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
INVESTIGATION REPORT ON THE LIFE IN
A GERMAN EXTERMINATION CAMP (KZ NATZWEILER) AND THE ATROCITIES
COMMITTED THERE. 1941 - 1944.
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
Subject: Special Report on German concentration
camp (KZ NATZWEILER).
To: Chief Liberated Areas Section PWD
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
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.