Military Wiki
Advertisement

Coordinates: 49°48′11″N 19°12′40″E / 49.803°N 19.211°E / 49.803; 19.211

Solahütte (AKA Solehütte, Soletal, SS-Hütte Soletal, SS Hütte Porabka)[1] was a little-known resort for the Nazi German guards, administrators, and auxiliary personnel of the Auschwitz/Birkenau/Buna facilities. Because Auschwitz detainees overseen by Franz Hössler constructed the rustic getaway facility and a crew of detainees did ongoing grounds-keeping and cleanup work, Solahütte can be considered a tiny subcamp of Auschwitz.[2] Postcards of the era sent by German staff sometimes bore the resort hamlet's mysterious pre-printed return address "SS Hütte Soletal" but otherwise the place remained largely unknown until 2007 when the Höcker Album of vintage Auschwitz photographs was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum which then released images online for study.[3][4]

Wartime snapshots made at Solahütte are somewhat jarring because of the lightheartedness of the people pictured: some of history's most infamous war criminals are shown cheerily singing along to accordion music, loafing on deckchairs, or giggling over desserts with female Nazi staff of the Helferinnen or Aufseherinnen.[5][6][7] Among the Nazi killers photographed making merry at Solahütte were Oswald Pohl (executed through the Nuremberg Tribunal), Rudolf Höss (executed through the Supreme National Tribunal of Poland), and Josef Mengele (nicknamed the "Angel of Death").[8][9][10][11] The latter was almost never seen photographed in his SS uniform with Auschwitz colleagues until the Solahütte snapshots and a select few other images became known.[3]

Solahütte is around 18 miles by car from Auschwitz and the main lodge still stands—though renamed and in use as a tavern.[12] It is located near the bends in the Soła river where engineers in 1935 finished a heavy dam which created the scenic Międzybrodzkie reservoir lake. Sola and Sole were Germanic approximations of the Polish Soła. Hütte is German for hut. Hence the German name "Sola hut"—even though the "hut" was actually a motel-sized building with a full-length sun-deck porch along with numerous smaller campus buildings.[1][12][13] Activities included hunting, hiking, sunbathing, and excursions to the nearby lake and peaks. Villages of Porąbka and Międzybrodzie Żywieckie are close by—along with the Żar glide-airstrip and the Żar peak with its funicular incline-tram. The region was already popular with tourists. Far from Germany and deep in the potentially-hostile occupied Polish territory, the guards and the Nazi female typists and clerks of the extermination camp had few nearby safe vacation options other than going (usually by the charter-busload) "off to the Sola Hut".

In the late 1960's, the Polish Communist party expanded some existing facilities into a major elite resort called HPR-Kozubnik Porąbka with dance halls and bars plus a restaurant, indoor pool, cinema, sauna, and a multistory hotel for key officials.[14][15] Top mining and metals-industry planners and high-ranking official visitors including the son of Leonid Brezhnev stayed there. However, after the fall of Communism in Poland, the resort became a rusty ghost town visited mostly by looters, paintballers, and urban explorers poking around the ruins.[15][16]

Gallery

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (2011). "Img_53 (USHMM#34749)(view of the buildings at Solahütte with period caption "SS-Hütte Soletal")". http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/online/ssalbum/auschwitz_album/. Retrieved Nov 28, 2011. 
  2. German Wikipedia further reading via Google Translation (2011). "Solahütte". http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fde.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FSolah%25C3%25BCtte. Retrieved Nov 28, 2011. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (2011). "(1. Introduction in) Online Exhibitions: Auschwitz through The Lens of The SS". http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/online/ssalbum/. Retrieved Nov 24, 2011. 
  4. "The New Yorker" re Wilkinson (Mar 17, 2008). "Slide_0 in Slide Show: Karl Hoecker's Album". Archived from the original on September 7, 2012. https://archive.is/iaz5. Retrieved Nov 28, 2011. 
  5. Alec Wilkinson (Mar 17, 2008). "A Reporter at Large: Picturing Auschwitz --What Does A Recently Found Photo Album Reveal?". The New Yorker. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/03/17/080317fa_fact_wilkinson. Retrieved Nov 28, 2011. 
  6. "The New Yorker" re Wilkinson (Mar 17, 2008). "Slide_8 in Slide Show: Karl Hoecker's Album". Archived from the original on September 15, 2012. https://archive.is/0qO5. Retrieved Nov 28, 2011. 
  7. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (2011). "Img_75 (USHMM#34767a)(Nazi women camp staff eating dessert on Solahütte terrace railing with accordionist)". http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/online/ssalbum/auschwitz_album/. Retrieved Nov 28, 2011. 
  8. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (2011). "Img_57 (USHMM#34753)(SS uniformed Josef Mengele with Auschwitz Commandant Baer and Rudolph Hoess at Solahütte)". http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/online/ssalbum/auschwitz_album/. Retrieved Nov 28, 2011. 
  9. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (2011). "Img_58 (USHMM#34752)(SS uniformed Josef Mengele with Rudolph Hoess at Solahütte)". http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/online/ssalbum/auschwitz_album/. Retrieved Nov 28, 2011. 
  10. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (2011). "Img_61 (USHMM#34755)(SS uniformed Josef Mengele with Auschwitz Commandant Baer and Rudolph Hoess at Solahütte)". http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/online/ssalbum/auschwitz_album/. Retrieved Nov 28, 2011. 
  11. Alec Wilkinson in "The New Yorker" (Mar 17, 2008). "A Reporter at Large: Picturing Auschwitz --What Does A Recently Found Photo Album Reveal?". http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/03/17/080317fa_fact_wilkinson. Retrieved Nov 28, 2011. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 "The New Yorker" re Wilkinson (Mar 17, 2008). "Slide_5 in Slide Show: Karl Hoecker's Album". Archived from the original on September 8, 2012. https://archive.is/8M1L. Retrieved Nov 28, 2011. 
  13. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (2011). "Img_54 (USHMM#34750)(view of the building at SS retreat Solahütte)". http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/online/ssalbum/auschwitz_album/. Retrieved Nov 28, 2011. 
  14. Zimor (et al) (Oct, 2011). ""Kozubnik wczoraj i dziś 41 miejsc" (a Kozubnik then-and-now YouTube slideshow)". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuIqU4jq84w. Retrieved Nov 28, 2011. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 Polish Urban Explorers Group Opus ZC Zone (2006-2011). "Kozubnik – ośrodek wypoczynkowy" (in Polish). http://www.opuszczone.net/kozubnik. Retrieved Nov 28, 2011. 
  16. Polish Wikipedia further reading via Google Translation (2011). "Zespół Domów Wypoczynkowo Szkoleniowych HPR Porąbka-Kozubnik". http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=pl&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fpl.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FZesp%25C3%25B3%25C5%2582_Dom%25C3%25B3w_Wypoczynkowo_Szkoleniowych_HPR_Por%25C4%2585bka-Kozubnik. Retrieved Nov 28, 2011. 

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Advertisement