Lichtenburg concentration camp

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Concentration camp
Schloss Lichtenburg01.jpg
Lichtenburg Castle
Lichtenburg concentration camp is located in Germany
Lichtenburg concentration camp
Location of Lichtenburg within Germany
Coordinates51°39′45″N 12°55′55″E / 51.66250°N 12.93194°E / 51.66250; 12.93194
Known forOne of the first Nazi concentration camps
LocationPrettin, Saxony
Operated byNazi Germany
Operational13 June 1933–May 1939
InmatesBefore 1937, male political prisoners; after 1937, female political prisoners
Number of inmatesMore than 2,000
Notable inmatesLina Haag

Lichtenburg was a Nazi concentration camp, housed in a Renaissance castle in Prettin, near Wittenberg in the Province of Saxony. Along with Sachsenburg, it was among the first to be built by the Nazis, and was operated by the SS from 1933 to 1939.[1] It held as many as 2000 male prisoners from 1933 to 1937 and from 1937 to 1939 held female prisoners.[2] It was closed in May 1939, when the Ravensbrück concentration camp for women was opened, which replaced Lichtenburg as the main camp for female prisoners.[3]


Details about the operation of Lichtenburg, held by the International Tracing Service, only became available to researchers in late 2006.[1] An account of the way the camp was run may be read in Lina Haag's book A Handful of Dust or How Long the Night. Haag was perhaps the best known survivor of Lichtenburg, having obtained release before it was shut down.

Lichtenburg was among the first concentration camps in Nazi Germany operating from 13 June 1933, it became a kind of model for numerous subsequent establishments. Soon overcrowded, the detention conditions increasingly aggravated. Most of the inmates were political prisoners, and so-called habitual offenders (Gewohnheitsverbrecher). From 1937 on it became a camp only for women.[4] In 1939 the SS transferred 900 Lichtenburg prisoners to Ravensbrück, which were its first female prisoners.[5]

The castle today houses a regional museum and exhibit about Lichtenburg's use during the Nazi period.[2]


Camp commandant[edit]

Protective custody chief[edit]

Director of women's camp[edit]

Deputy director of camp[edit]

Notable inmates[edit]


  1. ^ a b Holocaust Papers Pyramid of Persecution
  2. ^ a b Lichtenburgprettin Germany
  3. ^ "Ravensbrück Concentration Camp: Timeline of Persecution (1938 - 1945)". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  4. ^ "Interview made possible with survivor of Lichtenburg concentration camp". ITS. International Tracing Service. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  5. ^ "Ravensbrück: Timeline". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  6. ^ Stefan Hördler, Sigrid Jacobeit (Hrsg.): Dokumentations- und Gedenkort KZ Lichtenburg, Berlin 2009, p. 125ff.

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Sarah Helm: Ravensbruck: Life and Death in Hitler's Concentration camp For Women. 2015 Penguin Random House, pps 4, 17-19, Prisoners sent from Lichtenberg to Ravensbruck 6-21.
  • Stefan Hördler: Before the Holocaust: Concentration Camp Lichtenburg and the Evolution of the Nazi Camp System. Holocaust and Genocide Studies 25, no. 1 (Spring 2011): 100–126.
  • Nikolaus Wachsmann: KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps. 2015 Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Coordinates: 51°39′45″N 12°55′55″E / 51.66250°N 12.93194°E / 51.66250; 12.93194