Lilli Silbiger

Stationen - Lilli Silbiger
Stationen - Lilli Silbiger
  • born on 5 September 1929 in Auschwitz as the daughter of a grain merchant
  • from 1939 onwards she was no longer allowed to attend school and had to wear the Jewish star from 1940, her father was dispossessed
  • in April 1941 she and her family were sent to Sosnowiec, her mother and brother were deported
  • from November 1942, she travelled to Katowice every day for forced labour - street cleaning and rubbish collection
  • in June 1943 she was sent to the Bolkenhain forced labour camp, where she had to make parachutes and blankets, deportation of her father and two sisters
  • Afterwards she had to work in the weaving mill in the forced labour camp Landeshut (Kamienna Gora)
  • from April 1944 to January 1945 she was in the forced labour camp/subcamp of the concentration camp Groß Rosen Grünberg/Zielona Gora and had to work there for
  • the "Deutsche Wollwaren Manufaktur GmbH" (German Wool Goods Manufactory)
  • Around 30 January 1945, start of the march to the Helmbrechts satellite camp of the Flossenbürg concentration camp (approx. 480 km)
  • Arrival in Helmbrechts on 6 March 1945,
  • Evacuation of the subcamp on 13 April 1945, survived the death march to Volary (Wallern)
  • Emigration to the USA

Auschwitz until 1941

April 1941 to June 1943 Sosnowitz

see also note 1

Evakuierung der Juden von Sosnowitz; Quelle: [1]
Evakuierung der Juden von Sosnowitz; Quelle [1]

1943 to April 1944? Bolkenhain and Landeshut

Landeshut: Forced labour camp for Jews in Silesia
Place Landeshut
Area Prussia (Province of Lower Silesia)
Opening May 1943 (first mention)
Closing April 1944 (last mention)
Gender Women
Type of work Labour in the spinning and weaving mill

1944 - Grünberg/Zielona Gora (subcamp of the Groß-Rosen concentration camp)

Grünberg, Quelle [2]
Grünberg: Subcamp of the Groß-Rosen concentration camp
Location Zielona Góra / Grünberg in Silesia
Name Camp 1
Area Prussia (Province of Lower Silesia)
Opening Mid-1944, previously a forced labour camp for Jews
Closing "Evacuation" January 1945 partly to Bergen-Belsen and towards Czechoslovakia; liberation on 10 February 1945
Gender Women
Employment of the prisoners at Deutsche Wollwaren Manufaktur GmbH; Christwerke, munitions factory

In 1944, she was taken by ship to Grünberg in Germany. Here the SS took over the prisoners. The food ration was reduced to the absolute minimum. She quickly lost weight. - 30 pounds. She also worked here as a weaver.

She was beaten by SS men over her face and body with fists, rifle butts and pieces of wood, twice. She had to stand for hours in the open air in very cold weather, wearing only inadequate clothing and barefoot.

Source: Konrad Kittl files, expert report by Dr Harnick, 29.6.1966

see note 2


"Evacuation" of Grünberg

In 1945, the camp was evacuated due to the advance of the Soviet army. She was forced to march about 30 kilometres a day, in all weathers and conditions. She slept in the open and in barns. Her feet were frozen. She often woke up and saw that ice had formed on her body ... She was forced to dig graves for the girls who were to be murdered. She was forced to prepare these graves when she knew that the victims were still alive. She never got over this and still has nightmares about the subject.

Source: Expert report by Dr Harnick, 29.6.1966

Baracken des Außenlagers Helmbrechts, um 1950; Quelle Klaus Rau
Baracken des Außenlagers Helmbrechts, um 1950; Quelle [3]

On 6 March 1945, a transport with 621 female Jewish prisoners arrived in Helmbrechts. The Jewish women were in an extremely poor condition. The women and girls had left Grünberg (Silesia), where a labour camp for Jewish women belonging to KL Gross-Rosen had been located, towards the end of January 1945 and were driven to Helmbrechts on foot under guard by members of the SS or police. The transport originally consisted of 1000 women and girls... On the way from Grünberg to Helmbrechts, a large number of prisoners were shot by accompanying guards. Many of the prisoners also died of exhaustion and exhaustion

Source: Judgement in the trial against camp leader Alois Dörr, 31.7.1969


The food for the Jewish women was extremely poor. If the food for the other prisoners was already poor, the Jewish women were given even less to eat. In particular, the soup intended for the Jewish women was again diluted with water. In the camp, this soup was called "Jewish soup". Between 7 March and 13 April 1945, 44 prisoners died in the Helmbrechts camp. On some days, up to 6 women and girls died. All but two of the dead were buried outside the camp. The first of the dead were buried against the wall of the Helmbrechts cemetery, outside the actual cemetery next to the rubbish heap there, while the others were buried in a former quarry in Haide near Helmbrechts. The last two dead were buried in the camp next to the camp road immediately before the camp was evacuated.

