On April 4, 1933, Amtshauptmann Döbeln ordered the formation of a labor camp in a community and sports center located at Öderanstrasse in Hainichen, Sachsen. Ortsgruppenleiter Georg “Zuff” Ziegler was the commandant and Friedrich Zill served as his deputy. The guards consisted of SA-Sturm 5/139, later supplemented by SA-Sturmbann II/148 from Colditz. Despite the nomenclature, Hainichen was an early concentration camp for leftist detainees. Its population fluctuated from an initial 50 prisoners to 144 by April 12, then to nearly three hundred before its dissolution on June 13, 1933.

Hainichen prisoners were divided into three arrest categories. These categories depended upon the degree of suspected involvement with leftist political parties. They ranged from non-members, who were supposed to be immediately released, party members, who faced detention for an indefinite period, to party officials, who were considered to be the most serious cases. Although the SA occupied a community center, the prisoners were made to sleep on a garbage heap. After Hainichen's closure, the detainees were dispatched to early concentration camps at Colditz Castle and Sachsenburg. No additional information has emerged so far about Hainichen, for which further research is needed.


This entry follows the standard study of the early Nazi concentration camps, Klaus Drobisch and Günther Wieland, System der NS-Konzentrationslager, 1933 - 1939 (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1993). See also Mike Schmeitzner, “Ausschaltung - Verfolgung - Widerstand: Die politischen Gegner des NS-Systems in Sachsen 1933 - 1945,” in Sachsen in der NS-Zeit, ed. Clemens Vollnhals (Leipzig: Gustav Kiepenhauer Verlag, 2002).

Primary documentation for this camp, as cited by Drobisch and Wieland, consists of file no. 551 in Stadtarchiv Leisnig. The camp is also listed in the German Social Democratic exile newspaper, Neuer Vorwärts, August 27, 1933.

Joseph Robert White