The Penal Facilities

After the internment camp was disbanded in 1948, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg took over the grounds and facilities of the former concentration camp and set up the “Neuengamme Prison for Men“ on the site of the former prisoners’ barracks (the Häftlingslager). In 1950, a new prison building was erected on the site. After decades of campaigning, this correctional facility was finally moved to Billwerder in June 2003. Another prison building was erected on the site of the former clay pits at the end of the 1960s. It was in use from 1970, first as a juvenile detention centre and later as a regular penal facility. In February 2005, the Hamburg Justice Authority announced its plans to have this prison also closed by the end of the same year.

Penal Facility XII

In February 1948, 40 prisoners and 8 prison officers moved into the former brickworks and began clearance and repair work. On 6 September of the same year, the “Neuengamme Prison for  Men, Facility No. XII” was ceremonially opened on the site of the former prisoners’ barracks. This semi-open prison was later to become an open prison and was considered a prime example of the liberal penal system in Hamburg. Initially, the prison held only men, but in 1995 a section for women prisoners was added. The prison officers initially lived in the former SS barracks, but in 1953 new houses were built for them in the northern part of the camp. In the course of the 1980s, new prison buildings were added to the cell blocks erected in 1949/1950 on the site of the former prisoners’ barracks.

Penal Facility IX

As early as 1955, Hamburg City Council was planning new prison buildings in the immediate vicinity of the former concentration camp grounds. According to their plans, which were eventually abandoned at the end of the 1950s, Fuhlsbüttel prison was to be disbanded and up to 700 prisoners were to be transferred to a newly built facility south of the “Neuengamme Prison for Men”. Instead, the Council built the “Vierlande Juvenile Detention Centre” north of the prison for men, where 300 young people were held, both on remand and in normal detention. In the early 1990s, all young offenders were transferred to Hahnöfersand prison. From then on, the facility housed adult male offenders serving prison sentences. On 28 February 2005, the Hamburg Justice Authority announced its decision to close the Vierlande Penal Facility entirely. The authority cited the council’s “responsibility towards the victims and their relatives” as one of the reasons for making this decision.

A photo of two signposts, one on top of the other. The upper one says: "Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial", the lower one says "Vierlande Correctional Facilities".
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