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Leignitz civil crematorium received prisoner bodies from Gross Rosen concentration camp prior to Gross Rosen having its own crematorium. Leignitz was opened in 1938 and used Topf crematorium equipment. Leignitz started receiving bodies from Gross Rosen in 1940 only two years after opening.  

It is interesting to note that Topf installed the crematorium equipment in Leignitz in 1938 but two years before it started trading  with the SS in providing crematorium design and equipment to the camps. It is truely amazing to see the difference in design between civil crematoriums and those in the camps. The first thing you notice is the size. The crematorium equipment in Leignitz is on two floors and measures approximately 15 meters in length. Compared to for example the Topf equipment in Mauthausen which is also two muffles it must be 4 to 5 times the size. You also notice the sophistication of equipment compared to the camp crematoriums. 

Compare the ornate nature of the body delivery mechanism in Leignitz with its tiling and design to those in the camps where there was no tiling and no attempt at ornate fittings.

But you also see the similarities. Compare the body delivery mechanism in Leignitz to the Topf oven in Buchenwald. Those in Buchenwald are based on the same principle but obviously much more rudimentary and cheaper. It is interesting to note that the body delivery mechanism in Leignitz is much lower to the ground making it easier to put the coffin on the mechanism. This is because the ashes were collected by the equipment on the basement floor. In the camps the standard ovens existed on one floor and were approximately two metres high. All was encompassed in this single structure ie body delivery mechanism, fuelling and ash collection. Thus the body delivery mechanism was at a much higher level as the oven entrance was at a much higher level. All to reduce cost and size.

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