A Fractured Skull

“Skull fractured in accident”, SS-Rottenführer Maischein noted in the death report for Jan Kenner. The 44-year-old Pole died in the Rottleberode subcamp of the Mittelbau concentration camp on 24 March 1945.

Jan Kenner was from a Jewish family in Cracow. His father had died in 1939; his wife – according to SS records – had been “resettled”, in other words, presumably murdered. He himself had had to perform forced labour for the HASAG armaments company in Tschenstochau (Częstochowa). In mid-January 1945, the SS had sent him to Buchenwald on a clearance transport. From there he was transferred to Rottleberode along with hundreds of other Jewish inmates from Tschenstochau.

In Rottleberode the Jewish inmates suffered from debilitating forced labour and brutal anti-Semitic violence on the part of the SS and the German civilian workers who oversaw them. Only few of the inmates from the transport survived their deportation to the Southern Harz Mountains.

(Jens-Christian Wagner)


Source: Report from the Rottleberode subcamp infirmary to the SS camp physician at Mittelbau, 24 March 1945 (National Archives Washington).

Reference: Jens-Christian Wagner (ed.), Vernichtung und Arbeit: Jüdische Häftlinge im KZ Mittelbau-Dora, Nordhausen and Weimar 2014.