The Crime and the Perpetrators

The SS knew that the discovery of the medical experiments on the children would cause an outcry and therefore decided to dispose themselves of the victims and witnesses at the same time by killing the children and their carers. In order to attract as little attention as possible, the SS chose the evacuated Bullenhuser Damm satellite camp for their murder operation. Survivors who had been able to say goodbye to the carers later stated that the SS had claimed the children would be taken to Theresienstadt.

Late at night on 20 April 1945 the first lorry from Neuengamme carrying the 20 children, their four carers and six Soviet prisoners arrived in the former school yard behind the building. The SS man first took the adult prisoners into the building and hung them in the boiler room adjacent to this room. The children were led down to the stairs into the first basement room, the former changing room for the school's gymnasium, where they had to undress. In another room SS doctor Alfred Trzebinski injected the children with morphine. Those children who still showed signs of life after the injections were hung by SS man Johann Frahm, probably with help of other SS men, in the room of the very back of the basement. Following these first murders, another group of Soviet prisoners were brought there from the Spaldingstraße satellite camp. SS men shot several of them who were trying to escape, but some of them also managed to get away. All other prisoners were also hung in the boiler room.

The next morning, the perpetrators tried to erase all trace of their crime. They probably took the bodies to the crematorium at the Neuengamme concentration camp. Johann Frahm burned the children's clothes in the boiler for the showers next to the changing room.

Black and white photo as a prisoner of Max Pauly, the last commandant of Neuengamme concentration camp.
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