrey P., 1959-, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 2009. p. 30. ISBN 9780253003508. OCLC 644542383.CS1 maint: others (link)
  13. "Nowy Sącz, Poland (Pages 158-179)". www.jewishgen.org. Retrieved4 May 2018.
  14. Melanie Hembera – Mitteilungen aus dem Bundesarchiv – Themenheft (2008). "Ermittlungsakten aufgeschlagen: Aufklärung und Strafverfolgung von NS-Verbrechen an den Häftlingen des jüdischen Zwangsarbeitslagers Pustków" [Investigations and prosecution of Nazi warcrimes committed to the prisoners of the Jewish Pustków forced labour camp](PDF). Die Außenstelle Ludwigsburg (in German). German Federal Archives. Archived(PDF) from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved8 December 2016.

Sources

  • The initial version of this article is based on a translation of article Kamp Pustków of the Dutch language edition of Wikipedia.

Bibliography

  • Stanisław Zabierowski, „Pustków hitlerowskie obozy wyniszczenia w służbie SS” KAW, Rzeszów 1981.(in Polish)
  • Reconstructed huts

  • Site of camp

  • Camp watchtower

  • Camp watchtower

  • Huts

  • Cross on Góra Śmierci

  • Exhibits in SS-Truppenübungsplatz Heidelager museum

  • Reconstruction of the camp commandant Bernhardt Voss' private office

  • Photographs of prisoners of SS-Truppenübungsplatz Heidelager

  • Photographs of prisoners of SS-Truppenübungsplatz Heidelager

  • Crematorium on Góra Śmierci, Pustków

  • Memorial on Góra Śmierci to all who died at the concentration camp

  • Memorial on Góra Śmierci

  • Peace Memorial at SS-Truppenübungsplatz Heidelager

Wikimedia Commons has media related toPustków (obóz).

