Main exhibition: "Traces of History"
The main exhibition entitled "Traces of History: Neuengamme Concentration Camp 1938–1945 and its Post-war History" is located in a building which was constructed at the prisoners' barracks in 1943/44 and was used to house prisoners. Where the building had been altered, it was restored to its original structure for housing the exhibition. This building consisted of four prisoners' blocks with separate entrances. Each block covered around 600 square metres and was divided into two large dormitories, a washroom and a latrine. The building was originally intended to hold 1,000 prisoners, but during the last year of the war in 1944/1945, it housed well over 2,000 people. Two "time windows" integrated in the exhibition show the state of the building during its use by the British authorities as an internment camp up to 1948 and by the Vierlande Penal Facility until 2003. The main exhibition focuses on the history of Neuengamme concentration camp and its satellite camps from 1938 until 1945. Its central aim is to document the crimes committed here, to describe the process of dehumanisation and to reveal the suffering of the prisoners, which often did not end with their liberation in May 1945.