Camps Inner Workings

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Schmauser
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Camps Inner Workings

Post by Schmauser » 14 Oct 2002 16:51

Can anyone help me to understand afew of the following things...

Inside a Concentration camp were the following positions...

Camp Commandants - (Lagerkommandants) & Lagerführer - (Camp Leader).
What is the difference between these two?

How many different departments are there?

eg.
(The Political Department) - (Politische Abteilung II)
sub-sections...
(The Reception & Release Office) - (Aufnahme- und Entlassungsbüro der Schutzhäftlinge)
(The Prisoner Registration and Records Office) - (Registratur, Organisation, Akten- und Karteiführung)
(The Civil Registry Office and Crematorium Administration) - (Standesamt und Krematoriumsverwaltung)
(The Identification Office) - (Erkennungsdienst)
(The Interrogation & Investigation Office) - (Ermittlungen und Vernehmungen)
(Camp Security and Intelligence Office) - (Nachrichtendienst und Überwachung)
(The Surveillance Section) - (Fahndung)

(Medical Personnel) - (Lagerärzt Abteilung IV)
any sub-sections??

(The Construction Office) - (Bauleitungen Abteilung VI)
sub-sections??

What were the other offices?

Can anyone tell me what duties a Blockführer and Rapportführer did?

How many different types of guards were there?

What was the difference between the (Camp Administration) lead by SS Obersturmbannführer Karl Mockel and the position of the Commandant Rudolf Höss?

I know it's alot but I'm trying to understand as much of the inner workings of the camps as I can :D

~Regards Schmauser

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Hans
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Re: Camps Inner Workings

Post by Hans » 14 Oct 2002 17:17

Schmauser wrote:
(The Construction Office) - (Bauleitungen Abteilung VI)
sub-sections??


Schmauser,

There is a good book on the Auschwitz construction offices in Italian by Carlo Mattogno: La Zentralbauleitung der Waffen-SS und Polizei Auschwitz.

The next time I get it I will look up the information for you.

By the way, Abteilung III should be Schutzhaftlager lead by SS-Hauptsturmführer Franz Hössler.

best regards,

Hans
Last edited by Hans on 14 Oct 2002 17:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Schmauser
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Post by Schmauser » 14 Oct 2002 17:22

Thanks Hans! your a great source on Auschwitz information :D I would be most grateful for any help.

~Best Regards Schmauser

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Peter J. Hertel
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Post by Peter J. Hertel » 14 Oct 2002 17:54

All concentration camps had the same basic organizational struture:

At the top of organizational heirarchy was the Lagerkommandant (Camp commandant), who had the following departments subordinated to him:

Abtelung I - Kommandantur (Department I - Commandant's Office).

Abteliung II - Politische Abteilung (Department II - Political).

Abteilung III - Schutzhäftlagerführer (Department III - Protective Custody commander). [He was also deputy camp commandant]

Abteilung IIIa - Arbeitseinsatz (Department IIIa - Prisoner Labour) [Auschwitz only]

Abteilung IV - Verwaltung (Department IV - Aministration).

Abteilung V - Standortarzt (Department V - Garrision Physician)

Abteilung VI - Fürsorge, Schulung und Truppenbetreuung (Department VI - SS-Staff Welfare and Training)


SS-Wachtruppen (SS guard troops), SS-Wachbatallon (guard battalions) and SS-Wachkompanie (SS guard companies) also came under the authority of the camp commandant.

:P Regards,

Peter Hertel

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Post by Schmauser » 14 Oct 2002 18:11

Hi Peter, Great info as always, just one question though... which abteilung was the Construction department? I have it as VI... :?

~Regards Schmauser

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Post by Hans » 14 Oct 2002 19:18

Schmauser wrote:Hi Peter, Great info as always, just one question though... which abteilung was the Construction department? I have it as VI... :?

~Regards Schmauser


Schmauser,

the french Auschwitz researcher Jean-Claude Pressac lists the construction offices under Abteilung VI, but since Pressac is no historian, but a specialist on the technical matters of the extermination machinery, and since, as Peter has stated correctly, Abteilung VI dealt with the (ideological) training and entertainment of the SS troops - in Majdanek, for instance, Abt. VI: Weltanschauliches Studium organised theaters and cinema evenings and maintained the library for the SS troops, but also ideological courses -, he is surely mistaken.

I'm sorry that I passed on this wrong information to you. :oops:

The SS guards (Wachmannschaft) were being organised in the auxilliary department SS-Totenkopf Sturmbann (abbreviation: SS-T-Stuba).

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Post by Hans » 14 Oct 2002 19:57

Peter J. Hertel wrote:
Abtelung I - Kommandantur (Department I - Commandant's Office).

Abteliung II - Politische Abteilung (Department II - Political).

Abteilung III - Schutzhäftlagerführer (Department III - Protective Custody commander). [He was also deputy camp commandant]

Abteilung IIIa - Arbeitseinsatz (Department IIIa - Prisoner Labour) [Auschwitz only]

Abteilung IV - Verwaltung (Department IV - Aministration).

Abteilung V - Standortarzt (Department V - Garrision Physician)

Abteilung VI - Fürsorge, Schulung und Truppenbetreuung (Department VI - SS-Staff Welfare and Training)


Here is another one:

Abteilung VII - Landwirtschaft (agriculture)

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Post by Peter J. Hertel » 15 Oct 2002 04:45

Schmauser,

Thank you for the compliment.

