Local profiteers

During the Second World War, the demand for concentration camp labour mostly came from German industry. But some local Germans also tried to benefit from the camps in their midst. Farmers asked for help with the harvest, for example, and many such requests (including the following to the camp commandant of Flossenbürg) were granted by the SS.

098 – Farmer Gretel Meier requests prisoners from Flossenbürg, 18 June 1942

Obersturmbannführer, I wish politely to request the provision of a squad of prisoners for two days. I am justifying my request for the squad on the grounds that, since my husband is at the front, I cannot carry out this work alone with my 68 year old mother. I am unable to get any other assistance.

I would be grateful for favourable consideration of my request.

Heil Hitler
Gretel Meier

Source: KZ-Gedenkstätte Flossenbürg (ed.), Konzentrationslager Flossenbürg 1939–1945 (Flossenbürg, 2008), p. 171

Translation: Lesley Sharpe and Jeremy Noakes