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Kraków-Plaszów concentration camp
The camp in the village of Płaszów was founded in December 1941 in the southern suburbs of Kraków, Poland. Commanding the camp was Amon Goeth, a sadistic SS General from Vienna. Under him were his staff of SS men and a few SS women, including Gertrud Heise, Luise Danz, Alice Orlowski and Anna Gerwing . After the war Płaszow prisoners recalled Alice Orlowski as the "picture book SS-woman, five feet tall, blond, beautiful." They also told about her whippings, especially to young women across their eyes. She gained some sort of pride from doing this. At roll call she would walk through the lines of women and when she thought someone was talking the inmates would hear the howl of her whip as it hit the back of some poor prisoner. A former prisoner commented after the war that she was put on a train in Płaszow and an SS woman hit her over the head. "You would think because they're women that they would be nice, but most of them were big and fat and ugly."-One former prisoner testified.
The camp was known as a slave labor camp, supplying manpower to several armaments factories and a stone quarry. The death rate in the camp was very high. Many prisoners, including many children and women died of typhus, starvation and executions. Płaszów camp became particularly infamous for both individual and mass shootings carried out there. All documents pertaining to the mass killings and shootings were entrusted by commandant Goeth to head SS woman, Kommandofuhrerin Alice Orlowski. She in her power held on to these documents until the end of the war, then destroyed them.
In January 1945, the last of the inmates and camp staff who remained left the camp on a death march to Auschwitz, including several women SS. Many of those who survived the march were killed upon arrival. The Red Army liberated the, then empty, camp on January 20, 1945.
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