Foto der Hauptausstellung „Zeitspuren“.
Books containing prisoners’ life stories in the main exhibition. Photograph: Michael Kottmeier, 2005. (ANg 2014-462)

Main Exhibition “Traces of History”

Visitor in the main exhibition. Photograph: Michael Kottmeier, 2005. (ANg 2014-460)
Foto von Besuchern der Hauptausstellung „Zeitspuren“.
Visitors in the main exhibition. Photograph: Michael Kottmeier, 2005. (ANg 2014-461)
Foto von Besuchern der Hauptausstellung „Zeitspuren“.

The main exhibition “Traces of History: Neuengamme Concentration Camp 1938–1945 and Its Post-War History” focuses on the history of Neuengamme concentration camp and its satellite camps from 1938 to 1945. First and foremost, it documents the crimes committed at this site against the prisoners who were transported here from many different countries. It portrays the process of de-humanisation, everyday life and the survival strategies of prisoners in Neuengamme and its satellite camps. It also presents information on how the grounds were used after liberation in May 1945 and the long and arduous path leading to the Memorial’s establishment.

The main exhibition is located in one of the former prisoners’ barracks. The structure of the building has been kept intact and consists of four blocks, each with its own entrance. In the last year of the war, more than 2,000 people were housed in this building. Its use after the war is portrayed in two separate sections in the exhibition.