Visiting the Tormersdorf Concentration Camp

Trip to the Site of the Tormersdorf Concentration Camp: 80th Anniversary Commemoration


When: November 6, 2021

Where: PRĘDOCICE, POLAND @10:00 – 12:00

*No entrance fees. Open to the public.*

**More information about transportation time and details to come. Please contact us at lauren@jrwgoerlitz.com if you are interested in participating in this historic event.**


On November 8, 2021, twenty descendants of the former Jewish Community of Görlitz will make the 40-minute trip north to the site of the former Tormersdorf Concentration Camp.

Eighty years ago in November 1941, 55 Görlitz Jewish citizens were sent to Tormersdorf- where many met their demise at the hands of Nazis. Eighty years later, on November 8, 2021, the descendants of these brave Jewish people will congregate from around the world to pay homage to their ancestors. This will be the first ever memorial trip made to the Tormersdorf Concentration Camp by a group of descendants whose families were imprisoned there. Today, the site of the former concentration camp is located in Prędocice, Poland.


Why are we Making this Trip?

Tormersdorf was completely destroyed in the last days of the war, only a few traces from this time can be found. Only sparse remains of the former buildings have survived. Today, there is a memorial for the fallen soldiers of World War II, however there is no references to the former concentration camp, the mass Jewish grave, or the horrible atrocities which happened here during the Holocaust.

It is our hope, that by making this memorial trip that we are able to bring attention to the lost history of Tormersdorf and the Jewish people who suffered there. With this symbolic trip- Jewish descendants retracing the footsteps of their ancestors- we want to press the importance of setting up some sort of remembrance here before the memories are lost to history.


History of the camp

Originally, Tormersdorf was the site of a mental health institution for mentally handicapped ment. It was known as the Diakonieanstalt Zoar, and it was run by the Evangelical Church.  In 1939, the instituation would be renamed to Martinshof to replace the former “Jewishness” of its first name . 

By order of the NSDAP and the regional authorities of Lower Silesia , Tormersdorf was selected as the location of a “transit” concentration camp for Jews who had been recently expelled from their homes in Breslau. On July 8, 1941, the first 130 Jews from Breslau arrived in Tormersdorf. In total, more than 700 Jews would be imprisoned at Tormersdorf. Most were deported from Breslau and the surrounding area, but others were deported from other Silesian cities such as Görlitz , Glogau, and Lauban. The Jewish people interned at Tormersdorf were forced to pay for their own tranpsort costs to the camp. These travel costs were listed by the Gestapo as being: 102.4 Reichsmarks (which is equivalent to nearly $328.31 USD today). 

Jews at Tormersdorf were made to work forced labor in various companies in the area or for “war-related work”, such as road construction and forced agricultural work. Companies which used Jewish slave labor included local hotels, a jelly factory, a sawmill, a fertilizer plant, and a shoe factory. The administration of the camp was the responsibility of the Gestapo, who performed weekly checks and very often surprise checks in rooms and businesses.

The accommodations at Tormersdorf were horrible: there was neither running water nor adequate sanitary facilities, the rooms had no doors or doors which could not be closed, and a single room would house more than ten people. Nevertheless, the Jews imprisoned here had to pay 125 Reichsmarks (approximately $540 USD) per month for their stay. Jews were completely segregated from the nearby villages, and had to walk on specially designated paths as the German villagers of Tormersdorf didn’t want to “constantly encounter Jews”. Insufficient nutrition and overworking led to disease, suicide, and death: 26 Jewish citizens died in Tormersdorf. One of whom was Amanda Hannes. She will be receiving a Stolperstein on November 5, 2021 in Görlitz.

On July 27, 1942, the Tormersdorf Concentration Camp was dissolved. Its remaining prisoners were sent: 203 to extermination camps in the East (Auschwitz and Majdanek), 275 to Theresienstadt. In total 119 men, 320 women, and 30 children.

Tormersdorf was completely destroyed in the last days of the war, only a few traces from this time can be found. Only sparse remains of the former buildings have survived. Today, there is a memorial for the fallen soldiers of World War II, however there is no references to the former concentration camp, the mass Jewish grave, or the horrible atrocities which happened here during the Holocaust.