In connection with the Memoryscapes initiative from the University of Leeds, two virtual 360° photography exhibitions of Neuengamme sites are now online for visitors to explore.
The first exhibit reveals sites not normally open to the public: the former SS-headquarters and watchtower. The structure was first used in 1940 as the entrance to the SS camp in the Neuengamme concentration camp. By spring of 1943, it was converted into the SS-headquarters while symbolically remaining the entrance building. The headquarters contained office rooms for SS guards, arms storage, and an arrest cell for SS officers convicted of various crimes. In the summer of 1943, the watchtower was added to the structure as part of the security system for the concentration camp. The entrance to the watchtower could only be accessed within the security headquarters. During the British Internment Camp of 1945-1949, the building continued to function as a security structure. The building was then used as the processing center for the Hamburg prison for men at Neuengamme between 1953 to 1983. The arrest room and three different cells from the prison period can still be seen. These cells were not in use when the site was a concentration camp.
The virtual exhibition of the watchtower and SS-headquarters also offers an important view of the concentration camp period, with various texts and historical photos embedded in the images. For the virtual exhibition of the watchtower, please click here: https://www.kz-gedenkstaette-neuengamme.de/en/exhibitions/neuengamme/research-exhibition-on-the-camp-ss/watchtower/
The second exhibit is of the famed brickworks that stand so imposingly on the former concentration camp grounds. Containing an expanded, online version of the on-site exhibition "Extermination Through Labor: Concentration Camp Forced Labor in Brick Production", the 360° photography of the brickworks offers a novel way to explore rooms both known and unknown to the public, including drying chambers, various corridors, moulding rooms, and the kilns. The virtual exhibition also offers broad views of the history of the concentration camp as a whole. Beginning with National Socialism as an ideology, the exhibition winds through the history of Hamburg as a “Fuhrer City”, the establishment of the brickworks, and its uses throughout the concentration camp period. The process of brick production, from clay to firing, is explained as well.
For the virtual exhibition of the brickworks, please click here: https://www.kz-gedenkstaette-neuengamme.de/en/exhibitions/neuengamme/slave-labour-in-brick-production/
The exhibitions are desktop and smartphone capable and can optionally be viewed through a VR headset. All texts are in English. Memoryscapes is an international project led by the University of Leeds that takes an interdisciplinary view to immersive technology and memorial sites. 360° photography exhibitions: Dr Tom Jackson, Leeds.