SS-Truppenübungsplatz Heidelager
SS Truppenubungsplatz Heidelager Article Talk Language Watch Edit SS Truppenubungsplatz Heidelager was a World War II SS military complex and Nazi concentration camp in Pustkow and Pustkow Osiedle Occupied Poland 1 3 The Nazi facility was built to train collaborationist military units including the Ukrainian 14th Waffen SS Division Galician 3 and units from Estonia 4 This training included killing operations inside the concentration camps most notably at the nearby Pustkow and Szebnie camps and Jewish ghettos in the vicinity of the Heidelager 5 6 The military area was situated in the triangle of the Wisla and San rivers dominated by large forest areas The centre of the Heidelager was at Blizna the location of the secret Nazi V 2 missile launch site which was built and staffed by prisoners from the concentration camp at Pustkow SS Truppenubungsplatz HeidelagerSS officer training camp Concentration campHeidelager MuseumPustkowLocation of Pustkow on the map of Poland todayCoordinates50 5 59 N 21 31 8 E 50 09972 N 21 51889 E 50 09972 21 51889 Coordinates 50 5 59 N 21 31 8 E 50 09972 N 21 51889 E 50 09972 21 51889Operated bySchutzstaffel SS CommandantOberfuhrer SS Bernhardt VossOriginal useSlave labour POW internmentOperationalJanuary 1940 August 1944InmatesJews Poles RussiansKilled15 000 total 7 000 Jews 5 000 Soviets 3 000 Polish 1 2 Liberated byArmia Krajowa Red Army Contents 1 History 2 Modern day 3 See also 4 References 4 1 Notes 4 2 Sources 4 3 Bibliography 5 Gallery 6 External linksHistory EditThe Nazis originally planned to erect a large SS training camp near Pustkow with barracks warehouses and buildings for the intelligence services The facility was built by order of Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler under provision OKW No 3032 of 21 December 1939 which allowed for construction of an SS military training centre in the area eastward of Debica in Generalgouvernement Polen The training site was to be built as a barrack camp with four ring roads called Lager Flandern It was planned to be completed on 1 October 1940 for two reinforced infantry regiments To accomplish this about a dozen villages near Pustkow were evacuated and then razed 3 In order to provide sufficient labor to build this project the Nazis initially set up a workers camp The camp opened on 26 June 1940 with the arrival the first forced labourers mostly Jews 2 and Belgian prisoners Most of the Jewish prisoners were relocated from the Krakow Rzeszow and Tarnow ghettos and brought to the camp The Jewish camp comprised two barracks which at the camp s height were filled with around 465 prisoners 7 The conditions were so terrible that most prisoners did not survive the first few months 8 Over its four year history the name of the SS military training centre changed several times 9 During the planning stages it was named Ostpolen between 21 December 1939 and 26 June 1940 When construction of the site started on 26 June 1940 it was renamed SS Debica 9 From 15 March 1943 the site was designated as SS Heidelager 9 The camp had been in use since the autumn of 1941 under the command of Oberfuhrer SS Werner von Schele 3 9 The location was expanded into a prisoner of war camp for Red Army soldiers captured in the Soviet zone of occupied Poland after the implementation of Operation Barbarossa The first of them arrived in October 1941 2 10 In the beginning the POW camp was no more than an enclosed area The prisoners received minimal or no food and were reduced to eating grass and roots There were no barracks so prisoners had to sleep out in the open This lack of shelter killed many prisoners during the severe winter of 1941 42 Many were tortured and mistreated or were executed en masse at the foot of what became known as the Gora Smierci Hill of death its real name being Krolowa Gora 11 On this hill the dead inmates were cremated in specially built funeral pyres 11 A third camp for Polish forced labourers was established in September 1942 2 The conditions were no better than those at the first two camps The forced labourers were involved in the development and production of the V 1 and V 2 rockets in the nearby missile launch site in Blizna 2 From 1943 the camp was guarded by units of the 204th Schutzmannschafts Battalion a battalion consisting of ethnic Ukrainians from the area of Lviv In addition to working on the development of the V 1 and V 2 rockets the AEG used labor from Jews in the Pustkow camp for electrical installations in the Waffen SS Debica training areas beginning in 1941 12 The total number of victims in the Pustkow camp is unknown In 1944 with the Soviet army advancing the camp was disbanded All surviving prisoners were sent to nearby camps such as the Krakow Plaszow camp 13 8 It is estimated that at least 15 000 people died or were killed including approximately 5 000 Russian prisoner of war 7 500 Jews and 2 500 Poles 1 2 The last commandant of the training base was Totenkopfverbande Oberfuhrer SS Bernhardt Voss until the summer of 1944 3 Heinrich Himmler visiting concentration camp SS Truppenubungsplatz Heidelager with his Nazi entourage on 28 September 1943 The facility resembled a small city with its own narrow gauge railway line some 3 600 men of different nationalities cinemas dining halls dozens of villas a newsletter a large camp brothel staffed by female prisoners