In September 1944, construction began on a small camp initially known as “Reiherhorst” in Wöbbelin, about 12 kilometres from Ludwigslust. The camp was originally intended for American POWs. The first large transport of prisoners arrived on 12 February 1945. The men were used to build a much larger camp called the Wöbbelin concentration camp.
According to a report from 29 March 1945 by Dr. Trzebinski, the SS Garrison Physician at Neuengamme concentration camp, there were 648 prisoners in the Wöbbelin satellite camp at the end of March 1945. In mid-April, numerous transports carrying over 4,000 prisoners arrived at Wöbbelin from various satellite camps of the Neuengamme and Ravensbrück concentration camps. The US Army liberated the Wöbbelin camp on 2 May 1945.
At least temporarily, the camp was commanded by the former commander of the Stutthof concentration camp near Gdansk, SS-Sturmbannführer Paul Werner Hoppe.
12 February 1945 to 2 May 1945
650 Male Prisoners
Construction of a POW camp; “reception camp” for many transports in April/May 1945
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.
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 200 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 who died in the Anti-Napoleonic Wars of Liberation. 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.
On A-road (Bundesstraße) 106 to Ludwigslust, there is a modest memorial stone with the inscription “KZ 1945” and 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, archaeological work and artistic measures. Among other things, floor plans are being marked, foundations uncovered and information panels erected.
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.