|Detail from an American aerial photograph taken on 18 April 1945. The photo shows the star-shaped outline of the Wehrmacht prison Torgau-Fort Zinna (upper right), Seydlitz Barracks and Zieten Barracks (upper left), which was the seat of the Reich Military Court from August 1943 to April 1945.|
The outwork of Fort Zinna, built in 1810-1813 under the rule of Napoleon, was used as a military prison as early as the 19th century. In addition to prisoners of war, military prisoners and so-called work soldiers were held here. During the First World War captured officers were interned at Fort Zinna. After military jurisdiction was abolished under the Weimar constitution, the Prussian judiciary took over the Fort Zinna compound in 1920 as 'Torgau Prison'. In the first few months after the National Socialist takeover in 1933 political opponents were held here in 'protective custody'. Political prisoners remained in custody in Torgau until late 1935.