Evacuation of Kaufering IV

When the evacuation of the camp had been decided in 1945, hundreds of sick concentration camp prisoners from Kaufering IV camp were packed onto a train. Whoever was unable to do so would be burnt together with the barracks, according to orders given by the SS.

On the order of the SS camp doctor, Dr. Max Blancke, Kaufering IV camp was set on fire by the SS on 27 April 1945. Source: KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau

The train with the concentration camp prisoners was directly bound for Dachau concentration camp when it was attacked and stopped by US fighter bombers immediately after departure. Survivors were initially transported to Kaufering I camp with the help of horse-drawn vehicles, before having been sent by train again with other prisoners towards Dachau concentration camp on 26 April.

The following day this train was attacked by Allied fighter bombers in Schwabhausen, too. Some 130 prisoners died during the attack and subsequent attempts to flee. After the arrival of a replacement locomotive, on 28 April the transport continued its journey to Dachau concentration camp where it arrived that same evening.

After liberation the dead bodies of concentration camp prisoners lying on the grounds of the camp were buried by the civilian population. Source: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Deborah Gaynes

The Kaufering IV camp was already set ablaze on the morning of 27 April 1945. The camp physician, Dr Max Blancke, who had given the order, committed suicide on that very day together with his wife at their home in Hurlach.

Upon entering Kaufering IV concentration subcamp on 27 April, the US American soldiers found 360 people dead. The US Americans forced the local population to bury the victims.

For more in-depth insights into the Landsberg/Kaufering subcamp complex, click here to go to the overview page.