The camp was opened for male prisoners in east-central Germany. They later welcomed women in late 1943 or early 1944. It was one of the largest concentration camps within German borders. There were an electrified barbed-wire fence, watchtowers, and a chain of sentries outfitted with automatic machine guns, surrounded the main camp. The inmates started off as political prisoners, but the events of Kristallnacht led to 10,000 Jews being brought to the inhumane camp.