The Horrors of Subcamp Leipzig-Thekla


The concentration camp subcamp Leipzig-Thekla in Leipzig was a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp it was set up at the beginning of March 1943 .It was liberated on 19 April 1945. 1450 male prisoners had been in the camp. The prisoners had to do forced labor at Erla Maschinenwerk GmbH for the Luftwaffe.

By the time the Leipzig-Thekla satellite camp was closed, at least 109 prisoners had died due to the inhumane working conditions, lack of food, illnesses, mistreatment by the camp SS and Allied bombing. Inmates who were ill or unable to work were transferred back to Buchenwald. By the beginning of April 1945, around 2,000 prisoners had arrived in evacuation transports from the dissolved Groß-Rosen concentration camp and its Gassen subcamp in the Leipzig-Thekla subcamp.

On April 18, 1945, at least 80 of the 304 prisoners remaining in the Theklaer Straße/Heiterblickstraße camp, who were sick and unable to walk, fell victim to the Abtnaundorf massacre carried out by the Gestapo , members of the SS and Volkssturm men .

Julius Haberman was one of the men who liberated the camp on April 19,1945. Julius and his unit discovered Leipzig-Thekla, a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp, which, at its height, held approximately 1,400 prisoners. When the men of the 69th reached the camp, there were fewer than 100 survivors.

This is some of his eye witness account.

As a Jewish soldier, he expressed how personal the liberation was for him. “I knew that these prisoners were Jews that were on the other side of the fence. I really couldn’t speak to them much, but I could say a few words because I knew Yiddish and was able to speak a little bit and be an interpreter. Mounds of bodies were on the other side of the camp there…it was difficult.”