Between 3 February and 6 April 1945, around 500 prisoners from the Laurahütte concentration camp – a satellite camp of Auschwitz-Monowitz – were forced to work in Hannover-Mühlenberg for Hannoverschen Motoren AG (Hanomag). Most of the prisoners were Jewish men from Poland and Hungary who had to work in two rented factory halls producing anti-aircraft guns, probably for Rheinmetall-Borsig AG. There is still no clear proof that the prisoners worked directly for Hanomag.
After arriving in Hannover-Mühlenberg, the concentration camp prisoners spent 14 days repairing huts previously used by forced labourers. After fixing up the huts, these prisoners – many of whom were already physically very weak – immediately had to carry out heavy labour in two shifts. At least 79 prisoners died as a result of the difficult working conditions.
The camp in Mühlenberg was cleared on 6 April 1945, and the prisoners embarked on an “evacuation march” to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, which they reached on 8 April. Many prisoners collapsed from exhaustion along the way and were shot. Around 100 sick prisoners and those “unable to march” were initially left behind in Mühlenberg. Around 50 of them were shot in the camp before the remaining prisoners were taken by lorry to Bergen-Belsen.
The camp commander was SS-Oberscharführer Walter Quakernack, who had previously been commander of the Laurahütte satellite camp. After the war, he was sentenced to death for his crimes in these two camps and was executed in Hameln. The guards included 40 marines.
3 February 1945 to 6 April 1945
500 Male Prisoners
Production of anti-aircraft guns
Dietrich Bonhoeffer Church
Mühlenberger Markt 5
Directions by public transportation: From the main train station, take city rail (Stadtbahn) line 3 or 7 in the direction of Mühlenberg to the destination Mühlenberger Markt.
On 25 May 1978, Hannover City Council erected a memorial stone on the site of the former satellite camp. Since 1982, its engraved plaque has been in the foyer of the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Church.