Concentration Camp Memorial Site in Flossenbuerg
In May 1938, the SS Economic-Administrative Main Office established the Flossenbürg concentration camp in the mountains of northeastern Bavaria in southern Germany, near the prewar border with Czechoslovakia. Flossenbürg was a men's camp primarily for so-called "asocial" or "criminal" prisoners. The SS used the prisoners as forced laborers in the nearby stone quarries of the SS-owned and -operated German Earth and Stone Works company. In September 1939, the SS transferred 1,000 political prisoners to Flossenbürg from Dachau in southern Germany and completed the transfer of all prisoners in Dachau to the Buchenwald, Mauthausen, and Flossenbürg camps. Prisoners were transferred from Dachau so the Waffen SS (military formations of the SS) could use Dachau for training in the new Death's-Head Division, an elite Waffen SS unit mobilized from concentration camp guards. There were over 4,000 prisoners in the main camp of Flossenbürg in February 1943. More than half of these prisoners were political prisoners (mainly Soviet, Czech, Dutch, and German). Almost 800 were German criminals, more than 100 were homosexuals, and 7 were Jehovah's Witnesses. The majority of the prisoners imprisoned in Flossenbürg during the camp's existence came from the German-occupied eastern territories.
As U.S. forces approached the camp, on April 20, 1945, the SS began the forced evacuation of prisoners, except those unable to walk, from the Flossenbürg camp. About 22,000 prisoners, including 1,700 Jews, were forced on a death march from the main camp toward Dachau in southern Germany. SS guards shot any prisoner too weak or ill to keep up. At least 7,000 prisoners died or were shot before reaching Dachau. U.S. forces liberated Flossenbürg on April 23, 1945. They found about 1,600 ill and weak prisoners, mostly in the camp's hospital barracks. Between 1938, when the camp was established, and April 1945, more than 96,000 prisoners passed through Flossenbürg. About 30,000 died there.
If we accept that there is nothing in this world that is exactly the same, we start to recognize the union of all life. However, people typically try to find this unity without accepting the differences. This leads to an endless search that goes nowhere and brings continous suffering. We want to truly recognize what takes place in day-to-day life, knowing that we will not back away from any situation, which will enable us to learn how to be open for what is. It is in this process that healing takes place.