Categories: Sightseeing, Cultural and History
[ source: Wikipedia]
The town of Flossenbuerg is located in the Bavarian Forest, near the border of the Czech Republic. The first written reference to the town dates from 948, but Flossenbuerg Castle was not completed until 1107. Although only ruins reachable by a footpath remain today, Flossenbuerg Castle once commanded a prominent location on top of a hill overlooking the city. Of particular note due to the name's significance, Flossenbuerg Castle was a stronghold of the Hohenstaufen family. Between 1138 and 1254, this family was the ruling family of Swabia, an area that now falls within northern Bavaria. The most famous member of the Hohenstaufen line was Frederick I Barbarossa (1122-1190), who was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1155. Besides Frederick Barbarossa, two other members of the Hohenstaufen family achieved the status of Holy Roman Emperor.
Even though visitors do trek up the hill to view the castle ruins, more of them seek out Flossenbuerg because of its dark history during the Third Reich. Between 1938 and 1945, the town was the site of the Flossenbuerg Concentration Camp. The camp was constructed by the Schutzstaffel (SS) and was completed in May 1938. During its years of operation, over 96,000 prisoners were housed here, and approximately 30,000 inmates never returned home again. Most of the prisoners at Flossenbuerg came from the German-0ccupied eastern territories, and many inmates were used to work the SS-owned quarries in the surrounding countryside. Numerous prisoners died because of the harsh punishments and work conditions that were associated with their stints in the camp. Among the most famed inmates executed at Flossenbuerg were Rev. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, military jurist Dr. Karl Sack, and Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, all of whom were involved in the final assassination plot against Hitler, the so-called 20 July plot in 1944, which also caused the execution of Claus von Stauffenberg and numerous others. The Flossenbuerg camp was liberated on April 23, 1945 by the U.S. 90th and 97th Infantry divisions.
About this Article
This travel guide has been written by Rachel Hildebrandt.
Starting with her first trip to Germany at the age of 16, Rachel has traveled, worked, and studied in Germany extensively. Although her first encounter with German culture was in Lower Saxony, since that time the focus of her subsequent work as a freelance historian and translator has shifted eastward. Building on her graduate studies in Dresden, Rachel has worked for a variety of German foundations as a historian and translator, and is currently pursuing research pertaining to the Sorbs in Lusatia (eastern Saxony).
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