This is for the Ahlem work camp.
Henry Kissinger was involved with the 84th Infantry Division of the US Army, which liberated the Ahlem work camp.
Sources and Links
- Angel of Ahlem - link to photographs taken during the liberation of Ahlem with survivors identified where possible
- Jewish Gen: Hanover - Ahlem: A database of "names of 257 prisoners, mostly apparently Jews, who perished in a subcamp of concentration camp Neuengamme located in Ahlem/Hannover. "
- [http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahlem#Ahlem] - translation of excerpts relevant to this project:
Summary: The KZ Hannover-Ahlem was established in late 1944 to house 840 inmates who were transferred from a satellite camp of the KZ Stöcken (Continental). The prisoners worked in the drifts (tunnels) of a subterranean asphalt [bitumen] mine. Most of the prisoners were sent on a death march to the KZ Bergen-Belsen a few days before the arrival of the US Army. The remaining prisoners were liberated on April 10, 1945.
Planning for the KZ Hannover-Ahlem began in 1943 in response to the increased bombing of Hannover where the Continental Corporation [a rubber products manufacturer] produced aircraft tires and gas mask components. Continental wanted to move its manufacturing operations under ground to protect them from the bombs. The SS took responsibility for this project in November of 1944 and built a camp consisting of five buildings, surrounded by barbed wire, that faced the tunnel entrance.
The prisoners had to work two 12-hour shifts with picks and shovels to widen the tunnels for the manufacturing equipment. Laboring in the cold and damp environment (circa 50 degrees F and 85% humidity) was very hard on the prisoners who were also mistreated by SS personnel. This camp had the highest mortality rate of Hannover's seven KZ camps. The commandant of KZ Neuengamme had 250- 350 prisoners returned to KZ Neuengamme and replaced them with Danish, Polish, and Russian prisoners. This move briefly reduced mortality to 22 deaths per week; it was 44 deaths per week by the first week of January 1845. Within 6 weeks 50% of the Jewish prisoners were either incapable of working or had died.
340 prisoners arrived from the abandoned satellite KZ Hildesheim on 3/25/1945 to join the 750 then alive. Evacuation of the KZ Ahlem began on 4/6/1945 with 600 prisoners being marched to KZ Bergen-Belsen; 250 prisoners who were not well enough to march were left behind. The marchers reached Bergen-Belsen on 4/8/1945; several prisoners were shot on the way. US Forces liberated the Ahlem prisoners on 4/10/1945.