Engerau: The Forgotten Story of Petržalka


An important part of our project is the presentation of twenty photographs of the actual sites where these tragic events took place. To achieve this, we had to recreate the topography of the Engerau camp: we identified the locations of the subcamps, infirmary and camp headquarters, as well as the route of the death march of March 29, 1945. This topography is expanded by the testimonies of witnesses, survivors, and even the perpetrators of these crimes.

The photographer Illah van Oijen, who has authored book projects about Bratislava and Košice and who specializes in the photography of the public space, has creatively participated in this project. The aim was to create a photo-essay about the present-day sites of the camp. It is a photographic reflection on the identity of the city and the (forgotten) memory of the Holocaust in present-day Bratislava.

Illah van Oijen
Bratislava, Námestie hraničiarov, March 2015

We know very little about the Auliesel subcamp. It was named after the small settlement of Auliesel, where it was located. The Slovak name of this area is Starý Háj. It was located on a peninsula formed by a branch of the Danube now known as Chorvátske rameno. The camp building, house no. 1588 at Richthofengasse No. 19, was the former dairy of a widow named Maria Ajpek. This street was called Juraja z Poděbrad before the war. During the postwar period its name changed to Povstalecká. The street crossed an area which today spreads between the playground of the elementary school in Gessayova Street and the housing blocks at Námestie hraničiarov. The camp had 300 to 350 prisoners accommodated in the cellar, attic and stockroom. Only the stockroom, which could take about 100 people, was heated. The rest suffered from exposure, and some froze to death in their sleep.


Jewish Community Museum
Kozia 18, 814 47 Bratislava
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