K prisoners

Soviet officers sent to Mauthauen to be murdered

‘K’ stands for ‘Kugel’ (German for ‘bullet’). Following the secret ‘Kugel-Erlass’ (bullet decree) of March 1944, K prisoners were mainly Soviet officers who were sent to the Mauthausen concentration camp to be murdered after attempting to escape from a prisoner of war camp or carrying out sabotage during forced labour.  They were either shot or left to starve in Block 20.