Now to answer some of your questions.

There was no construction department within the camp administration. It was a serparate entity in its own right within Auschwitz concentration camp.

When Himmler set up Auschwitz concentration camp, that led to the establishment of an organizational unit within Abteilung II C – Concentration Camps and Police (Hauptabteilung II C – Konzentrationslager und Polizei) of the SS-Haushalt und Bau Hauptamt to deal with the construction of Auschwitz concentration camp. This was the New SS Construction Authority in Auschwitz. It merged with the Sonderbauleitung für die Errichtung des Kriegsgefangenenlagers der Waffen-SS Auschwitz (Waffen-SS Special Constuction Authority for the Erection of a POW Camp Auschwitz), in November 1941, when soviet POWs were sent to Auschwitz. This new enity became the Auschwitz Waffen-SS and Police Central Construction Authority (SS-Zentralbauleitung der Waffen-SS und Polizei Auschwitz. Up until December 1943, the newly created unit was directly subordinate to the SS Construction Inspectorate East (SS-Bauinspektion Ost), which had its headquarters in Posen.

The basic tasks of the SS Central Construction Authority in Auschwitz was to co-ordinater all construction work on the camp grounds. The authority funded, designed and carried out this work. Since its structure did not include certain specialist services or sufficient resources, the authority engaged private sub-contractors on some projects.

The Construction Authority included the Construction Office (Baubüro) and Construction (Hochbau), Water Supply (Wasserversorgung), Surveying (Vermesserabteilung) and General Department (Allgemeine Abteilung).


Like the name says, Lagerkommandant is the camp commandant and the Lagerführer or Schutzhäftlagerführer was head of Department III. He was officially deputy commandant and assumed the duties of the commandant when he was absent. In the larger camps, the Lagerführer had deputies known as 2. Schutzhäftlagerführer and 3. Schutzhäftlagerführer. The right-hand man of the Lagerführer was the SS NCO responsible for the general discipline and accounting for numbers of prisoners, known as the Rapportführer. His responsibilities included leading roll-call assemblies where prisoner population was checked. The Rapportführer also drew up a monthly SS report on the staffing of the prisoner blocks, and reports on accidents or the violent death of prisoners. On basis of information from the Blockführer, the 1. Rapportführer also compiled daily (from one evening roll-call to another), weekly and bi-weekly reports on changes in the prisoner population. He submitted these reports to the Lagerführer. The Rapportführer was also the first recipient of punishment reports against prisoners , reports on the number of prisoners receiving food rations etc. He also participated with members of the Politiche Abteilung in executing prisoners. In larger camps, he too had his deputies ( 2. Rapportführer and 3. Rapportführer ). The report officers were the direct superiors of the leaders of the prisoner blocks (Blockführer) and their auxilaries (Hilfblockfüher).

Each Blockführer (the lowest position in the SS administrative hierarchy) supervised one block in the main camp or, several blocks in Birkenau and Monowitz, including sub-camps. During the early times in the history of Auschwitz, each Blockführer probably had a deputy known as a Hilfsblockführer (Assistant Block leader).
The basic duties of the Blockführers included ensuring the cleanliness, order and discipline of their prisoners. They counted their prisoner roll-call and gave the figures to the Rapportführer. Once the prisoners had left for their work assignments, the Blockführer were on duty in the SS guard rooms at the camp entrance gates, where they counted and noted the serial numbers of the prisoners leaving camp. They also carried out joint searches of prisoners as they left or returned to the camp.


:) Regards,
Peter Hertel

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Post by Peter J. Hertel » 15 Oct 2002 04:57

:roll: I forgot to add this to construction paragraph in the above message.

This sentence should follow after the last line of the paragraph ".....which had its headquarters in Posen.

Then a separate "Silesia" Waffen-SS and police Construction Inspectorate (SS-Bauinspektion der Waffen-SS und Polizei "Schlesien") was established in Kattowitz.

Regards,

Peter Hertel

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Post by Phil V » 15 Oct 2002 06:17

The expert knowledge of some members of this Forum continues to amaze me.

What a fantastic informative thread.

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Post by Schmauser » 15 Oct 2002 10:08

Max Brandt wrote:The expert knowledge of some members of this Forum continues to amaze me.

What a fantastic informative thread.


I agree totally.

Peter, that was a brilliant post! Thanks for helping me understand.

~Very Best Regards Schmauser

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Post by Schmauser » 15 Oct 2002 11:11

Just one more question that's nagging me...

The Main camps all had these 'departments' but what about sub-camps such as Helmbrechts, it had 50 ss personnel. Would Helmbrechts have had departments or another kind of layout? I'm thinking not since it had such a small number of guards.

~Regards Schmauser

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Post by Peter J. Hertel » 16 Oct 2002 08:15

Thank you so much for the glowing compliments, Schmauser. I’m just glad to of assistance.

Now to your latest question.

Up until 1943, the sub-camps were under direct control of the Auschwitz camp commandant. In November, 1943, the concentration camp complex was divided into three complexes, Auschwitz I (Main camp), Auschwitz II- Birkenau and Auschwitz III (Monowitz). There were two types of sub-camps, agricultural sub-camps and sub-camps at factories. The agricultural camps came under Birkenau and the factory camps came under Auschwitz III, which had its commandant’s office at in Monowitz.

This and all the other information that I have given may not be totally correct, so if anyone out there can make any additions or corrections, please do not hesitate in doing so.

Best Regards,

Peter Hertel

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