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DACHAU - The Entomological Institute
Why did the SS need an entomological institute? Was it a Research Centre for Biological Warfare as some Authors claim? Google: The Entomological Institute of the Waffen-SS: Evidence for offemsive biological warfare research in the third Reich
In January 1942, the Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler ordered during a telephone conversation with the Head of the Research Department of the SS, the 'Ahnenerbe'(Ancestral Heritage), Wolfram Sievers, the creation of a new Institute for the Study and Control of vermin insects like bugs, lice , fleas, mosquitoes, harmful to humans and others. On February 10, 1942 Dr Edmund May took over the position as director of the Entomological Institute. The then unknown scientist was neither a party member nor a members of the SS, but a prominent and well known zoologist with wide studies in the natural sciences Mathematic, Physic, Chemistry, Botanic, Geology and Palaeontology. In March 1942,Dr. May habituated in Munich for natural philosophy and history of science.
To settle the decision to locate the Entomological Institute in Dachau, was made in April 1942, on the one hand because of existing medical facilities in the camp and secondly because Professor Carl Schilling, who worked in the concentration camp on experiments with malaria mosquitoes on detainees.The Section SS- WVHA in Berlin hoped for a close cooperation between the two scientists Schilling and May.
The Entomological Institute, were assigned a plot of land right next to the Dachau concentration camp the the former 'Alte Römer Strasse', today it is 'Würmmühle 4'. What was planned were two wooden barracks, in the larger one it was planned to have the Laboratories and offices and in the smaller one the accommodation for scientists. However, the construction of the barracks went ahead initially at snails pace, depressed because there were supply difficulties of building materials in the third year of the war. This resulted that one and a half years after Himmler's instructions, only pipes for water and lines for electricity had been laid. The workers for the construction were provided by the concentration camp in the form of a 30-men prisoner work detail (Arbeitskommando). The Entomological Institute took up its laboratory activities not until 1944. Until then, Dr. May''s office was provisionally housed at the Plantation at Dachau KZ..
Since March 1943 the Prehistory Professor,Dr. Rudolf Schütrumpf who had worked for the 'Ahnenerbe' since 1938, became the first secretary to Dr. Edmund May. Next to him were less skilled scientists, a total of eight assistants and some 'amateur biologists' were hired which was at that time the entire staff employed by the Institute, these people had been exempted from their SS- or/and police duties. Human experiments on prisoners of Dachau concentration camp were indeed planned by Sievers, but were not carried out.[For further study on 'Ahnenerbe' read:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahnenerbe]
In addition to the prisoners, who had built as a Baukommando the two barracks at Würmmühle, four women prisoners were semt to the Institute, Else S. ,, Olga N., Martha K, and Ottelie A, they came on 11 September 1944 from the Ravensbrück concentration camp to Dachau. The four 'Jehovah Witnesses' were two days in Dachau locked in the bunker before they were taken to the nearby Institute. Here, the women were housed in barrack of the research facilities in a single room. At the Institute they were used for cleaning and other tasks to keep the place tidy.[Their basic functions was that of Maids and Housekeepers,sic] They were allowed to wear civilian clothes, did not work on Sunday's and could move freely. Martha K. described that the women completed for the scientists also errands in the town of Dachau. The women prisoners appear to have been treated well by all the staff of the Institute. There was neither a leader nor command guards who supervised the women ..
The IBT Entomological Institute existed until the end of the war with an unchanged occupancy. The women prisoners were not evacuated to the main camp, as was customary, but released at the Würmmühle by American troops.
|The Würmmühle next to KZ Dachau and part of the SS=Complex|
The living quarters of the Institute was in 1945 demolished, while in the former research barracks became a home for German refugees and survivors of the Dachau concentration camp were housed.until 1965, the second shack was torn down, on the site now stands a residential property.
After the war, against Dr. Edmund Nay no investigation was conducted because of his affiliation with the 'Ahnenerbe' after. He already held at the end of 1945 lectures at the University of Munich and in 1951 as ordinary Professor of philosophy at the Free University of Berlin. Dr. Schütrumpf lived after the war in Cologne and in 1970 was appointed as 'aussenplanmässigen' (unscheduled) Professor.
