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Opening hours – barrier: May-Sept: 9 am to 7 pm, Oct-April: 10 to 5 pm
Head of the Memorial Site: Sören Fuß, Breitestraße 4, 77716 Haslach, Tel. 07832 / 2105, info(at)gedenkstaette-vulkan.de
Youth Work Group: Mathias Meier-Gerwig, Tel. 07803 / 8043842, kontakt(at)erinnerungsweg-haslach.de
Sponsors of the facility:
Initiative Gedenkstätte Vulkan, Working Group of the Historical Association Haslach
The memorial site Vulkan has existed since 25 July 1998. It is on the slopes of the Urenwald near Haslach where over 1,700 men from 21 nations suffered and many had to die.
The monument of the Haslach artist Frieder Haser is the central point of the memorial site.
Twelve information boards document the history of three Haslach camps with texts and pictures. Remaining ruins point at the former crusher and the mountain station of a cableway which led several kilometres through the town. The gloomy entry of a drainage tunnel suggests the horrendous incidents which took place inside this mountain in the mines.
On 30th November 2012 the youth work group of the memorial site Vulkan inaugurated the path of remembrance which follows the persecution and suffering of the forced labourers: at six historical sites in town information boards give a glimpse of the past:
In 1944 The Reichsrüstungsamt/ The Reich office of armaments resolved to relocate the German armaments factory production below ground as “bombproof” as possible due to the increasing bombardment. At the same time, due to the great lack of labour forces, but also for ideological reasons ever more efforts were made to involve and exploit the camp inmates in the production processes.
In late summer 1944 the additional problem arose for the national socialists that the existing camps in Alsace, Natzweiler-Struthof and Schirmeck-Vorbruck had to be cleared due to the ever more imminent approach of the front. An widespread wave of arrests in Alsace, in Lorraine and the bordering regions led to a large number of available forced labourers.
These were the conditions which led to 1,700 prisoners from 21 countries being crammed into the three Haslach camps and being forced to hardest physical labour from September 1944 to April 1945. In the existing Haslach mines the intention was to involve four different companies such as Daimler-Ben, Mannesmann and Messerschmitt in the production, however, this plan no longer got started to the envisaged extent.
The prisoners in all the camps had to suffer inhumane conditions, they were tormented, under these conditions were exposed to the inevitable camp diseases and killings.
Over 220 prisoners known by name lost their lives in Haslach.
Hundreds of prisoners died in other camps to which they were deported from Haslach on the notorious death marches or they only survived the war for a short time.
>> Memorial Vulkan
At the memorial Vulkan twelve documentation boards invite you to intensive confrontation discussions with the history of Haslach camps. Upon prior request staff members are at disposal for further more detailed information, talks and discussions. For school classes and visitor groups of all kind, detailed presentations are offered by arrangement.
>> Path of Remembrance
On the Path of Remembrance the visitor follows the trail of the forced labourers of the three Haslach camps straight through the town, by embarking on a journey into the past. The Path of Remembrance covers six stations:
Station 1 The Railway Station
Station 2 Camp Kinzigdamm
Station 3 Camp Sportplatz
Station 4 The Guards
Station 5 The Mass Grave
Station 6 Camp Vulkan
Thanks to its modular setup it is, of course possible to make your way more individually along the Path of Remembrance. You find various work materials on the individual stations on the homepage (www.erinnerungsweg-haslach.de). These local stations are supplemented by a series of selected individual fates of prisoners.
Sören Fuß: Gedenkstätte Vulkan (Broschüre) 1998
Sören Fuß: Gedenkstätte Vulkan – Haslach im Kinzigtal, in: Die Ortenau, 81. Jg. 2001, S. 533–544
Manfred Hildenbrand: Die „Hölle“ von Haslach: Die beiden Konzentrationslager „Kinzigdamm“ und „Vulkan“, in: Die Ortenau, 73. Jg. 1993, S. 456–479