The Neuengamme concentration camp archive has been gradually expanded since the Document House opened in 1981. It comprises original documents from the camp files as well as an extensive selection of copies of documents stored elsewhere and an important collection of personal effects, autobiographical accounts and recorded interviews. There are also some documents from National Socialist institutions and documents from the authorities of the occupying British forces and the two German states after 1945.
As is the case everywhere, there are very few existing documents from the Nazi period itself. In Neuengamme, too, the camp SS attempted to erase all traces of their crimes by forcing prisoners to destroy their files in April 1945.
However, some of the prisoners who had been ordered to do this in the final days of April 1945 were able to hide a stack of death records and laboratory books from the sick-bay. With the exception of a few death records from the camp register office of the SS which are now housed at the Bergedorf register office, these documents are the most important remains from the administration of Neuengamme concentration camp.
The archive also contains written documents, personal accounts, an audio and video archive, photographs, maps, a collection of objects, drawings and press clippings.
The most important items include:
- Reproductions from the National Archives of the United Kingdom dealing with the investigation of war crimes in Neuengamme concentration camp and its 86 satellite camps
- Relevant investigative files on former concentration camp personnel from various public prosecutor's offices in the Federal Republic of Germany and the former Ministry for State Security of the German Democratic Republic
- Prisoner reports and biographical interviews
- Photos (28,000)
- Original three-dimensional artefacts
- Audio recordings
- Films (2,000)
A number of computer databases hold data on nearly half of the over 100,000 prisoners of Neuengamme concentration camp and its satellite camps.
The use of the archive and the digitized prisoner register is governed by the Hamburg archive law, the relevant data protection laws and any applicable contractual restrictions.
The memorial's archive is open weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with prior registration. Please note the limited opening hours during the summer vacation from 2.07.12 to 20.07.12: Monday and Thursday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.