September 2023

Tuschezeichnung „Konzentrationslager Roßlau 1933-34“

In the Roßlau “Volkshaus”, a former SPD meeting place, the Anhalt state ministry set up a “transitional concentration camp” on 12 September 1933, which existed until 31 July 1934. During this period, 250 to 300 male political prisoners were imprisoned and mistreated there. Almost all of them came from Anhalt. The camp was directly subordinate to the Dessau chief prosecutor Erich Lämmler, and the guard force consisted of members of SS Standarte 59. The prisoners who were fit for work had to perform forced labour in Roßlau and the surrounding area; physical and mental abuse by the guard force, but also by members of the Dessau political police, was the order of the day. A memorial stone in Roßlau commemorates the prisoners of the concentration camp.

Among those tortured in Roßlau – and earlier in the Oranienburg concentration camp – was Hugo Jacoby (1875-1935), a Dessau communist and functionary of the proletarian Red Aid of Jewish descent. He died soon afterwards, on 17 August 1935, in Dessau and was buried in the Israelite cemetery. Mrs Elisabeth Seger and her daughter Renate, who was barely one and a half years old, were also imprisoned in Roßlau – in “forced detention” so that her husband Gerhart Seger would surrender to the German authorities. The Social Democrat Gerhart Seger had been able to escape from the Oranienburg concentration camp to Prague in December 1933, where he wrote down his account of his experience, “Oranienburg: First Authentic Report of a Man Escaping from the Concentration Camp”, which received great international attention after its publication. After fierce public protests, Elisabeth and Renate Seger had to be released from the Roßlau concentration camp on 19 May 1934. Former prisoners of the Roßlau concentration camp also wrote down memoirs, some of which are in the Dessau-Roßlau municipal archives. These include the report by Walter Berger, which is also accompanied by an ink drawing presented by the Dessau-Roßlau Municipal Archives as Archive of the Month for September 2023.

City Archive Dessau-Roßlau in the Archive Network Dessau.
Archival of the Month July 2023
“Concentration camp Roßlau 1933-34”, ink drawing by Walter Berger (o. D.)
Signature: M 07 No. 90

Archivals of the month July 2023
Archivals of the month July 2023

“Roßlau concentration camp 1933-34”, ink drawing by Walter Berger (o. D.)
Signature: M 07 No. 90

Dessau-Roßlau Municipal Archive

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