The SS

The commandant was in charge of both the main camp and its satellite camps. The organisation of the concentration camp fell into the responsibility of different departments: Headquarters, the Political Department (Gestapo), the Department for Managing the Prisoners’ Barracks, the Administration, the Coordination of work Deployment (from 1942), the Medical Department, the Education and Training Departmant as well as the guard squads. The SS guards at the prisoners’ barracks were systematically instructed to treat the prisoners inhumanly: concentration camp prisoners were to be handled as enemies of the state, criminals and “antisocial elements”. The fight against the “enemies within” was compared to the fight against the “enemies from outside”. Especially brutal SS men were promoted as a reward for their behaviour. The prisoners’ barracks was surrounded by barbed wire which was electrically charged at night. Guards watched over the prisoners’ barracks and marched the prisoners to work.

Black and whithe photo: Several SS men in uniform stand in a row. An officer stands in front of the row and awards medals.
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