“Aiding and abetting his mother’s attempted escape”

More than 700 persons died in the Ohrdruf subcamp in February alone. Their corpses were buried or burnt to ash in the open air. One of those to remain without a grave was the 30-year-old motorist Walter Roth of Kronberg, who died on 14 February 1945.

In 1943, when his mother was threatened with deportation to Auschwitz, he had made preparations for her escape. The Gestapo found her out. Elise Roth was murdered in Auschwitz the same year.

Walter spent several months in the Frankfurt-Heddernheim Gestapo camp before being sent to Buchenwald. Initially his chances of surviving the camp looked hopeful. He was assigned to a “political” block and to work in a construction detachment. His transfer to the dreaded Ohrdruf subcamp, where the SS were having a huge tunnel system driven inside the mountain, came unexpectedly. After just ten days of work under gruelling conditions, he was finished. He died of bloody diarrhoea in the infirmary a short time later.

(Harry Stein)


Reference: Angelika Rieber and Eberhard Laeuen, “Haltet mich in gutem Gedenken”: Erinnerungen an Oberurseler Opfer des Nationalsozialismus, Oberursel 2015.