Life after Liberation

Survivors experienced their liberation from the concentration camps in different ways. Many of them were in poor health due to the conditions of their imprisonment and had to be treated in hospitals. Those who had been deported to Germany were classified as “Displaced Persons” and put up in special camps before they could be repatriated. But not all of them wanted to go back. Many survivors wanted to emigrate to the USA or to Palestine, and some even wanted to remain in Germany. Both in Germany and in their native countries, former political prisoners formed associations of concentration camp survivors or victims of Nazi persecution and demanded compensation.

Black and white photo of a bus with several passengers. From an open window, a liberated concentration camp prisoner, visibly cheerful, shakes hands with a man standing outside.
Life after Survival

After liberation, the prisoners needed urgently medical care. Many survivors suffered from long-term consequences of concentration camp imprisonment. Many foreign prisoners spent weeks and months in camps for “displaced persons”. Many survivors, especially Jewish survivors, emigrated to Palestine, Canada or the USA.

Persecutees’ Associations

Immediately after their liberation, the first concentration camp survivors formed organisations. In Hamburg, they founded the Committee of Former Political Prisoners. The organisation cared for survivors and demanded compensation for imprisonment, prosecution of the perpetrators, and general denazification. In 1958, the West German section of the Working Group became one of the co-founding bodies of the Amicale Internationale de Neuengamme.

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