Neuengamme Concentration Camp and its Surroundings
Despite efforts at secrecy, Neuengamme concentration camp was not isolated entirely. People from the surrounding area encountered the work commandos and watched the prisoners at work on the Dove-Elbe, at the port at Zollenspieker and in other places. SS dog squads searched farms an d fields for escaped prisoners. Some locals took the road leading past the main entrance of Neuengamme concentration camp to work during the week. In the evenings, young women from the Vierlande region would often wait for SS men at the northern gate of the camp. Many local companies supplied the camp with goods, and inns in the surrounding area served the SS members. A mortician from Bergedorf regularly came to collect the bodies of prisoners who had died. Several companies in the region made use of the prisoners’ labor, among them a timber merchant, agarage, a bakery and a hardware shop.
The local population normally had no access to the road leading to the camp (today Jean-Dolidier-Weg), but there were exceptions. Some locals received permission to use the road on their daily route to and from work. Access to the road was apparently handled more casually on Sundays for a while, so some locals went there for their Sunday strolls, sometimes accompanied by the music of the camp orchestra.
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
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