On 1 October 1944, around 500 prisoners were taken from the Neuengamme concentration camp to Lerbeck, where they were forced to work in a so-called front-line workshop in the newly established satellite camp there. A subsidiary of the Klöckner group had set up a new workshop for repairing aircraft engines in the factory grounds of Weber, a concrete company. The men had to carry out construction and renovation work in the grounds, and they later worked in the repair workshop as well.
The prisoners were housed in huts in an unused Wehrmacht compound. A small farm road named Pfahlweg, which was lined with barbed wire, ran between the camp and the prisoners’ places of work. 100 to 120 prisoners who died in the camp were buried in the cemetery in Lerbeck.
The Lerbeck satellite camp was evacuated on 1 April 1945. The prisoners were taken on various transports via the Schandelah, Fallersleben and Helmstedt-Beendorf satellite camps and finally arrived at the “reception camp” in Wöbbelin in mid-April. They were liberated there by American troops on 2 May.
The camp commander was SS-Oberscharführer Emanuel Eichler.
1 October 1944 to 1 April 1945
500 Male Prisoners
Aircraft engine repairs
Bense, Jongerius, Weber (Lerbeck); Klöckner
32457 Porta Westfalica
Directions by public transportation:
From Minden railway station, walk to the "Kaiserstraße" bus stop, then take bus 408 in the direction of Flotho to the "Lerbeck Kirche" stop.
The prisoners who died in the Lerbeck satellite camp were buried in the Protestant cemetery on Lerbecker Kirchweg. Some of them were exhumed after the war and returned to their home countries. In 1952, a grave marked with a memorial stone dedicated to “unknown concentration camp prisoners” was established in honour of the Polish prisoners who died in the camp.
The memorial path "Wege des Erinnerns, Mahnung gegen das Vergessen" was inaugurated in Porta Westfalica in May 2014. The path contains six tablets which present information about what happened in Porta Westfalica satellite camp during 1944 and 1945. An expansion of the path is planned. Interested groups are able to book different kinds of guided tours along the memorial path.