Nazi Forced Labour in Leipzig - About


What does this map represent?

The map depicts our current level of research (08/2021) on forced labour camps in the Leipzig area during the Second World War 1939-1945. It shows more than 700 lodgings and camps for foreign slave labourers who were forced to work in the metropolitan area during this period.

As well as being a typical barracks camp, a ‘camp’ could also take the form of a converted inn, a sports hall, private accommodation, an allotment building or an attic or shed on the factory premises. The different types of accommodation varied in size - a mark on the map can indicate a small lodging for three forced labourers, or a barracks camp with 5,000 people.

The map is not finished and may contain some errors. It is being continuously updated and expanded with new research findings.

What do the different colours represent?

The colours identify the different categories of forced labourers and their accommodation.

  • Civilian forced labourers were assigned to their place of work by the employment office and accommodated in lodgings and camps (yellow) of differing sizes. The employers were responsible for the accommodation and sustenance of the civilian workers.

  • Prisoners of war were subject to the Wehrmacht and were accommodated in prisoner of war camps (purple).

  • The subcamps (blue) were under the administration of the Buchenwald concentration camp and the SS.

  • Places of work are marked in red.

  • Other sites (e.g. work education camps) are marked in green.

Where does the information come from?

The map is based on data from files held in the Leipzig City Archive and, in particular, the book “Fremd- und Zwangsarbeit im Raum Leipzig 1939-1945” (Foreign and Forced Labour in the Area of Leipzig 1939 - 1945), by Thomas Fickenwirth, Birgit Horn and Christian Kurzweg, published by Leipziger Universitätsverlag in 2004. Over a period of several years we have also researched various archives and other sources for further information. Our research findings are taken from files of the Leipzig City Archive, the Saxon State Archive, the Saxon Economic Archive, the Arolsen Archives, from company archives, from documents (e.g. letters or diaries) of former forced labourers, from the recollections of contemporary witnesses, from research and collections of local and historical associations, from local chroniclers, students, historians and other memorial sites.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported the research project in recent years and enriched it with their expertise.

Why is there no information available on some of the sites?

Information and documents have not been kept and preserved on all the camps that existed in Leipzig. The map of the city is therefore incomplete and only shows the camp locations that we have uncovered in our research so far. Due to the fragmented nature of the records, it is impossible to determine the exact location of some of the camps or to clearly ascertain the original house number. In such cases, an approximate location was established and marked on the map.

So far, we have not been able to determine the site of more than 30 camps that we have come across in our research. These camps are therefore not marked on the map.

What is not shown on the map?

The map depicts all the known locations of forced labour camps within the period 1930 - 1945. The camps were set up or closed at different times and did not all exist at the same time. The map does not illustrate the time frame of the camps.

Instead, it focusses on the different locations of the labour camps. Most of the forced labourers' places of work are not marked: armament factories, workshops, municipal enterprises or civic institutions. In the detailed information on the individual camps they are simply referred to as “providers”.

The use of forced labour in the surrounding area of Leipzig, especially in agriculture, is depicted only partially on this map. The deployment of "Eastern European domestic workers" in private households in Leipzig also remains hidden, as little research has yet been carried out on this subject. Most of the private lodgings housing forced labourers from Western Europe are also unmarked.

So, what can we learn from the map?

The map illustrates the character of Nazi forced labour as a widespread and everyday phenomenon. In the war economy, forced labourers were employed in almost all areas of work, and their accommodation was spread across the entire city. Many of the labour camps were in the immediate vicinity of residential neighbourhoods inhabited by the German population. This everyday proximity can be observed not only in the locations of the labour camps, but above all in the conversion of sports halls, schools, restaurants and clubhouses into labour camp lodgings. Contact between forced labourers and Germans was forbidden. However, contact was unavoidable and indeed not uncommon due to the proximity in which they lived. Forced labour was a crime carried out in full view of the population.

What should you do if you have new or additional information?

If you have additional information on specific camps or data on camps not yet recorded, we would be delighted to receive an email from you:

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