Professor Claus Karl Schilling had hardly any association with the Institute, however,in the course of the Dachau Trials following the liberation of the camp at the close of the war, Schilling was tried by an American tribunal, with an October 1945, an affidavit from Schilling being presented in the proceedings.[Using humans as guinea pigs in his 'research' to find an anti-body or serum against malaria.sic]
The tribunal sentenced Schilling to death by hanging on 13 December 1945. His execution took place at Landsberg Prison in Landsberg am Lech on 28 May 1946. See:
Author German Text: Sabine Schalm
Up to today there is no evidence of offensive biological warfare research in Germany after the unsuccessful attempts of German biosabotage in WWI. It is a pitty that the misleading heading of Reinhardt ‘s article similar to other disinformation campaigns are favored by some media’s apparent craving for a breaking story that often supersedes thorough investigation.sic
About the sub-camp on the Estate of the Pollnhof in Dachau only fragmented statements are made today. Just the Investigation , in the 1970s by the Central Office in Ludwigsburg, give an approximate insight into the activities on the Pollnhof. The Estate belonged to one of the agricultural holdings within the immediate environment of Dachau concentration camp, which the SS owned, managed and administered. Further examples are the plantation acreages with the Kräutergarten (herb garden) or the Liebhof, a somewhat larger Estate in Dachau. On the Pollnhof (today SteinerNo.:+ 16) worked prisoners from the KZ, in various commandos at agricultural work. Stanislaw F. was according to his own statement already there in 1942 with approximately 50 other inmates, who would start at at six in the morning, accompanied by SS guards and walked the 1,5 Kilometre distance to the Pollnhof Estate. Once thee, the prisoners worked, either jointly or separately in small groups at agricultural activities. In the evining they would march back to the camp, in time for the evening Roll Call. Sundays was not a workday.
For a period of about four weeks from March 1945, alongside the daily coming and returning inmate commando from the camp, there was a permanent satellite camp on the estate for a limited period. Josef S. remembers that the six other Polish POW s and a Kapo was housed in a small room next to the horse stables. The approximate opening date is given as March 1 145, there was a good reason for this change. The prisoners were quartered on the Pollnhof because of the prevailing Typhoid fever epidemic in the Stammlager (Nain Camp). During this time, the eight prisoners took care exclusively of the horses on the farm. After four weeks, these prisoners continued to work on the farm, but they were then as the remaining commando again housed in the concentration camp.
About the fate of work commando Pollnhof survivors report that they marched out of the camp until 25 April 1945 to the farm. The inmate file of the Polish protective custody prisoner Stanislaus Kiszka contains the the entry 'freed Pollnhof' (befreit Pollnhof). This is the only indication that, even after the 25th April 1945, there were one or maybe several prisoners still working on the estate.
The old manor house still stands but is now a residential building surrounded by a densely built apartment area.
Author German Text: Sabine Schalm
Ludwig Nachtmann founded in 1933 the Schraubenfabrik (Srew Factory) Präzifix GmbH(Ltd) in the Münchner Straße at Dachau. Since the war began they specialized particularly in special screws for aircraft engines. In 1940 Gustav Adolf Heyer from Berlin took over the company. and moved the production in the following year to the new factory in the Johann Ziegler Street. (Plant 1) The Präzifix GmbH was an important supplier to the Messerscmitt-Werke and the Bavarian Motoren Werke (BMW), and had already received in 1941 permission to build a factory on thearea of Flosslände, which was on the SS Exercise and Training Camp. The then existing ammunition bunkers were connected a single-storey barrack in which apart from some civilian labourers, with the intention to employ exclusively inmates of he Dachau KZ. Before the sub-camp was built in 1940 twelve prisoners worked for the Präzifix GmbH (Ltd) in the Münchner Straße. However, these prisoners returned every night back into the KZ-Lager. At the Flosslände facilities, there worked since the fall of 1943 a total of 37 prisoners, among them Edgar Kupfer,who was employed as a clerk in the the following three years in the material store office. He kept a secret diary, which has been preserved and is the detailed description of the operations of the commando Präzifix. This narrative is partly based on his writings.
|Invoice by "Präzifix" from April 1943. The company paid 40.15 Reichs Mark to the German Research Institute for nutrition and food. This Institute was Par of the so called Herb Garden of KZ Dachau.|
At first, the prisoners still marched from Dachau KZ the 1.5 Kilometre distance to the factory building II (Werk II). After a typhus epidemic in the main camp (Stammlager) beginning in April 1943 wooden barracks were built on the factory premises and a permanent sub-camp was established. Edgar Kupfer wrote in his diary on 7 February 1943 he had for the first time on this date, slept with about 130 other prisoners in the barracks on the factory premises. Further utility barracks were erected., and quickly the the sub-camp was enlarged and accommodated up to 400 prisoners. In addition, a kitchen block with an annex as a food magazine, a clothing store room and a residence meeting barrack,(Aufenthaltsbaracke) was added. The camp was fenced with an electric barbed wire fence and surrounded by six occupied with post guard towers. At the watchtowers searchlights were mounted that lit the camp at night.
