On 26 June 1944, the first prisoners from Neuengamme concentration camp reached Hannover-Misburg, where they were forced to set up a camp on agricultural land not far from the grounds of the Deutsche Erdölraffinerie (German Petroleum Refinery, or Deurag) on the Mittellandkanal. Until the first huts were completed, the prisoners had to sleep in tents or holes in the ground. Up to 1,000 concentration camp prisoners were reportedly housed in Hannover-Misburg. According to a report from 29 March 1945 by the SS Garrison Physician at Neuengamme concentration camp, Dr. Trzebinski, the satellite camp held 672 male prisoners on 25 March 1945.
These prisoners were used for clearance and construction work at Deurag following Allied bombing raids against the German petroleum industry. Between June 1944 and April 1945, 55 deaths were registered at the Misburg satellite camp, but the data on this camp is incomplete and the number of victims was certainly higher.
Like other satellite camps in Hannover, the Misburg camp was cleared on 6 April 1945. The final destination of the “evacuation march” was probably Neuengamme main camp. The prisoners marched north to Müden/Örtze, where orders were received to continue not to Neuengamme, but to Bergen-Belsen. The prisoners arrived at Bergen-Belsen on 8 April. Those prisoners who were “unable to march” were transported by lorry from Misburg directly to Bergen-Belsen on 8 April.
According to reports from relatives of the guards, the first two commanders of the camp were a police lieutenant and then an infantry captain. SS-Obersturmführer Karl Wiedemann was camp commander from July 1944, followed by SS-Hauptscharführer Hans Gehrt. The majority of guard duties were handled by 50 to 80 men assigned to the concentration camp from an infantry battalion.
26 June 1944 to 6 April 1945
1000 Male Prisoners
Clearance and construction work
Misburg cemetery: Waldstraße, 30629 Hannover, Germany
Monument: West of Wittinger Straße, 30629 Hannover, Germany
Directions by public transportation:
Cemetery: From the train station on Hannover-Karl-Wiechert-Allee (trains in direction of Celle), take bus 124 in the direction of the Waldfriedhof to the end of the line.
Monument: From the train station on Hannover-Karl-Wiechert-Allee (trains in direction of Celle), take bus 124 in the direction of the Waldfriedhof to the “Misburg-Seelberg” stop.
In 1975, former Misburg mayor Harry Pott campaigned for a memorial plaque. On 18 November 1979, a bronze plaque was finally dedicated at the Waldfriedhof cemetery by the Misburg District Administration.
Since 2 June 1989, a monument by Eugène Dodeigne has stood at the site of the former satellite camp in the grounds of the Deurag-Neurag refinery.