Fuhlsbüttel Concentration Camp and Prison Memorial 1933-1945
In November 1987, a memorial opened in the former gatehouse of the Fuhlsbüttel prison, which had been constructed in 1879. The memorial, which was demanded by former prisoners and their unions, commemorates the men and women who were persecuted during the Nazi regime, both in the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp and in the prison.
The Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp officially opened on 4 September 1933. In the parlance of the time, it was referred to as ‘Kola-Fu’ (short for Konzentrationslager Fuhlsbüttel). Within a very short period of time, it became one of the most notorious sites of terror in Nazi Germany. From 1936, Fuhlsbüttel operated as a ‘police prison’ instead of a concentration camp. Thousands of people were imprisoned in Fuhlsbüttel and transferred from here to other concentration camps. They included many women and men from the Hamburg resistance as well as members of the German Communist Party, the Social Democratic Party, trade unions and other opposition groups. Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews, Swing Kids, homosexuals and prostitutes were also detained here, as were a growing number of foreign resistance fighters and forced labourers during the war years.
Prison and concentration camp
The Fuhlsbüttel prison was under the control of the National Socialist judicial authority and was therefore part of the Nazis’ machinery of persecution. Many of the prisoners had been convicted of political opposition to the Nazi regime. Special courts would sentence people to prison for ‘Heimtücke’ or treachery simply for expressing discontent with the regime. Starting in 1942, large numbers of prison inmates were taken to concentration camps for ‘extermination through labour’. From October 1944 to February 1945, part of the Fuhlsbüttel prison building was used as a satellite camp of the Neuengamme concentration camp. A total of nearly 500 women and men lost their lives in Fuhlsbüttel as a result of maltreatment, murder or suicide. The names of the prisoners who died are listed on a memorial plaque at the entrance to the building.
The permanent exhibition at the memorial opened in 2003, on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp. It provides information about the various groups of prisoners in the Fuhlsbüttel camp and police prison, as well as the history of the penal facility prior to the Nazi period and the prosecution of the perpetrators after 1945. It focuses heavily on individuals and includes numerous prisoner biographies along with in-depth material on a variety of other topics. The conditions that the prisoners had to endure are illustrated by a solitary confinement cell that was reconstructed for the first exhibition in 1987, along with several original artefacts and pieces of clothing.
Stiftung Hamburger Gedenkstätten und Lernorte zur Erinnerung an die Opfer der NS-Verbrechen
Sunday 10am to 5pm and after agreement.
Bookable at Museumsdienst Hamburg: info(a)museumsdienst-hamburg.de
Phone: 040-428 131 0