Satellite Camp Passau II
Establishment of the satellite camp
Upon initiative of the Zahnradfabrik Friedrichshafen (ZF, gear factory), a subsidiary factory was inaugurated in June 1943 in Passau - the Waldwerke GmbH. It focused on the production of tank transmissions, bunker doors and technical small parts. The insufficient supply of machines meant that even more workers were needed to run the factory. For this reason, Passau II Subcamp - Waldwerke was founded in March 1944 as a sub-detachment to Mauthausen Concentration Camp. The factory employed around 1,200 people, including the prisoners
The prisoners’ workplace was inside the gear factory in Donaustraße, the same place where the camp would be set up after about a month, close to the production hall at the northern bank of the Danube river in Passau-Grubweg. Until that time, the camp was located in the Lindau neighbourhood.
When the first transport with approx. 100 prisoners arrived at Passau II camp, they were brought to the Lindau neighbourhood. About one month later, in late April/early May, they moved to the camp complex close to the factory hall of the Waldwerke. The highest number of prisoners was 333. A total of 16 Prisoners are recorded to have returned to Mauthausen Concentration Camp.
The prisoners had to work in the production of tank transmissions, bunker doors, and technical small parts. They had to work day and night, in shifts of twelve hours.
The only thing that is known about the SS guards is that they treated the prisoners horribly. Several prisoners were killed (i.e. shot “on the run”). SS-Oberscharführer (Senior Squad Leader) Vogelsang is mentioned as camp leader.
The shutdown of the subcamp started on 29 October 1944, when 150 prisoners were moved to Flossenbürg Concentration Camp. One week later, on 6 November, two people were moved to Passau I Subcamp - Oberilzmühle. On 7 November, the remaining 177 men were forced to walk to Zschachwitz camp (a subcamp to Flossenbürg), a march that claimed numerous lives.
Commemoration and remembrance
As of May 1945, the US Army used the former camp premises to accommodate Displaced Persons - people who had to leave their home countries during the war. In 1946, production in the factory resumed, and in 1953, it was once again incorporated into the gear factory Friedrichshafen. There is no memorial commemorating the Subcamp.