Kaufering VI (Türkheim)

According to SS Arbeitsdienstführer (Labour Service Leader), Josef Hermer, in October 1944 20 prisoners from Dachau concentration camp had to build Kaufering VI concentration subcamp in Türkheim together with workers from OT, Mindelheim high school pupils and possibly also prisoners of war. On the arrival of the first prisoner transport with 1,172 people in early November 1944, the camp was still under construction. Some 30 earth huts, several barracks and four watchtowers were built.

The primitive earth huts offered the concentration camp prisoners only limited protection from the cold. The photograph shows the Kaufering VI camp. Source: KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau

The prisoners were predominantly Jews from Hungary, Poland, Greece, Romania, the Czech Republic and Germany.

The concentration camp prisoners were used as forced labourers to build a workers’ settlement to the south of the camp. The female detainees worked as harvest workers for farmers.

He was an SS man. However, after the camp was liberated something came to light that only the camp physician (himself a prisoner) had previously known: The Camp Commandant had secretly handed over small amounts of his own money to procure medication for his camp detainees from the pharmacy at the nearby market town! There was a sequel to the story: Following liberation, Jewish prisoners hid the SS man from the American troops and declared to their commanders that they would hand over the SS man on the sole condition that they do not touch one hair on his head. 

– Dr Viktor E. Frankl after liberation

List of sources
The grounds of the former Kaufering VI are today in private ownership. Source: Stiftung Bayerische Gedenkstätten/ Rainer Vierlböck
On 22 April 1945 the SS guards began to evacuate the camp photographed here, Kaufering VI. Source: Carls Luftbild Datenbank

Sanitary conditions within the camp were a bit better than in others. There were only a few deaths to begin with, until the outbreak of a typhus epidemic. According to documents belonging to the Bavarian State Compensation Office, some 80 people are buried in the adjacent concentration camp graveyard.

On 22 April 1945, the first concentration camp prisoners were sent on a death march via Kaufering towards Dachau concentration camp. Fighting broke out between the SS and the Allies in the vicinity of the camp, during which the SS members finally surrendered.

Today, the former camp premises is privately owned, and not accessible to the public.

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