Stutthof - Sztutowo (Poland)

  • Location: Poland, near Gdansk
  • Established on: 1939
  • Liberation: May 10th, 1945, by the Russian Army.
  • Estimated number of victims: 85,000
  • Sub-camps: 40 sub-camps and external kommandos (click here for a list of those sub-camps)
  • Camps annexes: 40 camps annexes et kommandos extérieurs (cliquez ici pour la liste de ces camps annexes)

  • General view of the camp.

    Stutthof is 34 km from Danzig and was the first concentration camp created by the Nazis outside of the country of Germany (September 2nd. 1939). It is also the last camp liberated by the Allies (May 10th 1945). The first prisoners arrived in the camp on September 2nd. 1939: 250 Polish citizens and P.O.W. Two weeks later, on September 15th 1939, there were 6,000 prisoners in the camp: prisoners of war, scientists, etc,... Most of them were executed by the SS.

    The camp was composed of 8 barracks for the inmates and a huge building (the "kommandantur") for the SS. It was called "the old camp". In 1942, the SS began to build a "new" camp: 30 barracks were added. In 1943, the Nazis added a crematory and a gas chamber. The gas chamber had a maximum capacity of 150 people at one time. When the SS had too many people to execute, they also used wagons as gas chambers. Between September 2nd 1939 and May 10th 1945, 127,000 prisoners were registered upon their arrival in the camp. The lowest estimation of the number of victims is 85,000. The real number is certainly much higher: the inmates who were selected for immediate execution at their arrival were not registered.

    The commander of the camp was SS officer Max Pauli. After the war, Max Pauli was tried by an Allied tribunal and sentenced to death. The security officer of the camp was SS Captain Werner Hoppe. Despite the evidence of his participation in hundreds of murders,the court sentenced Werner Hoppe to nine years in prison. These are the names of other SS murderers: 1st SS Lieutenant Schwarz, SS Lieutenant Dittmann, 1st SS Lieutenant and MD Otto, 1st Lieutenant Oerli, SS Lieutenants Mathesius and Neubauer.

    Rudolf Spanner

    One of the worst crimes committed by the Nazies has been in Stutthof. Professor Rudolf Spanner, an SS officer and "scientist", was owner of a small soap factory located in Danzig. In 1940, he invented a process to produce soap from human fat. This "product" was called R.J.S. - "Reines Judische Fett" - which means "Pure Jewish Fat".

    The 'soap factory' of Rudolf Spanner...

    Hundreds of inmates were executed for the "production" of soap. Rudolf Spanner was very proud of his invention. Following testimonies of some survivors, he used to spend hours and hours just to admire his "invention". At the liberation, the Allies discovered chambers full of corpses used for the production of soap. After the war, Rudolf Spanner was not arrested and continued his "researchs"...

    .Dr Spanner's "material"... These pictures were taken at the liberation of Stutthof