Sunday in Schlieben

On this Sunday, more than 2,300 inmates of the Schlieben subcamp – men and women – went to work in the munitions factory. It was here, far outside the target range of the Allied bombers, that the Hugo Schneider company (HASAG) manufactured the Panzerfaust, the anti-tank weapon for the “final battle”. The aim was to produce one million a month, cost what it may. Inmates, primarily Jews, Sinti and Roma, were worked to death to reach this goal. They manned the factory twelve hours a day – for thirteen weeks now, also on Sundays.

The survivor Marian Filar later recalled the gruelling labour: “In Schlieben, the grenade warheads were filled with the liquid explosive. […] The Germans who worked there had gas masks, a free day and special food, but the inmates were given nothing. The vapours that rose from the vats killed you. First your skin turned the same yellow as the chemical […]. Finally you were too sick to work – and you died. Then they put another prisoner in your place.”

(Harry Stein)

Quelle: Marian Filar and Charles Patterson, From Buchenwald to Carnegie Hall, Jackson 2002.