Wöbbelin (“Reception camp”)

From mid-April 1945, the Wöbbelin satellite camp became the destination for evacuation transports from other satellite camps of the Neuengamme concentration camp. Prisoners from Kaltenkirchen, from the camps in Porta Westfalica, Schandelah, Fallersleben and Helmstedt-Beendorf were all taken to the Wöbbelin camp, which was not designed to hold so many people. The huts had not yet been built, and the camp had only one water pump for over 5,000 prisoners. On 1 May, the SS tried to transport the prisoners to Lübeck by train, but the tracks had been destroyed by Allied bombs.

On 2 May 1945, soldiers from the US 82nd Airborne Division liberated the Wöbbelin “reception camp”. Over 1,000 prisoners had died of starvation and disease. The American troops forced the local German population to exhume the bodies, which were given a public burial on 7 and 8 May in Ludwigslust (between the palace and the palace church), Schwerin and Hagenow. 

Period

15 of April til 2 of May 1945

Number of Prisoners

5000

Kind of Work

Labor on Behalf of

Location

Directions

Site of former camp:

Forest near Neu-Lüblow near the Schwerin–Ludwigslust train line.

Exhibition:

In the village of Wöbbelin on A-road (Bundesstraße) 106 (Ludwigsluster Straße) at the junction to Neustadt-Glewe.
Memorial stone: between Ludwigslust and Wöbbelin, directly on A-road (Bundesstraße) 106.

Directions by public transportation: Buses from Ludwigslust and Neustadt-Glewe

Memorial

American troops had the victims of the Wöbbelin “reception camp” buried in the middle of Wöbbelin near the Theodor Körner Museum, in Ludwigslust between the palace and the palace church, and in Hagenow and Schwerin. Monuments were later erected at all of the grave sites in the GDR and at the Protestant cemetery in Ludwigslust, where 190 victims who died after the liberation as a result of their imprisonment were buried. The memorial stone which was placed there in 1965, which shows a hand and a peace dove, was designed by Herbert Bartholomäus. In 1993, the Italian embassy had a black granite gravestone placed there to commemorate the Italian prisoners who died. In 1960, a sandstone relief by sculptor Jo Jastram was erected in Wöbbelin for the victims of the satellite camp.

The first exhibition on the Wöbbelin camp opened in late 1965 in a room of the Theodor Körner Museum, which had been built in 1938 as a site of Nazi hero worship for the poet. Since 1995, an exhibition with the title “Ten Weeks of the Wöbbelin Satellite Camp” has informed visitors of the fate of the prisoners held in the camp and the mass deaths at the end of the war. The two exhibitions were redesigned and revised in the 1990s in order to be placed in context with each other. 2014 a new permanent exhibition was opened.

A mass grave with victims of the Wöbbelin satellite camp was discovered and partially opened in 1961 in the grounds of the former camp in the forest near Neu Lüblow, but it has not been investigated any further. It is not known how many people are buried there. A simple memorial stone was erected in 1965. In 1995, the Wöbbelin memorials placed an information plaque there as well.

On A-road (Bundesstraße) 106 to Ludwigslust, there is a modest memorial stone with the inscription “KZ 1945” against a red prisoner triangle. The stone marks the site of the former camp. Traces of the former camp are gradually being revealed through international youth work camps and other - mostly privately funded - initiatives. Among other things, floor plans are being marked, foundations uncovered and information panels erected.

Opening hours:
April–October: Wed.–Fri. 11:00 AM–5:00 PM, Sat.-Sun. 1:00 PM-4:30 PM
November–March: Wed.–Fri. 12:00 AM–5:00 PM, Sun. 1:00 PM–4:00 PM.

Contact

Mahn- und Gedenkstätten Wöbbelin
Ludwigsluster Straße 2b
19288 Wöbbelin
Germany

Tel./Fax: +49 (0) 38753 – 8 07 92
Email: info@gedenkstaetten-woebbelin.de
Homepage: www.gedenkstaetten-woebbelin.de