Source: Judgement in the trial against camp leader Alois Dörr, 31 July 1969

13 April 1945 - 5 May 1945 - March to Volary and liberation

Karte Helmbrechts - Volary
Karte Helmbrechts - Volary
Leichen verstorbener Frauen (Quelle:­wiki/­File:VolarydeadJews.jpg)
Leichen verstorbener Frauen, Quelle: [4]

On 11 May 1945, the Sudeten German civilians who inhabited Volary (present-day Czech Republic), are forced by US troops to walk past bodies of 30 Jewish women, who were starved to death by German SS troops in a 300 mile (500 kilometres) death march across Czechoslovakia from Helmbrechts concentration camp to Volary. Buried in shallow graves in Volary, the bodies were exhumed by German civilians working under direction of Medics of 5th Infantry Division, U.S. Third Army. Bodies will be placed in coffins and reburied in cemetery in Volary. 5thMed. Bn.

The defendant ordered that the supplies of clothing and blankets were to be distributed to the prisoners. The non-Jewish prisoners were given additional items of clothing. The Jewish women received nothing. Each prisoner had only one blanket.

The prisoners did not have coats or other outer clothing for the winter. The prisoners were given rations before the march. The non-Jewish prisoners received one round loaf of bread, some sausage and margarine per person. It was not possible to establish what the Jewish women received. The march rations were supposed to last for several days' but because the prisoners were completely starved, most of them ate the rations they received immediately.

Day 1, Friday, 13 April 1945, Helmbrechts- Haide - Ahornberg - Reutlas - Modlitz - Seulbitz - Schwarzenbach/Saale (approx. 17 km)' In the afternoon of 13 April 1945, the prisoners and all the guards left the camp. Ten prisoners were already killed on the first day:

  • After about 5 km of marching, an unidentified member of the guard staff shot and killed a female prisoner who had become unable to march about 20 m after passing the motorway subway of the Meierhof-Ahornberg road
  • About 2 kilometres east of Ahornberg, shortly before (west of) the village of Modlitz, unidentified members of the male guard personnel shot two prisoners. The shootings took place in a small wood, the so-called "Liegenholz".
  • On the march through Modlitz, an elderly female prisoner wearing a red pointed cap was no longer able to walk alone due to weakness or illness. She was therefore dragged along by two other prisoner women who had hooked her by the arms. Shortly after Modlitz, near the Heinold farm, members of the male guards shot two more prisoners who were too weak to march on their own. One of the two victims was the prisoner woman with the red pointed cap. These two women were shot about 7 metres north of the Modlitz-Wölbersbach path, which the prisoner train had used, in the Hertel farmer's forest (map no. 452).
  • Between Modlitz and Wölbersbach, an unidentified guard shot an approximately 20-year-old girl from the prisoner platoon a few metres to the right (south) of the Modlitz-Wölbersbach connecting path because she was no longer able to follow the prisoner platoon due to exhaustion.
  • The procession marched through Seulbitz in the direction of Schwarzenbach/Saale. North of the village, the road ran through a ravine bordered on both sides by bushes. There, one or more members of the guard team shot a total of four female prisoners. These four prisoners were also only killed because they were too weak to walk with the other prisoners.
  • From 13 April 1945, when the camp in Helmbrechts was evacuated, at least 129 prisoners died of exhaustion or illness and 49 prisoners were shot or beaten to death by members of the guard detachment.

Source: Judgement in the trial against camp leader Alois Dörr, 31.7.1969


Office for Compensation


Further Sources


  1. siehe auch Beschreibung Sosnowitz in THE UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM, Encyclopedia of CAMPS AND GHETTOS, 1933–1945, VOLUME II, Ghettos in German-Occupied Eastern Europe, Part A, S. 162 ff.
  2. Beschreibung Grünberg bei der "Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos": "They worked in various departments as needed. The food was wretched, a starvation diet. The women were emaciated. Beating and persecution by the staff were a daily occurrence. The women were deprived of meals for even the slightest offenses, long roll calls were held, and their heads were shaved.". Quelle: ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CAMPS AND GHETTOS, 1933–1945, Volume I, Part A, S. 742 f.

Picture Credits

  1. Credit: Yad Vashem Archival Signature 4613/824
  2. Credit: Dział Historyczny Muzeum Ziemi Lubelski
  3. Gedenkstätte Flossenbürg
  4. Credit: Yad Vashem Archival Signature 49EO3