The DAW was a conglomerate of SS economic enterprises controlled by SS-Obergrüppenführer Oswald Pohl, chief of the Wirtshafts- und Verwaltungshauptamt (Economic and Administration Main Office) or WVHA. (BA-ZS: B162/14465, 12-13) These operations were established in 1939 in Poland and expanded to the newly occupied Eastern territories after 1941. They focused mainly on woodworking, metalworking, and factory production but would also enter the war materials market. (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1963, 62)
On the 1st of August 1941, SS-Obersturmführer Fritz Gebauer arrived to take over the DAW Lemberg. The site appears to have been the remnants of a factory for building milling machines formerly owned by a Jewish industrialist named Steinhaus, whose holdings had been nationalized during the Soviet occupation. (BA-ZS: B162/14465, 15) It included a large hall, and several workshops including a fitting shop, turning shop, carpenter shop, plumbing shop and an electrical shop located on forty acres which backed up to hilly terrain cut with ravines and draws. (BA-ZS: B162/14465, 1039) This street, known as Weststrasse in the Nazi period was the main westward artery out of town. The camp lay more or less within the city of Lviv; it had a streetcar stop and this streetcar line was actually used to deport Jews from the ghetto to the camp. In addition, the Kleparow freight train station sat immediately outside the front gates and a few kilometers from the grand Lviv main station.
Gebauer immediately populated his camp with Jewish slave labor from the nearby Lviv ghetto. (Although the Lviv ghetto was “officially” established in mid-November 1941, many of the city’s Jews had already been forced to relocate to the poorer, run-down northern area of Zamarstynów) Until barracks were built, prisoners slept outside. The initial number of slave laborers was relatively small given Gebauer’s aspirations but grew quickly. Initially, fifty to sixty Jewish slave laborers worked there but by the end of the 1941, he had built a respectable slave labor operation. Jewish Council records indicate a total of 554 laborers (9 from outside Lviv) supplied to the camp in December 1941. (Żydowski Instytut Historyczny: 229/77, 7)
Ukrainian militia (Askaris, the term used to describe any local militia that assisted Nazis) replaced the Dirlewanger men. He also received additional SS personnel, many of whom were ethnic Germans from Hungary and Yugoslavia. The most important of these reinforcements was his putative deputy, thirty-one-year-old Waffen-SS Oberscharführer Gustav Willhaus.
When Willhaus established his own concentration camp, the Zwangsarbeitslager-Lemberg (ZAL-L), he also took control of the labor force of the DAW. Gebauer remained the commander of the DAW until a large liquidation Aktion in November 1943 killed most of the workers. The camp was ultimately closed with the German evacuation of Lviv in July 1944.
The Janowska camp
Both parts of the camp, ZAL-L and DAW, were closely connected.
Leon Wells Journey
Story of Leon Wells, Janowska camp prisoner.
The Zwangsarbeitslager-Lemberg (ZAL-L) or The Janowska Camp
Both parts of the camp, ZAL-L and DAW, were closely connected.Show full description
The Kleparów Station
Station played a central role as a deportation site as well as for delivering materials for construction.Show full description
Sites of mass murder of Jews near Janowska camp.Show full description
Author – Waitman Wade Beorn
Editing – Vasyl Rasevych, Andriy Usach, Taras Nazaruk