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Neuengamme concentration camp

At the end of 1938, the SS established a satellite camp of Sachsenhausen concentration camp in a defunct brickworks in Hamburg-Neuengamme. In the spring of 1940, the camp was expanded and placed under the direct control of the Inspectorate of the Concentration Camps as an independent institution.

During the war, the Gestapo and security service of the SS deported tens of thousands of people from all over occupied Europe to Neuengamme concentration camp. Most prisoners were sent here on account of their resistance against the German occupiers, refusal to be forced into slave labour or because of racially motivated persecution.

Over 80,000 men and more than 13,000 women are currently known to have been registered at Neuengamme and given a prisoner's number. Another 5,900 prisoners were never listed in the camp's records or were registered separately. In Neuengamme concentration camp and the 86 satellite camps which were set up all over northern Germany starting in 1942—and above all in 1944—for construction work and armaments production, the prisoners were forced into hard labour for the war economy. Their living and working conditions were murderous. Shortly before the end of the war, over 16,000 prisoners died on death marches and transports, in camps for the dying and during the bombing of concentration camp ships.

At least 42,900 people in total perished at the main Neuengamme camp, its satellite camps and during the camp evacuations. Another several thousand prisoners died after being transported from Neuengamme to other concentration camps or died after the war as a result of their imprisonment.

Over half of the 100,400 prisoners of Neuengamme concentration camp are thought not to have survived their persecution by the National Socialists.

Concentration camp prisoners working in the old brickworks.
Concentration camp prisoners on clearance detail in the destroyed Hamburg-Hammerbrook quarter.