Postcard sent From 1st SS Totenkopf Member who was a Concentration Camp Guard at Flossenbürg Camp

Discussion in 'The Holocaust' started by Jeremiah, Jul 22, 2022.

  1. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Well-Known Member

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    The postcard was sent by RottenFuhrer Ludwig Paster. He was a reserve section leader in the 1st Company of SS Death's Head Battalion Flossenbürg. It’s dated September 6th, 1940. I haven’t been able to fully translate it but based on what I have, it’s just him writing to a woman. Possibly a love interest. I’m unsure of what happened to him. Whether he was charged with any war crimes or if he even survived the war. Postcard from my collection.
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    Online records show that Paster Received a special 8 day leave for his “Prudent Behavior” when a prisoner tried to escape the camp on July 7th 1941.
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    ”27.08.1941
    I express subsequently to the SS Rottenfuhrer d.Res. Ludwig Paster 1.SS-Totenkopf-Sturmbann Flossenbürg my full appreciation for his prudent behavior when a prisoner tried to escape on July 7, 1941. Paster gets 8 days special leave. Künster-Baumgärtner”

    The camp in Flossenbürg was a Nazi concentration camp built in May 1938 by the SS Main Economic and Administrative Office. The camp's initial purpose was to exploit the forced labor of prisoners for the production of granite for Nazi architecture. In 1943, the bulk of prisoners switched to producing Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter planes and other armaments for Germany's war effort. Although originally intended for "criminal" and "asocial" prisoners, after Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union, the camp's numbers swelled with political prisoners from outside Germany. It also developed an extensive subcamp system that eventually outgrew the main camp. Most of the prisoners at Flossenbürg were classified as criminal, with some "asocial" and a few homosexual prisoners, the criminals quickly took over the prisoner functionary positions.
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    Due to increasing mortality from the harsh conditions of the camp, the SS ordered the construction of an on-site crematorium, which was completed in May 1940. Executions by shooting began at Flossenbürg on 6 February 1941; the first victims were Polish political prisoners. Victims were separated after evening roll call and read their sentence. After a night in the camp jail, they were shot at the firing range adjacent to the crematorium. After a mass execution of 80 Polish prisoners on 8 September, the execution method was changed to lethal injection due to complaints from local residents of blood and body parts washing up in nearby streams. The primary victims were Polish political prisoners and Soviet prisoners of war. Doctors who had participated in the Aktion T4 mass killings toured several concentration camps to select ill inmates to be transported to euthanasia centers; they visited Flossenbürg in March 1942. Thousands of prisoners who were worn out by forced labor were sent to death camps such as Majdanek and Auschwitz. One transport from Flossenbürg to Auschwitz arrived on 5 December 1943 with more than 250 of the 948 prisoners dead.

    Before it was liberated by the United States Army in April 1945, 89,964 to 100,000 prisoners passed through Flossenbürg and its subcamps. Around 30,000 died from malnutrition, overwork, executions, or during the death marches. Some of those responsible for these deaths, including administrators, guards, and others, were tried and convicted in the Flossenbürg trial. The camp was repurposed for other uses before the opening of a memorial and museum in 2007.
     
  2. P-Squared

    P-Squared Active Member

    Thanks, Jeremiah. As much as I read about the concentration camp system and other atrocities, I never fail to be horrified by such systematic (and systemic) brutality - and I’m 62! In some weird way, I’m kind of pleased that I am unable to get used to it. It’s terribly, terribly sad.
     
    Jeremiah likes this.

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