In October 1944, at least 308 – and probably over 600 – male prisoners of Neuengamme concentration camp were taken to a camp of huts on the grounds of the Deutsche Werft shipbuilding company in Hamburg-Finkenwerder. Most of the men were concentration camp prisoners from the Soviet Union, Poland, Belgium, France and Denmark. They were forced to work as welders, metalworkers and electricians in the shipbuilding operations of Deutsche Werft, and they also had to carry out clearance work in the grounds. In some cases, prisoners were used for clearance work at the harbour and railway construction in Harburg. As an industrial region critical to the war effort, Hamburg’s port was the target of Allied bombing raids. The concentration camp prisoners were provided no protection from the bombs. On 31 December 1944, nearly 100 prisoners were killed and over 100 were injured, some of them critically, during an attack on a branch of Deutsche Werft AG on Arningstraße. 24 prisoners were listed as missing. The injured prisoners were brought to the sick-bay of the Hamburg-Spaldingstraße satellite camp, but no adequate medical care was provided.
Additional prisoners from Neuengamme main camp were subsequently taken to the Hamburg-Finkenwerder satellite camp. Another air raid in March 1945 killed 180 prisoners. The SS transported the survivors to the Hamburg-Rothenburgsort satellite camp; some reports say that prisoners were also taken to the camp on Dessauer Ufer.
The name of the camp commander is not known.
October 1944 to late March 1945
600 Male Prisoners
Shipyard and clearance work
Hamburg-Finkenwerder, corner of Rüschweg/Rüschwinkel, 21129 Hamburg, Germany.
Directions by public transportation: Bus 150 or 251 to the "Nordmeerstraße" stop.
In 1988, a sign was erected to commemorate the Deutsche Werft satellite camp as part of the "Sites of Persecution and Resistance 1933-1945" programme of the Hamburg Cultural Authority. On 16 December 1996, after long preparation and coordination between private and public initiatives, a memorial designed by the Finkenwerder artist Axel Groehl was inaugurated on the grounds of the former camp by the Finkenwerder local authority. In the middle of a perforated concrete wall, there is a bronze sculpture which the artist intended to be "a symbol of concentrated hope against despair, darkness and coercion". The monument is surrounded by ten rowan trees.
When the Airbus factory grounds were being expanded in 2002, the remains of the "Fink 2" submarine bunker were found. These has been turned into a monument as well. In 2006 the new monument was inaugurated, which Ana Bremer and Beate Kisch designed. Now there are also some information panels.
Finkenwerder Arbeitskreis Außenlager Deutsche Werft des Konzentrationslagers Neuengamme
Tel.: +49 (0) 40 – 7 42 63 28 (Ingeborg Luth), +49 (0) 40 – 7 42 79 92 (Helmke Kaufner)