At the Flosslände[which was the place of Präzifix,sic] there were insufficient sanitation provisions, which is why the prisoners as from May 1943, under the supervision of the SS took them on Sunday's to the main camp (Stammlager) were they made to bathe and had their clothing and undergarments washed. Once a week there was a prisoner-doctor from the KZ to check the health condition of those inmates at camp Präzifix.
The division of labour and supervision was carried out by Dr. Heyer and five to ten civilian employees of the company. Heyer came only irregularly into the Werk II, yet constantly present were the civilian manager Oberkirchner who was responsible for the production and general operation,another three were the supervisor of quality control Sieifert and Goldap as well as a master electrician. The behaviour of the civilian supervisors towards the detainees was split. Some tried to make the life of the prisoners easier, but others participated in the harassment(Schikanen).
Among the prisoners were skilled workers like turners and fitters (Dreher und Sclosser), but also unskilled workers from all parts Europe, the most represented were prisoners from Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. They worked in twelve-hour day and night shifts, in which prisoners on lathes, milling and grinding machines as well as metal stamping were engaged in the manufacture of aircraft parts. Most of the daily civilian workers left the Flosslände factory as of 1943 while they were either drafted into military service or put to work I in the works at Johann-Zieglerstrasse. At that time, the inmates took over the Administration of Werk II by day and night by Kapos, these were in charge of respective shifts. and included Walter Ohldorfer, Christian Weber, Josef Starka, Karl Weber and August Madriz. The monitoring teams,[the guards.sic] with their especially older Air Force members, frequently changed, only the Detachment Commander was constantly present, without any change.. He would take the morning and evening roll call and signed off the number of prisoners present [or missing,sic]. Several Kommandoführer, who were NCO's, except two officers who's. names are known, they are: SS Oberschadfährer Ernst Angerer ((until end 1943), Unterscharführer Josef Heller, Obersturmführer Arno Lippmann (until August 1844) and Hauptsturmführer John Berndt, The ten to twelve SS guards were living in a barrack outside the camp's fence.
The food in the camp was relatively good, in any case better than in the main camp Dachau. Overseeing the food preparation and the necessary supplies was the responsibility of the prisoner Karl Weller, who oversaw the cooking with four other prisoners. The former prisoner August J. reported that many functionary prisoners in Dachau were trying to accommodate their friends in the camp Präzifix because it was known to be a better IBT. Even J. had come in this roundabout way into the Präzifix sub-camp.
A peculiarity within this camp was the culture barrack (Kultur Baracke) in which the prisoners could be in their free time. On Sundays and public holidays they would here organize theatre events. The various nationalities performed skits and folk dances, and a band played for the prisoners. Director Heyer provided the musical instruments and and took part with his wife in these events. In addition, there was a chorus of about 14 Polish prisoners and a football team that on Sundays participated to play against other teams from the main camp.
In June 1944, Dr. Oskar Eifler, a convinced Nazi, took over the management of Präzifix GmbH. Director Heyer was possibly in conflict with the Gestapo because of favouring inmates as being too lenient towards them, and was transferred early in 1945 to the Eastern Front. ]He soon paid a price for being humane, his life sic] With Eiflers entry into the factory conditions of the prisoners worsened. As three Russian prisoners had toothpaste, soap and pair of shoes stolen, Hauptsturmführer Berndt mistreated the detainees badly and put them on the next day for questioning back into the main camp. Only one returned to the sub-camp to be hanged there in front of assembled prisoners. The other two prisoners were hanged as well, one in Mauthausen and other at Nünchen-Allach. [Statement: Walter Eichler 30.11.1946 in:DaA/I, Kupfer-Koberwitz, Dachauer Diary page 372] still the question remains open 'who reported them?' SS-guards did not patrol inside the camp,sic.
