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Gdańsk-Kokoszki - KL Stutthof Sub Camp

Heritage Sites – Sites of martyrdom
Polska / pomorskie


A sub camp of the Stutthof concentration camp operated in Gdańsk-Kokoszki from September 13, 1944 on. Prisoners of Jewish origin from Poland, France, Netherlands, Lithuania, Latvia, Germany and Hungary worked in the sub camp. The first transportation in mid September 1944 brought to the camp about five hundred women. Within two months the number of prisoners grew to 1,600. In the winter of 1945 also Poles from a Gestapo detention station in Gdańsk were sent to the camp.[1.1]

The prisoners were lodged in POW barracks in Gdańsk-Kokoszki, from where they commuted every day by train to the Schichau shipyard, where they worked two 12-hour shifts, building submarines and anti-raid shelters.

During the day the prisoners received 0.5 liter of watery soup and 250 grams of bread. An evening meal included 0.5 liter of soup. The food had too few calories for the prisoners to be able to regain strength. A big problem was the lack of proper clothes that would protect them against weather conditions. People died in the camp as a result of diseases, accidents in the workplace and beatings by the guards. Archival files indicate that such cases were more common already towards the end of 1944. Dead bodies were burned in a crematorium belonging to the Medical Academy in Gdańsk-Wrzeszcz and buried in the cemetery at Zaspa. As maintained by Danuta Drywa in her book called “Zagłada Żydów w obozie koncentracyjnym Stutthof” (“Extermination of Jews in the Stutthof concentration camp”), a higher death rate in November and December 1944 could be caused by a typhoid epidemic and insufficient supplies of clothing and inappropriate food. Despite that fact, most prisoners believed that living conditions in Kokoszki were much better than those in the main camp in Stutthof. [1.1]

In February 1945, the Germans sent a few big groups of prisoners from the Stutthof concentration camp to the sub camp in Kokoszki. Their job was to build fortifications around the city and clear the railway tracks of snow. At that time the sub camp in Kokoszki served as a transit camp for those evacuated from KL Stutthof and its branches. Also people arrested in Gdańsk for various offences, like avoidance of work for the army, were imprisoned here. Living conditions deteriorated a lot at that time, which was caused by such things as, for example limited supplies of food and a higher morbidity rate. The prisoners suffered from frostbite, typhoid fever, diarrhea and other diseases.[1.1]

With the eastern front approaching, the Nazis decided to evacuate the camp. After a night selection the sick and exhausted people were separated from the rest. The Germans gathered those who remained in a column, which was then led, marching, to Rybno and Godętowo. The camp was liberated on March 23, 1945.[1.1]

A monument in the form of a rectangular prism intersecting a glacial erratic and placed on a granite block was unveiled in 1984 at the intersection of Nowatorów and Maszynowa Streets. An inscription on the monument read: “To the eternal glory and memory of the prisoners of the Stutthof sub camp in Kokoszki, tortured and murdered by Nazi genocides in the years 1944-1945.”[1.5]

Numerous human bones were found in 2011 during construction of a factory in Kokoszki. 

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[1.1] D. Drywa, Zagłada Żydów w obozie koncentracyjnym Stutthof, Gdańsk 2001

[1.2] D. Drywa, Zagłada Żydów w obozie koncentracyjnym Stutthof, Gdańsk 2001

[1.3] D. Drywa, Zagłada Żydów w obozie koncentracyjnym Stutthof, Gdańsk 2001

[1.4] D. Drywa, Zagłada Żydów w obozie koncentracyjnym Stutthof, Gdańsk 2001


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