Natzweiler – Struthof concentration camp

  • Museum
  • Route départementale 130, 67130 Natzwiller, France
  • +333 88 47 44 67

The Natzweiler Struthof concentration camp operated from April 1941 until September 1944. During this time an estimated 22.000 inmates died to disease, exhaustion, maltreatment or execution by the camp guards. The former camp currently houses a museum and the European centre of deported resistance members.

The Natzweiler Struthof concentration camp was built on the 2.400 ft high north slope of Mont Louise. The camp was located there so that the prisoners could mine granite which was to be used to make German cities beautiful. But the prisoners were soon put to work for the war effort in the main camp or one of the many subcamps attached to it.

A large part of the camp prisoners were members of the resistance from France or other occupied prisoners. There were also Jewish, homosexual and Roma and Sinti inmates at the camp. People from over 30 countries were sent to the camp and during its history Natzweiler Struthof held over 52.000 prisoners. At is peak 7.000 inmates were locked up at the camp.

Medical experiments were carried out in the camp including studies on typhus, mustard gas and phosphene gas. Inmates of the camp were exposed to these gasses and diseases to study their effects. The gas chamber at the camp was also used to murder 86 Jewish men and women so that their skeletons could be studied by Dr. Hirt at the Strasbourg Institute of Anatomy.

In September 1944 the camp was evacuated and most prisoners were sent to the Dachau concentration camp. A month later the camp was liberated by men of the 3rd US Infantry division.

Download the PDF press release about the reopening of the memorial in 2020 (PDF)

Natzweiler – Struthof concentration camp

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