from the slave labour camp nearby and regular hunting parties for the high ranking officers This is where the Galizien Division came into existence The range was visited by Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler on 28 September 1943 and abandoned in the summer of 1944 ahead of the Soviet advance 3 After the camp was abandoned the area was still defended by a combat group of the Waffen SS under the leadership of a SS storm troopers The camp was largely destroyed by fire during the evacuation of the military training centre Because of the crimes committed on the military training ground criminal charges were filed by Polish individuals with the Nazi war crimes commission From 1959 onwards extensive investigations were made in Germany to uncover the crimes 14 Modern day Edit Reconstruction of camp commandant Bernhardt Voss private office Today the site houses a reconstruction of huts in the camp Inside the huts there is a museum comprising original artefacts from the site including a reconstruction of the camp commandant Oberfuhrer SS Bernhardt Voss private office There are memorials to the dead and the original crematorium on the adjoining Gora Smierci See also EditSS Truppenubungsplatz Bohmen The Holocaust in Poland V 2 missile launch site BliznaReferences EditNotes Edit a b c Artilleriezielfeld Blizna Blizna tresc tablicy informacyjnej na terenie dawnego poligonu in German Archived from the original on 29 March 2009 a b c d e f Metz Kaj SS Truppenubungsplatz Heidelager Concentration Camp Pustkow Traces of War com Traces of War Archived from the original on 5 November 2016 Retrieved 5 November 2016 a b c d e f Historia poligonu Heidelager History of Heidelager military training base in Polish Republika pl Archived from the original on 18 April 2014 Retrieved 5 November 2016 Terry Goldsworthy 2010 Valhalla s Warriors Google Book preview A History of the Waffen SS on the Eastern Front 1941 1945 Dog Ear Publishing p 144 ISBN 978 1 60844 639 1 Retrieved 5 July 2013 Howard Margolian 2000 Unauthorized entry the truth about Nazi war criminals in Canada 1946 1956 University of Toronto Press p 132 ISBN 0 8020 4277 5 Retrieved 6 July 2013 Jacek Bracik Jozef Twarog 2003 Oboz w Szebniach Camp in Szebnie in Polish Region Jasielski nr 3 39 Archived from the original on 1 February 2010 Retrieved 4 July 2013 CS1 maint unfit URL link Pustkow Concentration Camp www jewishgen org Retrieved 4 May 2018 a b Forgotten Camps Pustkow jewishgen org JewishGen org Archived from the original on 14 March 2007 Retrieved 5 November 2016 a b c d Truppenubungsplatz der Waffen SS Debica Heidelager SS Truppenubungsplatz Heidelager lexikon der wehrmacht de in German Lexikon der Wehrmacht de Archived from the original on 5 July 2007 Retrieved 5 November 2016 Schulte Jan Erik Zwangsarbeit und Vernichtung Das Wirtschaftsimperium der SS Oswald Pohl und das SS Wirtschafts Verwaltungshauptamt 1933 1945 Mit einem Vorwort von Hans Mommsen Schoningh Paderborn u a 2001 ISBN 3 506 78245 2 Zugleich Bochum Universitat Dissertation 1999 in German a b Staff writer 2013 Poligon Blizna Teren obozu zaglady w Pustkowie in Polish Bizna OVH org Archived from the original on 26 February 2009 Retrieved 12 August 2013 The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum encyclopedia of camps and ghettos 1933 1945 Volume 1 Early camps youth camps and concentration camps and subcamps under the SS Business Administration Main Office WVHA Megargee Geoffrey P 1959 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Bloomington Indiana University Press 2009 p 30 ISBN 9780253003508 OCLC 644542383 CS1 maint others link Nowy Sacz Poland Pages 158 179 www jewishgen org Retrieved 4 May 2018 Melanie Hembera Mitteilungen aus dem Bundesarchiv Themenheft 2008 Ermittlungsakten aufgeschlagen Aufklarung und Strafverfolgung von NS Verbrechen an den Haftlingen des judischen Zwangsarbeitslagers Pustkow Investigations and prosecution of Nazi warcrimes committed to the prisoners of the Jewish Pustkow forced labour camp PDF Die Aussenstelle Ludwigsburg in German German Federal Archives Archived PDF from the original on 2 April 2015 Retrieved 8 December 2016 Sources Edit The initial version of this article is based on a translation of article Kamp Pustkow of the Dutch language edition of Wikipedia Bibliography Edit Stanislaw Zabierowski Pustkow hitlerowskie obozy wyniszczenia w sluzbie SS KAW Rzeszow 1981 in Polish Gallery Edit Reconstructed huts Site of camp Camp watchtower Camp watchtower Huts Cross on Gora Smierci Exhibits in SS Truppenubungsplatz Heidelager museum Reconstruction of the camp commandant Bernhardt Voss private office Photographs of prisoners of SS Truppenubungsplatz Heidelager Photographs of prisoners of SS Truppenubungsplatz Heidelager Crematorium on Gora Smierci Pustkow Memorial on Gora Smierci to all who died at the concentration camp Memorial on Gora Smierci Peace Memorial at SS Truppenubungsplatz HeidelagerExternal links EditWikimedia Commons has media related to Pustkow oboz Werkkamp Pustkow in Dutch Pustkow Death Hill V missile base and SS military training ground op www it tarnow pl Pustkow op www jewishvirtuallibrary org Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title SS Truppenubungsplatz Heidelager amp oldid 1056140792, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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