On May 21, 1941, Camp de Schirmeck, Natzweiler-Struthof, located 31 miles southwest of Strasbourg in the Vosges Mountains, was opened as the only Nazi Concentration Camp established on present day French territory. Intended to be a transit labor camp it held about 52,000 detainees during the three and a half years of its existence. It is estimated that about 22,000 people died of malnutrition and exertion while at the concentration camp during those years. Natzweiler-Struthof was the location of the infamous Jewish skeleton collection used in the documentary movie “Le nom des 86” made from data provided by the notorious Hauptsturmführer August Hirt. On November 23, 1944, the camp was liberated by the French First Army under the command of the U.S. Sixth Army Group. It is presently preserved as a museum. Boris Pahor, the noted author was interned in Natzweiler-Struthof for having been a Slovene Partisan, and wrote his novel “Necropolis,” named for a large, ancient Greek cemetery. His story is based on his Holocaust experiences while incarcerated at Camp de Schirmeck.
Photo Caption: The gate to Nazi Concentration Camp de Schirmeck. See Captain Hank Bracker Facebook.
Captain Hank Bracker, who served with the U.S. Military Intelligence Corps, is the author of the multi-award winning book, “The Exciting Story of Cuba” has now written “Suppressed I Rise.” This book is for anyone interested in a very personal human view, of the history of World War II. A mother’s attempt to protect and raise her two young daughters in hostile NAZI Germany challenges her sensibilities and resourcefulness. Both books will be at the NYC Book Exhibit this summer and are available at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, BooksAMillion.com and many Independent Book Shops.