Lübberstedt-Bilohe

The 400-hectare central Luftwaffe ammunition facility known by the code name “Lw. 2/XI” was located in a forest near the railway line between Bremen and Bremerhaven, just west of the Lübberstedt train station (between Lübberstedt and Bilohe). On 29 August 1944, Neuengamme concentration camp began operating a satellite camp for women in Lübberstedt-Bilohe. 500 prisoners worked at this ammunition facility, most of them Jewish women from Hungary who had been selected for this satellite camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau. They manufactured naval mines, aerial scatter bombs and ammunition for anti-aircraft guns, which they filled and assembled on a production line. This ammunition was then loaded onto carts with hard rubber tyres and transported to the 102 bunkers. The women also had to prepare parachutes for dropping mines.

According to reports from survivors, the Lübberstedt satellite camp had three commanders during its existence; the first was named Müller and the third Buchwald. No further details are known.

As the front began to move closer, the Lübberstedt-Bilohe satellite camp was evacuated. Roughly 60 sick women were transported together with their relatives (10 survived) to Bergen-Belsen at the beginning of April 1945, while the rest of the women were moved from the camp by train on 20 April 1945. The train first travelled to Cuxhaven, where roughly 50 women were taken off and transported to Brunsbüttel via cargo ship. Then it continued in northern Germany without a particular destination. When it reached Lübeck, the cars were rearranged, then on the 2nd of May near Eutin, the train came under attack by Allied bombers. A car with ammunition was hit and roughly 43 women were killed. On the 3rd of May, the train was hit again, this time just before pulling into Plön near Timmdorf, and another roughly 16 women were killed. British troops freed the survivors in Plön on the 3rd and 4th of May and brought them to the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) camps in Sierksdorf and Haffkrug.

Period

29 August 1944 to 20 April 1945

Number of Prisoners

500 Female Prisoners

Kind of Work

Production of ammunition and parachutes

Labor on Behalf of

Luftwaffe

Location

Directions

Friedhof (signposted in the town)
27729 Lübberstedt
Germany

Memorial

The western portion of the former ammunition facility is now used as a Bundeswehr depot.

In 1989, twelve unmarked grave mounds in the Lübberstedt cemetery were levelled and turned into a communal gravesite. The inscription on the memorial stone – “Remember! Forced labourers, men, women and children lie here” – reveals nothing about the historical events which took place here. For this reason, the “MUNA-Lübberstedt” working group which was founded in 1991 to research the history of the satellite camp and which published a report on the history of the Central Luftwaffe Ammunition Facility in 1996, began to campaign for the site to be redesigned. The newly designed gravesite was dedicated on 21 November 1998. Two additional stones bear the names of the victims, four of whom were prisoners in the Lübberstedt-Bilohe satellite camp.

Contact

Arbeitskreis „MUNA-Lübberstedt“
Hartmut Oberstech
27729 Lübberstedt
Germany Tel. +49 (0) 163 – 3 86 58 22
Email: muna@vodafonemail.de
Homepage: www.muna-luebberstedt.de