In the Stöcken district of Hannover, a satellite camp of Neuengamme concentration camp was established next to what was then the Accumulatoren-Fabrik AG, a battery factory (now Varta AG). From 17 July 1943, a prisoner commando was forced to set up the camp on fallow land between Marienwerder Wald and Rossbruchgraben, around 120 metres south of the battery factory. When the first huts were completed, additional transports of prisoners arrived from the Neuengamme main camp. In July 1944, there were around 1,500 men in the camp. Survivors reported that each month, sick prisoners were exchanged for new ones from the Neuengamme main camp. In addition to completing and expanding the camp, the prisoners were used to manufacture U-boat batteries in the factory. This involved casting lead and working in the acid section and on the hot counter-rotating rollers. The lack of safety measures led to accidents and health problems. 402 deaths were registered in the Stöcken camp, and an unknown number of prisoners were taken back to the Neuengamme main camp, where they died of disease or exhaustion.
The satellite camp had several different commanders in its first year: SS-Oberscharführer Johannes Pump was soon followed by SS-Untersturmführer Hugo Benedict, who was succeeded by SS-Untersturmführer Hans Hermann Griem. SS-Hauptsturmführer Kurt Klebeck was appointed commandant in July 1944. He held this position until the camp’s evacuation. Klebeck, like Benedict before him, was also the SS base leader for all satellite camps of Neuengamme concentration camp in Hannover.
When the satellite camp was cleared, those prisoners “able to march” left Stöcken on the night of 6 April 1945 and headed on foot to Bergen-Belsen, where they arrived on 8 April. Prisoners who could not keep up were shot by SS guards.
Sick prisoners were taken from Stöcken by train on 8 April. The train travelled via Fallersleben and Wolfsburg to Mieste, from where the prisoners marched on to Gardelegen. On 13 April, these prisoners and a larger group of prisoners from the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp were led into a barn in Gardelegen which was then set on fire.
17 July 1943 to 7 April 1945
1500 Male Prisoners
Production of batteries for U-boats
Garbsener Landstraße/Auf der Horst
Directions by public transportation: From the main train station, take urban rail line 10 (S-Bahn) in the direction of Ahlem to the “Steintor” stop, from there take line 4 in the direction of Ahlem to the “Marienwerder-Wissenschaftspark” stop, and then bus 420 in the direction of Garbsen-Mitte to the “Hollerithalle” stop.
On 8 May 1989, a monument, a sculpture by Hans-Jürgen Breuste and a memorial plaque were placed at the junction of Garbsener Landstraße and Auf der Horst in Hannover-Marienwerder in the grounds of the former Hannover-Stöcken satellite camp.
Arbeitsgemeinschaft KZ Stöcken
c/o Freizeitheim Stöcken
Eichsfelder Straße 101
Tel.: +49 (0) 511 – 1 68 42 94 2
Am Bokemahle 14–16
Tel.: +49 (0) 511 – 1 68 42 17 3
Fax: +49 (0) 511 – 1 68 46 59 0