In March 1945, there was a satellite camp of Neuengamme concentration camp in Hildesheim which held around 500 Jewish prisoners. These prisoners carried out railway work for the Hannover regional railway office, rebuilt the city’s freight yard which had been severely damaged by Allied bombs, and worked in the lead works. Most of the prisoners were from Hungary, while the rest were from Italy, Poland, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. The men were housed in the local civic hall, a building which is now located at Neue Straße 2 and used as a home for the elderly.
The commander of the satellite camp was SS-Hauptsturmführer Otto Thümmel, who had been assigned to concentration camp duty by the Wehrmacht. SS officers were responsible for the camp’s administration, while the prisoners were guarded during work by members of the Volkssturm (territorial army).
On 22 March 1945, the building housing the prisoners was destroyed by Allied bombs, and the freight yard was severely damaged again as well. The SS therefore transported the prisoners via Hannover to Bergen-Belsen at the end of March 1945. Reports from survivors indicate that the prisoners probably remained at the Hannover-Ahlem satellite camp for a few days and then marched from there to Bergen-Belsen together with prisoners from this satellite camp.
2 March 1945 to 26 March 1945
Number of prisoners
Kind of work
Railway work, lead works
Slave labour on behalf of