More and More Dead: A Crematorium for Ellrich

On 1 March 1945, the SS had transferred 75 corpses from the Ellrich-Juliushütte subcamp to the Dora parent camp for incineration. It was to be the last such transport. The Dora crematorium could no longer meet the demand. Presumably on 2 March 1945, a new crematorium went into operation at Ellrich Juliushütte.

In March 1945, some 1,000 inmates died in Ellrich-Juliushütte of the consequences of hunger, forced labour and consumption. The death toll exceeded the capacity of the new crematorium as well. The SS resorted to incinerating the bodies in bonfires in the open air.

The Federal Border Police demolished the former crematorium in 1964. In 2019, two ash graves were located nearby, holding the remains of what is thought to be over 1,000 dead. Only now, 76 years later, have plans been made to transform the graves into dignified burial sites.

(Jens-Christian Wagner)


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