The Lengerich satellite camp existed from 18 March 1944 to 1 April 1945. During this time, around 200 male prisoners from Neuengamme concentration camp were put to work here in a disused railway tunnel where an underground beam cutting workshop had been set up for the Vereinigte Leichtmetallwerke Hannover (United Light Metal Works). This work was organised by the Jägerstab, which had been established by the Ministry of Armaments and War Production under the leadership of SS-Obergruppenführer Hans Kammler, an architect, to coordinate the relocation of production facilities critical to the war effort in order to protect them from bomb attacks. The men were forced to expand the underground facility until July 1944, after which they were mainly put to work in production. They were housed in the ballroom of the Brunsmann inn.
The Lengerich satellite camp was a secret camp which had the code name “Rebhuhn”. Prisoners who were caught trying to escape were not taken back to the Neuengamme main camp, as was usually the case, but were instead hanged in Lengerich in front of the other prisoners and conscripted skilled labourers. A total of twelve dead can be traced by name.
Around 10 SS men and 40 air force soldiers guarded the camp. The camp commander was SS-Untersturmführer Rüster.
The SS evacuated the Lengerich camp on 1 April 1945, and the prisoners were transported to satellite camp A II in Porta Westfalica/Barkhausen.
18 March 1944 to 1 April 1945
200 Male Prisoners
Work in an underground plant
SS Leadership Staff A I, Vereinigte Leichtmetallwerke Hannover
Memorial plaque on what is now the Centralhof inn:
Lienener Straße 15
At the suggestion of the Green Party, the Lengerich City Council agreed in November 1995 to erect a memorial plaque commemorating the satellite camp in Lengerich. Supporters had spent ten years researching the history of the satellite camp and campaigning in vain for a memorial plaque, which was finally unveiled on 27 January 1996.