Kurt Bundzus

A Benefactor in Auschwitz?

The engineer Kurt Bundzus (1904-1986) first worked at the Siemens-Schuckertwerken in Berlin. He organised the use of forced labourers in the small factory. Based on this experience, Bundzus wrote a "Quarterly Report on the Use of Russian Prisoners of War for Labour" in August 1942. In it he describes how to make the work of forced labourers more efficient. After the Schuckert factory was bombed and destroyed in autumn 1943, Bundzus was put in charge of helping set up the Siemens Bobrek camp near Auschwitz.

In the Birkenau camp, he selected workers who had technical training. These skilled workers had to produce small electronic parts and motors. With so many forced labourers dying, Bundzus was aware of the cruel treatment in the labour camps of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Since the recruited skilled workers were important and rare, they were housed separately beginning in April 1944. Their living conditions improved after that, which increased the workers' chances of survival. Bundzus was questioned as a witness in the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial in 1965, He cynically described the conditions in the Bobrek Siemens camp as not problematic and stressed his goodwill towards the prisoners.