The total number of cases of ill-treatment and executions in the camp are well known. At the end of May it came to an altercation during the construction of a new transformer station, the trouble started among the inmates of the detachment which the team leader reported back to the Dachau KZ, with the result that the prisoners, two Russians and a Pole were hanged on December 17, 1944 charged with sabotage. To deter the commandos at Präzifix, they had had to watch the hangings.
An air raid in late October 1944,on a nearby Munition Depot was hit. The explosion destroyed part of the factory on the Flösslände, 13 prisoners were wounded and some dead had to be taken back to the Main Camp for treatment and disposal of the deceased. Once the damage had been fixed to the barracks, production in Werk II resumed again.
The IBT Präzifix was dissolved on 26 April 1945 and the prisoners returned to the main camp. About half of the inmates had to join in the evacuation march. This group stayed together until the liberation by the Americans near the village of Wolfratshausen.
Director Gustaf Adolf Heyer died in the last days of the war in the front line His superintendent Dr. Otto Eifler was indicted in 1947 Dachau processes, but acquitted. During an investigation by the Munich II Public Prosecutor on Oskar Eifler's participation of murder at the sub camp, was in 1977 suspended and not perused.
The screw factory Präzifix GmbH was able to re-commence in 1945 its production with civil workforce again. Until 1951 they were manufacturing among other items. kitchen scales and made thread rollers (Gewindewalzen). The entire enter prize was dissolved after the sale to a Munich-based company.
Author German Text: Sabine Schahm
In March 1945, an inmate of the Dachau concentration camp was there and used to oversee the work performance (Arbeitsleitung) for the mayor of Ebersberg. Whether the prisoner remained there overnight or returned daily to Dachau is unknown.
-Author German Text: Christph Bachmann
Yet in the last few weeks before the war ended, a sub-camp of the Dachau KZ was established in an area near Eching,of the Freising district with about 20 Kilometre distance east of Dachau. It was located on a flat terrain at the Dietersheimer Strasse between Dietersheim and Neufahrn near the Neufahrner sports field. Two to five wooden barracks including utility barracks such as the kitchen, laundry and infirmary were hiding there in a large gravel pit. The camp was surrounded with a simple wire fence and had no watchtowers, only searchlights illuminated at night the terrain .
On 10 April 1945 500 prisoners were brought by train from Dachau to Eching/Neufahrn. They should under the regime of the SS and the Todt Organization, to build on the south-western side of the camp on the 'Garching Heath' in about two Kilometre distance, a runway for air crafts. They had to first in in an east-west direction, remove the humus layer on a length of 300 Metres and a width of 43 Metre and level by bulldozing the pitch. North and south of the runway they dug deep foxholes for protection against air attacks. The area was since 1908 the property of the 'Bavarian Botanical Company of Munich'. These leased the entire 'Garching Heath' on July 1, 1936, to the airbase commander. already operating as an emergency landing strip (Notlandung) nearby. In November 1944 the first plans of the air force were implemented to expand the airfield and to use it as a backup runway.
|War memorial in front of town hall|
The prisoners did belong to different categories of inmates and nationalities. There were Poles, the Czech-Slovaks, Yugoslavs, Russians, Ukrainians, Italians, French and Germans under them. Civilian workers initiated the construction activities. The guards were made up of members of the air force, some members of the SS and older men of the Organisation Todt. Camp Commandant was a native of Karlsruhe, a big grown SS members whose name and rank is unknown, as witnesses were unable to remember.
When asked about abuse, one prisoner reported of the standard flogging with 25 strokes by the cane, [all camps had a manual, how to treat inmates, which was originally written by Theodor Eicke when Dachau was first established, but not necessary adhered to,sic] another recalled that, ' if an inmate was not working or interrupted what he was doing, to rest, because it was too heavy for him, the punishment being carried out by the SS men, but sometimes there were also overseer that had been advanced from our own prisoner ranks who did the thrashing'. A prison orderly who supervised the infirmary with a Polish assistant, reported that one day two prisoners who were on an outside work assignment, returned with serious injuries to the infirmary because they had been beaten up by the overseers with strokes by the cane. The witnesses questioned about deaths and executions, but could not remember that any ever took place.
Two weeks after the establishment of the sub camp, construction work ceased on 24 April 1945. The SS guards had left the camp, only men of the Todt Organisation and Volkssturm members remained. Then some prisoners took the opportunity to flee.
Author German Text: Rudol Goerge
Der Ort des Terrors, Vol.:2-page 309
Verlag C.H.BeckMünchen 2005
Translated from German by:
Herbert Stolpmann von Waldeck