An Escapee Meets with Hostility

On 10 March 1945, the Russian concentration camp inmate Nikolaj Garaschankin managed to escape from the Ellrich-Juliushütte subcamp and then to hide for several days. It was presumably his second escape attempt in Germany: the Gestapo had apprehended the forced labourer in February 1944 and deported him to the Buchenwald concentration camp. From there he had been transferred to Ellrich via the Dora camp.

After his escape in March 1945, he hid in a barn. On the sixth day, the owner heard noises and called a neighbour. The neighbour detained Garaschankin while two boys ran to inform the SS, who took Garaschankin back to Dora.

From there the SS sent him on a death march towards the north in April. When they reached Lübeck, he and thousands of other inmates were forced to board the Cap Arcona. Unaware of their presence, the Royal Air Force sank the ship. Nikolaj Garaschankin and most of the other passengers perished.

(Karsten Uhl)


Jens-Christian Wagner, Ellrich 1944/45: Konzentrationslager und Zwangsarbeit in einer deutschen Kleinstadt, Göttingen 2009.