Arrival and Daily Routine

The SS would beat and harass newly arrived prisoners to demonstrate what was in store for them at the camp. The new prisoners often had to stand to attention on the parade ground for long periods of time. A higher-ranking SS officer would hold a speech laden with threats. Once the “welcome ceremony” was over, the prisoners were herded off to the store rooms, where they had to hand over their clothes and other possessions. Then they had to shower. The prisioners were disinfected and had to undergo the especially humiliating ordeal of having all their hair, including their pubic hair, shaved off. The prisoners were then issued concentration camp uniforms and assigned numbers, which had to be sewn to the prisoners' uniforms. In addition, the number was worn on a metal tag on a cord around the prisoner's neck. After being assigned a number, prisoners were addressed exculsively by number, never by name. Shortly after their arrival at the camp, prisoners were interrogated by the Political Department, a procedure which often included more torture. Beginning in 1942, most newly arrived prisoners were quarantined for their first few days at the camp.

Drawing of an evening roll call at the Neuengamme concentration camp. In front on the left, two SS men in uniform stand facing each other with their hands in their jacket pockets. In the center of the picture, countless prisoners in prisoners' clothing are lined up. Two puddles are depicted in the foreground and eight smaller barracks are indicated in the background, along with a larger house in the far right rear. The sky is jet black.
Media Library

The complete permanent exhibition "Time Traces" and the other side exhibitions on the grounds of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial are also available digitally in the memorial's media library. Unfortunately, the media library is only available in German.

media library
Contact us at

E-mail: lernwerkstatt@gedenkstaetten.hamburg.de

Phone: +49 40 428 131 551