The Nazis established Gross-Rosen on the 2 August 1940 in Lower Silesia, as a satellite camp of Sachsenhausen, in the vicinity of the granite quarry of Gross-Rosen. On 1 May 1941 Gross-Rosen became an independent concentration camp; it remained in operation until mid-February 1945, the camps commandants were as follows:
Other notable members of the camp staff were as follows:
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Dr. Karl Babor Camp doctor was an expert with the phenol syringe, he took care to always administer slightly more than the lethal dose – “just to make sure.”
After the war he was interned by the Allies, but as one of the “small fry” who had done “nothing serious” he was released. He resumed his studies in Vienna and qualified as a doctor.
Former inmates of Gross-Rosen tracked him down and he fled to Africa. At first, the camp prisoners were put to work in the quarry owned by the SS- Deutsche Erd –und Steinwerke GmbH (SS German Earth and Stone Works) and in the construction of the camp, which was speeded up in the summer of 1943.
This was followed by the building of a large number of sub-camps - the number of prisoners grew steadily from 1,487 in 1941 to 97,414 on the eve of the camp’s liquidation. A total of 125,000 prisoners of different nationalities passed through Gross-Rosen, the number of victims who perished in the camp and during the numerous evacuations is estimated at 40,000.
Jews represented the largest group among the victims in Gross-Rosen and their proportion in the camp population was considerable, particularly in late 1943 and early 1944. Beginning in late 1943, 57,000 Jews were brought there, including 26,000 women.
The Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team
Copyright 2009 Carmelo Lisciotto H.E.A.R.T