Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial – Circular path
The International Monument at the Neuengamme Concentration Camp memorial was erected in 1965, but the first documentation centre with a permanent exhibition on the history of the camp did not open until 1981. At the time, this documentation centre was a branch of the Museum for Hamburg History. The exhibition was tremendously popular, and the Memorial has been gradually expanded ever since.
International youth work camps
In 1982, young people from 12 European countries taking part in an international youth work camp laid a circular path around the grounds of the former concentration camp. The path passed by many original buildings which were still being used as penal facilities at the time, including former prisoner barracks, a watchtower, the SS garages and the commandant’s house. More than 40 international summer camps have taken place since then, and the participants have excavated many structural remains from the former camp, making an important contribution to the design of the external grounds.
In 1984, the structural remains of the Neuengamme concentration camp were listed as protected historical sites. Between 1987 and 1991, the building that once housed the brickworks was extensively restored and preserved. In 1994, the participants in an international youth workshop reconstructed the tracks at the former camp railway station, and a historical freight wagon was subsequently installed there.
The core part of the former camp complex was used as the Vierlande Penal Facility XII until June 2003. After the grounds were handed over the Memorial, this area was redesigned. Mesh structures known as gabions, which are filled with stones from the demolished buildings, now mark the outlines of the camp’s original buildings which no longer exist. The former locations of the perimeter fence, camp entrance and watchtowers are also marked. In the spring of 2007, the second prison (Penal Facility IX), which was new errected in the end of the 1960s and located on the former site of the clay pits, was also closed and torn down. This area was redesigned as well, and the original tipper wagon tracks were excavated or rather marked.
Today there are information panels located throughout the grounds of the former camp, and a multilingual audio guide is available as well (in German, English, French, Danish, Dutch and Spanish). This information can also be accessed on a smart phone using the ‘Neuengamme’ app.
The circular paths are freely accessible to the public at all times.
Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4pm,
Saturday and Sunday 12pm to 5pm
(between April to October 12pm to 7pm).
The grounds are always accessible.
Booable at Museumsdienst Hamburg. Mail: info(a)museumsdienst-hamburg.de and Phone: 040-428 131 0