The Gestapo Camp in the Thuringian Forest

As late as 20 March 1945, the Gestapo transferred seven inmates – six Soviet citizens and a German – from the Römhild “work education camp” to the Buchenwald concentration camp. Two of the men were liberated in Dachau weeks later. The fates of the others are not known.

The Weimar Gestapo set up the Römhild camp in the Thuringian Forest in August 1943. It had an average population of 300 to 400 inmates, of whom many were released after four to six weeks of detention. In some cases, however, the inmates were taken from there to the Buchenwald concentration camp.

The majority of the inmates at the “work education camp” were forced labourers from Eastern Europe who had been charged with “breach of employment contract” or “dallying”. As a punishment, they had to perform extremely heavy labour in a basalt quarry. At least 170 inmates died at Römhild, including some 80 who were shot to death by the guards during the camp’s clearance in early April 1945.

(Jens-Christian Wagner)


Reference: Gert Stoi, Das Arbeitserziehungslager Römhild 1943-1945: Dokumentation eines Verbrechens, Leipzig and Hildburghausen 2010.