Fifty kilometres from Strasbourg is the only Nazi concentration camp set up on French territory.
The site was chosen by Hitler’s personal architect because of its proximity to the pink granite quarry, the Grande Carrière, where most of the inmates were forced to work.
In this camp, mainly partisans and political opponents were detained: about 12,000 people were killed by hanging or shooting and the 5517 survivors when the Allies arrived were transported to the Dachau camp.
But the most chilling purpose of the camp was to provide the Reich University with human guinea pigs for sadistic pseudoscientific experiments concerning the use of chemical weapons and infectious diseases: 86 Jews from Auschwitz were killed in the camp’s gas chamber for this purpose. Their bones were included in the anthropological archive of skeletons of different human races and were found upon liberation.
A visit to the camp also includes the small museum, the crematorium, the autopsy room and the gas chamber.