Natzweiler-Struthof Crematorium

The photograph above shows the crematorium building where the bodies of dead prisoners were incinerated in an oven. Note the tall smoke stack.

The photograph below shows the single oven in the crematorium. Until the crematorium was finished in October 1943, the corpses were burned in a mobile crematorium placed near the farm at Struthof, about half a mile from the main camp.

The photograph below shows pipes going into what appears to be a shower room right next to the crematory oven.

According to a book which I purchased as the Memorial site, the showers were added in November 1943. Although some tourists believe that this was the gas chamber at Natzweiler, the book says, "The chamber used for the gas experiments was placed outside the camp, near the farm in a building near the hotel: the date when it began working is impossible to tell, but it is known that during the summer of 1943, it was used regularly; it was there that during the summer of 1943 particularly, some Jews, men and women, coming from Auschwitz, were 'treated' with gas before they were killed."

The expression "treated with gas" refers to experiments in which prisoners were subjected to mustard gas and then treated for their burns in an attempt to find the best antidote for the gas. Mustard gas had been used as a weapon by both sides in World War I, so the Nazis wanted to be prepared in case the Allies decided to use it again in World War II. As a young man, serving in the German Army in World War I, Adolf Hitler had been temporarily blinded by a gas attack, so he was not inclined to use gas as a weapon, even though the Nazis had deadly serin gas available as a Weapon of Mass Destruction.

The photograph below shows clay pots which were used to send the ashes of dead German prisoners to their relatives. There were at least 800 German criminals sent to Natzweiler to work in the quarries there. The relatives had to pay for the privilege of receiving the ashes.

The photograph below shows an autopsy table in the crematorium. The bodies of prisoners who had died in the medical experiments performed at Natzweiler were studied here.

The photo below shows a room with bunk beds in the crematorium. This was where prisoners, who were subjects of the medical experiments, slept. Experiments were done to find a vaccine for typhus and to find a way to treat burns caused by mustard gas.

The crematorium building also has an execution room where prisoners were executed with a shot in the nape of the neck. It is just a bare room with a floor drain, so that the blood could be washed away.

Camp Prison



The Camp


Ash pit

The gallows