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Wiener Library

Sheldon, Joseph (fl 1944-2001): Account of the liberation of Esterwege concentration camp


Reference code(s): GB 1556 WL 1412

Held at: Wiener Library

Title: Sheldon, Joseph (fl 1944-2001): Account of the liberation of Esterwege concentration camp

Date(s): 1944

Level of description: collection

Extent: 1 file

Name of creator(s): Sheldon | Joseph | fl 1944-2001 | medical officer x Josef Szwarcman


Administrative/Biographical history:

Esterwege prison camp was first established along with two others (Boergemoor and Neusustrum) in the Emsland region of Lower Saxony in June 1933 by the Prussian Interior Ministry. In April 1934, Esterwege became a concentration camp. Heinrich Himmler, as Reichsfuehrer SS and head of the Gestapo, reorganised the Prussian concentration camp sytem and installed a new commandant and guards from the SA and SS. Throughout the 1930s it served as a camp for political prisoners, Jehovah Witnesses, Jews and intellectuals. In 1936 many of the prisoners were transferred to Sachsenhausen and from January 1937 the camp was taken over by the Reichsjustizministerium and became the 7th prison camp in Emsland.

From 1940 it became increasingly used for army deserters and the like. Conditions deteriorated throughout the war, many prisoners dying from illnesses and overwork. From May 1943 it started to take in resistance fighters from foriegn lands. By the end of the war it was first used temporarily by the British occupying forces as a Displaced Persons Camp for Russians and later as an internment camp for war criminals.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Joseph Sheldon, 1944, comprise an account by Joseph Sheldon, formerly Jozef Szwarcman, a medical officer holding the rank of Lieutenant in the 1st Polish Armoured Division, of his experiences shortly after the liberation of Esterwege concentration camp, Lower Saxony,and a page torn from a volume which listed details of inmates of that camp.


Language/scripts of material: English and German

System of arrangement:

Arranged in original order.

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies can be made for personal use. Permission must be sought for publication.

Finding aids:

Description exists to this archive on the Wiener Library's online catalogue



Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited by Joseph Sheldon.



Archivist's note: Entry compiled by Howard Falksohn.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: March 2008

Concentration camps | War crimes | Humanitarian law
Memoirs | Documents | Information sources
World War Two (1939-1945) | World wars (events) | Wars (events)
Primary documents

Personal names
Sheldon | Joseph | fl 1944-2001 | medical officer x Josef Szwarcman

Corporate names
Esterwege concentration camp