Satellite Camp St. Lambrecht
Establishment of the satellite camp
On the premises of the Benedictine monastery of St. Lambrecht, which had been seized by the SS in 1938, three subcamps were established upon initiative of the provisional administrator, Obersturmbannführer (Senior Assault Unit Leader) Hubert Erhart. In St. Lambrecht proper, a subcamp to Dachau Concentration Camp for men was established on 12 March 1942. As of the spring of 1942, female prisoners from Ravensbrück Concentration Camp were also detained there. A third camp, established as a work detachment, was at Lind Castle. In November 1942, the men's concentration camp was incorporated into the administrative system of Mauthausen; on 15 September 1944, the women’s camp followed suit.
The prisoners were detained in the Benedictine abbey St. Lambrecht, in single-sex groups. According to historians, the female prisoners lived in the southern wing of the monastery.
The highest number of prisoners at the men’s camp was between 80 and 101 people. In June 1943, all prisoners of St. Lambrecht Subcamp, except those from Spain, were transferred to Mauthausen and Gusen. The majority of the prisoners who were returned to Mauthausen were murdered immediately after their arrival. On 2 July 1943, 99 Spanish prisoners and one Polish convict physician were transferred to St. Lambrecht. The 24 female prisoners at the women's camp were from Germany (10), Poland (6), the Netherlands (5), Austria (2), and Belgium (1). They had been categorised as bible students at Ravensbrück Concentration Camp and were brought to St. Lambrecht Subcamp in early May. After one Polish prisoner was transferred back to Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, there were 23 prisoners in the women's camp.
With St. Lambrecht becoming part of the Mauthausen Concentration Camp system, the imprisonment conditions worsened considerably. In the men's camp, prisoners were assigned to work in forestry and on the estate itself, and they had to work on the construction site of a settlement project. From the turn of the year 1942 to 1943, they also had to build a villa for the estate manager of St. Lambrecht, Hubert Erhart. The female prisoners were assigned to different types of work, such as household work, gardening, agricultural and forestry work, unskilled work for the Publikationsstelle, or work in the prisoners’ kitchen (for both men and women).
SS-Hauptscharführer (Chief Squad Leader) Heinrich Schöller was camp leader. To directly supervise and guard the female prisoners, female wardens from Ravensbrück Concentration Camp were brought to St. Lambrecht.
St. Lambrecht Subcamp was not evacuated. It is likely that the prisoners were without guards for the last few days of their imprisonment. According to historians, both the men's and the women's camp were liberated by British troops on 11 May.
Commemoration and remembrance
In 1946, the St. Lambrecht monastery was returned to the ownership of the Benedictine order. In 2008, a memorial stone to commemorate the victims of the subcamp was erected in the courtyard of the monastery. The wings of the building that were used for the camp are now back in use by the monastery. The convention of the Benedictine monastery has been initiating irregular memorials for the victims of the subcamp - sometimes in cooperation with other institutions. The programme for the commemoration and liberation celebrations can be found here . It will also list the St. Lambrecht events, if they are being held.