Neuengamme Concentration Camp

Photos of Memorial Site by Bonnie M. Harris

Entrance to Neuengamme Memorial Site, July 2006

Photo Credit: Bonnie M. Harris

Display shows how the original entrance looked

Photo Credit: Bonnie M. Harris

The former Neuengamme concentration camp, located in the Neuengamme District of Hamburg, Germany, was converted into a Memorial Site in 1965. Neuengamme was used by the Nazis as a forced labor camp from December 13, 1938 to May 4, 1945, when it was liberated by British troops. It was used by the British as Civil Internment Camp Number 6 for suspected German war criminals from 1945 to 1948, and finally as the Vierlande Correction Center for German criminals.

The two photos above show the entry into the former Neuengamme concentration camp as it looks today and as it looked in 1940. The original foundations in the ditch of the curved brickwork bridge that was demolished in 1953 can still be seen in the first photo, taken in July 2006.

The Neuengamme Concentration Camp was established by the SS on December 13, 1938 when 100 inmates from Sachsenhausen were moved to an abandoned brickwork factory near Hamburg Germany, for the purpose of constructing a forced labor camp. The foundry belonged to the Metallwerke Neuengamme, also known as the Walther-Werke and was intended for the manufacture of wrought iron components in the production of munitions. The brick factory was reopened to supply bricks for Hitler's construction projects in the city of Hamburg.

The two photos below show one of the original buildings in the Neuengamme camp, as it looks today and as it looked in 1940.

Photo Credit: Bonnie M. Harris

Photo Credit: Bonnie M. Harris

Prisoners were transported to the camp in railroad cars like this

Photo Credit: Bonnie M. Harris

In order to facilitate the expansion of the camp, work began on bringing railroad tracks to the camp in early 1942. These tracks were used both to transport production goods out of the camp and prisoners into the camp on the company goods wagons. During an international youth camp in 1994, the historic goods wagon pictured above was installed on the site of the camp rail station and the tracks were partially reconstructed.

Footprints in a space the exact size of a boxcar

Photo Credit: Bonnie M. Harris

In order to demonstrate how tightly packed prisoners were in the railway cars, a concrete surface the exact size of the interior of the railcar bears the imprint of 80 sets of footprints, showing how cramped conditions were during transportation when prisoners had to stand or crouch for days.