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German POWs bury the corpses of Klooga prisoners.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 47630

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    German POWs bury the corpses of Klooga prisoners.
    German POWs bury the corpses of Klooga prisoners.


    German POWs bury the corpses of Klooga prisoners.
    Klooga, Estonia
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Esther Ancoli-Barbasch
    Event History
    Klooga, a subcamp of the Vaivara concentration camp in northern Estonia, was established in the summer of 1943. It held approximately 2,000 to 3,000 male and female Jewish prisoners, most of whom arrived in August and September of 1943 from the Vilna ghetto, though some came from Kovno and other ghettos. There were also about 100 Soviet POWs in the camp. The male and female prisoners were divided into two camps, which were only 600 yards apart. Each had a large two-story building which housed the prisoners and was enclosed by barbed wire, as was the camp as a whole. Klooga was guarded by both German and Estonian SS units. Prisoners worked in the cement, brickworks, and sawmills at Klooga, as well as in a factory that manufactured wooden clogs for the camp. Conditions for the Jewish prisoners were extremely harsh, though reportedly the camp elder and most of the Jewish Kapos treated the other prisoners humanely. There was a small Jewish underground in the camp, mostly consisting of Jews from the Vilna ghetto, but it was unable to mount an effective resistance due to the frequent transfers of prisoners from camp to camp. As the Soviet army advanced through Estonia in July and August of 1944, many Klooga prisoners were transferred to Stutthof. Early on September 19, 1944 German and Estonian SS surrounded the camp and began slaughtering prisoners in a nearby forest. Approximately 2400 Jews and 100 Soviet POWs were massacred in this action. On September 28, when Soviet troops liberated Klooga, they found the bodies of the slain prisoners stacked for burning. Only 85 prisoners who had managed to hide within the camp or escape to the forests, survived the final action.

    [Gutman, Israel. "Encyclopedia of the Holocaust." MacMillan, 1990.]

    See Also "Klooga" in Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, Volume 1 Part B

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Esther Ancoli-Barbasch
    Source Record ID: Collections: 1995.120.1.42

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    Record last modified:
    2003-12-09 00:00:00
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