Schirmeck, a "reeducation" camp nearby


There were many different kinds of camp created by the Nazis: holding camps, reeducation camps, transit camps, extermination camps, and even within the concentration camp category, there were numbers to indicate the severity of treatment of the prisoners. Thus, Konzentrationslager Natzweiler (KLNa for short) was a category 3 camp, the harshest, condemning its inmates to death by overwork and starvation ( like Mauthausen.) . Just a few miles away was the camp of Schirmeck, a "reeducation" camp for uncooperative Alsatians. The most obdurate and defiant ended up in Natzweiler;  but many prisoners eventually were dismissed. Its commandant, Buck, was vicious and prisoners died there of mistreatment, too. Today, the camp has been reconfigured as a pretty little housing development.... Photo and text copyright © Diana Mara Henry