Photo of the former SS Main Guardhouse / Watchtower
SS Main Guardhouse / Watchtower Photo: KZ-Gedenkstätte Neuengamme (ÖA), 2019

SS Main Guardhouse / Watchtower

View from the top of the former watchtower Screenshot, 2019

In mid-1940, the entrance to the SS barracks was built. By the spring of 1943, the entrance was redesigned and the SS main guardhouse was constructed. It was now a suitably “imposing” entrance building.

The SS main guardhouse contained the duty rooms for the SS guards, cells used to detain SS men, and probably also an armoury. In the summer of 1943, a new brick watchtower overlooking the prisoners' compound was added. Access to the watchtower was through the guardhouse.

In the British Internment Camp, the former SS guardhouse continued to be used as guardhouse. The Neuengamme Men’s Prison established in 1948 closed the historical entrance to the prisoners’ compound. In 1953, the former SS guardhouse was altered and given its current shape. During the next thirty years, the former SS main guardhouse was used as a prison entrance. The inside of the building was largely redesigned.

Today, we can still see rooms used as cells over three different periods during the building's use as a prison. This means that the cells we see were not used as such when the building was part of the concentration camp.

Please note: This building is not accessible to the public.

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