The Alt Garge satellite camp near Bleckede was in operation from 24 August 1944 to 15 February 1945. Around 500 male prisoners had been selected for work in Sachsenhausen concentration camp and sent to the satellite camp in goods cars. The camp consisted of three prisoners' huts, a washroom, a kitchen and dormitories for the SS guards. Most of the concentration camp prisoners were Polish survivors of the Warsaw Uprising, but there were also some prisoners from Norway, Germany, the Netherlands and France.
A new coal-fired power station was constructed in Alt Garge on the banks of the Elbe River for Hamburgische Electricitäts-Werke AG (HEW). The prisoners first had to finish building the camp huts before they were deployed to the companies Heinrich Rosseburg, Grün & Bilfinger and Wayss & Freytag for excavation and construction work. After two months, prisoners considered "unfit for work" were transported back to Neuengamme concentration camp and replaced by Danish prisoners. More prisoners were taken back to Neuengamme in December 1944 and January 1945. It is not known exactly how many men died in Alt Garge. There are 49 people buried in the cemetery in Barskamp, but the total number of deaths was higher.
In February 1945, the SS evacuated the Alt Garge satellite camp and transported the prisoners back to Neuengamme main camp.
The commander of the satellite camp was an SS-Oberscharführer named Walter or Walther. Former prisoners had particularly vivid recollections of the brutal SS-Unterscharführer Klaus-Johannes Reese.
24 August 1944 to 15 February 1945
500 Male Prisoners
Power plant construction
HEW, Heinrich Rosseburg, Grün & Bilfinger, Wayss & Freytag
"Bürgerpark", Am Waldbad (junction with Hauptstrasse), 21354 Bleckede, Alt Garge, Germany.
Directions by public transportation: Take the bus from Lüneburg to Alt Garge via Bleckede.
The memorial stone in the "Bürgerpark", directly across from the site of the former camp, was dedicated on 5 May 1995 by the city of Bleckede. Private individuals had launched an initiative for a memorial ten years earlier, but corresponding proposals from the Social Democrats and Green Party were repeatedly rejected by the Christian Democrats and Free Democrats during years of conflict in the city council. It was not until the spring of 1995 that the council agreed to erect a memorial stone in the "Bürgerpark".
In 1964, two memorial stones with the names of the dead had been placed in the cemetery in Bleckede-Barskamp at the grave of the prisoners who died in the satellite camp. Another memorial stone was erected in 1985, and on 14 November 1985, a memorial plaque was installed to indicate the existence of the satellite camp.