Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial Site
When in 1938 a former brick factory was turned into the Neuengamme concentration camp, a six-year reign of terror started. In the course of this most shameful chapter of German history, tens of thousands were held captive and forced to hard labour in the Hamburg outskirts of Bergedorf district. Political prisoners from German-occupied territories had to dig canals, work in the clay pits or manufacture arms. At one of Northwest Germany’s largest concentration camps, accommodation, nutrition and sanitation were starkly insufficient and wardens were rewarded for their brutal handling of inmates. When on May 2nd, 1945, the camp was finally liberated by British soldiers, 42,900 men, women and children had died from diseases, exhaustion, hunger and abuse. Many more perished from the consequences of being incarcerated in Neuengamme. Only 14 staff members were convicted for their crimes.
From prison to memorial
After the war, traces had been erased thoroughly and the camp was used as a prison. The site’s history faded from public memory. In 2005, more than sixty years after former prisoners erected a commemorative stele at the entrance, the camp became the memorial site that it is today. Former factory buildings house the centre for exhibitions, cultural exchange and research.
The memorial site spans a 600,000 sqm area. 15 brick buildings remain, whereas only the outlines of the wooden barracks are still visible. The “Traces of History” main exhibition can be found in a former cellblock, an exhibition about the crimes of the SS is housed in the former car park. Visitors ,looking for information about relatives, can search the Memorial’s records for names of ascertained prisoners.
Plenty of information boards and guided tours will make your stay at Neuengamme Memorial as informative as possible. On-site parking is available.
Mon ─ Fri 9:30 a.m. ─ 4:00 p.m.
Oct ─ Mar: Sat ─ Sun and Holidays 12:00 p.m. ─ 5:00 p.m.
Apr ─ Sep: Sat ─ Sun and Holidays 12:00 p.m. ─ 7:00 p.m.
Closed on Dec 24th, 25th, 31st and Jan 1st