Munich, Germany


Agfa-Commando is the widely used name for the München-Giesing - Agfa Kamerawerke satellite camp of the Dachau concentration camp. By October 1944, the camp housed about five hundred women. They were used as slave laborers in the Agfa camera factory (part of the IG Farben group) in München-Giesing, a suburb on the S.W. side of Munich 14 miles (23 km) from the main camp of Dachau. The women assembled ignition timing devices for bombs, artillery ammunition and V-1 and V-2 rockets; they used every opportunity to sabotage the production. In January 1945, citing the lack of food, the prisoners conducted a strike, an unheard-of action in a concentration camp. Production ended on 23 April 1945 and the women marched toward Wolfratshausen, where their commander eventually surrendered to advancing American troops.

Dachau was the first concentration camp (known as a "KZ") that Reichsf├╝hrer-SS Himmler had built. It was already in existence in 1933 and developed into a prototype for subsequent concentration camps such as Buchenwald, which appeared in 1937. The concentration camp was not geographically restricted to Dachau itself. At the onset of war, the SS increasingly employed concentration camp prisoners in armaments factories and these specific labor commands created a network of subcamps throughout Germany. In some cases the prisoners were accommodated in diverse, makeshift sleeping areas; in other cases the SS had them erect their own camp with watchtowers and fences. Many such subcamps, called the KZ-Au├čenlager, were laid out in similar fashion to the concentration camps. There were also SS camp commanders (SS-Lagerf├╝hrer) and prisoner functionaries such as the "camp senior" (Lager├Ąltester) or "block senior" (Block├Ąltester).

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