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Memory sites

Category: Places of memory

In April 1941, the people of Raisko have been displaced. They could take only 25 kg of possesions, all other household appliances and the livestock had to be left behind. Most of them ended at General Governship, as some were moved to the right bank of Soła river.

Empty houses have been deconstructed by prisoners coming from Auschwitz. Authorities of the camp made a decision, that Raisko will cultivate crops, in addition to already existing facility in Auschwitz. Some of the inmates working there, were sent to Raisko.

It was a male commando, but in 1942 women were also employed. The whole number of workers at that period was 300 female, and 150 male prisoners, on the area of 64 hectares of cultivated ground.

Development of the farm caused, that in June 1943 a sub camp started there.  Female prisoners have been quarted in primitive conditions without any sanitary background. Situation changed in the fall, when toilets were built, and a provisional washroom with warm water started. Prisoners had only single beds, paillasses and blankets. The barracks were heated at winter time. In winter they wore obligatory camp striped clothes, and in summer they were equipped with blue dresses, canvas aprons and white bandanas. They also had a provisional hospital at teir service. More serious cases were sent to Birkenau. Square sub camp was walled with unelectrified barbed wire. Fence posts were equipped with lamps, with guards patrolling at night. By the day, they stood guard around the camp.

Harsh conditions of work were affected both by its character and the pressure coming from the guards. Beating and assignation of additional work were permanent elements of every day life, that had to keep up the discipline and efficiency. The controls at workplace were a torment. The prisoners had to undress when given an order, and in case of revealing any additional civilian clothing or torn cement bags, used as protection from cold, the women were punished.  Still, being assigned to this commando was considered luck, and that's thanks to possibility to „organize” food. At the camp ground several plants were cultivated, mostly peas, carrots, onion, garlic and parsley.

Raisko was also a place with experimantal cultivation. The experiments regaded plants of wide variety, i.e. (Compositae), Taraxacum tausaghys, Taraxacum krymsaghys and kok-sagiz. The aim of the experiments, was to create breed of plants that could be cultivated in european climate, but with much higher efficiency in rubber containment. The objects of the experims were also wheat, rye and flower bulbs.

Conditions of work with the experimental cultivation, which had to be connocted with highly qualified staff, promoted building of positive relations between the prisoners. Many ceremonies and holidays were celebrated whenever posibble, including Christmas. There were also meetings of cultural character, often in form of a discussion or improvised play.

Liquidation of the camp happened on 18th January 1945. The female prisoners were escorted to Wodzislav of Silesia, from where they went to KL Ravensbruck in open coal carts.


Der Ort des Terrors. Geschichte der nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager, Band 5, pod red. W.Benz, B. Distel, München 2007.

Zięba A., Podobóz Rajsko, Zeszyty Oświęcimskie nr 9, Oświęcim 1965.