US Army Report on Natzweiler

After the abandoned Natzweiler-Struthof camp was found by US troops in November 1944, the Army did a report on the camp. The title of the report was


The report was in five sections:

1. Text of Report

2. Photographs illustrating report

3. Annexure A....List of German War Criminals.

4. Annexure B....List of Witnesses

5. Annexure C....Statement by four escapees.


Section 1, the text of the report, is quoted below:

Page 1.

Subject: Special Report on German concentration camp (KZ NATZWEILER).

To: Chief Liberated Areas Section PWD SHAEF.

From: Capt. Yurka N. Galitzine

This reprt (sic) is based on personal investigation and observation made during operations in thearea (sic) in Dec 1944.

1. Origins of the camp.

In the spring of 1941 German geologists and mining engineers came to ROTHAU in ALSACE prospecting for red Alsatian granite to face the "Party" buildings in NUREMBERG. They conscripted the local civil engineer, M. Ernst KRENZER (see Annexure B) to help them in their task and made several excavations in the early spring (see photo I). At last the stone was located in March 41 on an upper ledge of the mountain behind ROTHAU, very near the Alsatian sking resort at the Hotel STRUTTHOF (sic).

During the spring of 1941 the local firm of stone-masons and contractors, STADLER & Co of GRENDELBRUCH (see Annexure B) were conscripted to start working a quarry as a commercial proposition and at the same time to start a road up the mountain.

Suddenly without any warning one day in April several German military trucks brought 150 civilian prisoners up to the Hotel STRUTTHOF (closed some while before) (see photo 2), where they were packed under guard and set to work. All the inhabitants of nearby farms and houses on the mountain were turned out and it became a restricted area. The first work done by the prisoners was the completion of the motor road to the mountain while some worked in the quarries. Both working parties were supervised by civilian foremen from STADLER & Co and were guarded by SS guards. These first prisoners were mostly German "anti-Nazis" and Russians.

The numbers of the prisoners gradually increased and apparently at the same time the plans of the Germans became greatly enlarged in scope.

1. The building of the Camp.

The Germans started to build a camp on the summit of the STRUTHOF hill. This camp which they finished at the outset of 1943 consisted of two halves - a wired-off area for the prisoners, and a military barracks for the S.S guards.

The prisoners area was built in a clearing on an exposed slope of the mountain (see photo 3) with a very beautiful view which was little compensated by the bitter cold climate at that altitude (3000 meters). It consisted of 15 barrck (sic) huts built in three rows of five on "terraces" (see photo 4) cut out of the mountain side. The huts were designed to hold 200 persons and were equiped (sic) with bunks, stoves, electric light, W.C.s, wash basins etc. However, as will be explained, it was the regime rather than the surroundings wich provided the horror of the place. Also in this compound were a solitary confinement hut, a "disinfestation" hut and a crematorium.