On 21 April 1941, near the village of Struthof, the Nazis opened a concentration camp, KL-Natzweiler.
The central camp, the only concentration camp in France, was located in the then annexed Alsace département. Its annexes, scattered over the 2 sides of the Rhine, made up a network of nearly 70 camps, more or less large. Of the nearly 52,000 detainees of KL-Natzeiler, about 35,000 did not go through the central camp.
A labour camp supporting the Nazi war industry, it was also used for medical experiments by Nazi professors from the Reich University of Strasbourg.
On 23 November 1944, the Allies discovered the site evacuated by the Nazis since September. Some deportees from the camp annexes had their sufferings prolonged in the spring of 1945 on the "Death Marches".
From 1941 to 1945, the KL-Natzweiler was one of the most murderous camps of the Nazi system. Nearly 22,000 deportees died there.