KZ-Gedenkstätte Flossenbürg

  • Flossenbuerg Memorial
  • Flossenburg Concentration Camp Memorial

History

In spring 1946, the former concentration camp grounds were used to house displaced persons. The Polish displaced persons first redesigned the cemetery of honor erected by US army in May 1945 in the village of Flossenbürg. They established an initiative to erect a memorial on the site. In 1947, a memorial chapel and a commemorative landscape near the former crematorium were inaugurated. The chapel and grounds were one of the first concentration camp memorials in Europe. In 1948, the memorial committee succeeded in having the site placed under the protection of the state of Bavaria. The actual camp grounds were not a part of the memorial conception, but became part of the infrastructure for the economic postwar development of the village of Flossenbürg. The former concentration camp quarry has been reactivated – till today. The grounds’ area of the roll call square and its surroundings was used as an industrial estate. In the late 1950s, in big parts of the camp grounds a settlement was erected to house German expellees’ families who had been working there and living in former camp’s buildings for ten years. At the same time a cemetery was erected to honor the victims of the death marches, but the historical circumstances surrounding their violent death were silenced. This state of affairs remained substantially unchanged for several decades. In 1964 the detention barrack, a place of torture and executions, nearly completely was demolished by authorities. Later a small documentation could be seen there. 1995 a Jewish memorial was erected near the chapel. Beginning with the inception of the institution in the end of 1999 Flossenbürg Concentration Camp Memorial has been transformed from a cemetery to a memorial that does justice to its history as one of the central sites of National Socialist persecution in Europe. Permanent exhibits about camp’s history and the aftermath were opened in 2007 and 2010, the redevelopment of the Memorial grounds was finished in 2015 when an education center and a museum café was opened. In 2016 a permanent exhibit on the two places of subcamp Hersbruck/Happurg was opened.

Mandates/Sources of Authority

Since its inception on January 1, 2003 the Bavarian Memorial Foundation is responsible for the former concentration camps Dachau and Flossenbürg. The Memorial Foundation Act clearly is stating the main task of the Bavarian Memorial Foundation: "The purpose of the Foundation is to preserve the monuments as witnesses to the crimes of the National Socialists, as places of remembrance of the suffering of the victims and as places of learning for future generations, to support historical research on this and to contribute that the knowledge of the historical events is kept alive in people's consciousness and carried on." (GedStG, Art. 2) The Foundation's mission includes not only the original memorial work but the support of the historical-political education, editing its own publications and the cooperation with institutions working with the same objective in Germany and abroad.

Archival and Other Holdings

The archive of Flossenbürg Concentration Camp Memorial is holding a heterogeneous collection of records, newspapers and newspaper clippings, photographs, maps and plans. The majority of records duplicates from other archives and collections. All together there is an amount of 100 running meters of mostly paper copies and more than 3 millions of digital files. In particular the holdings of the archive include sources on the following topics:

• prisoners

• SS personel

• camp construction and administration

• subcamps

• death marches

• liberation

• war trials

• memories of former inmates

• history of the Memorial

The archive is complemented by a collection of figurative original objects from the camp and post-war period. These mainly include clothes, paintings and graphics, archaeological finds and objects of memorial culture. Relatively few Jews were interned in the Flossenbürg concentration camp at first. But from August 1944 on, thousands of Jewish men and women were transported to Flossenbürg from the camps in Eastern Europe. In the final year of the war, Jews made up one of the large groups of prisoners with over 22,000 inmates. Over 3,000 Jewish inmates died.

Numbers of Jewish prisoners:

9,801 from Hungary

9,779 from Poland

686 from Bohemia and Moravia

532 from Germany and Austria

352 from Greece

285 from France

273 from Slovakia

224 from the Netherlands

207 from Lithuania

133 from Italy

98 from the Soviet Union

92 from Belgium

400 from other countries.

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication

Since 2014 a research for prisoners of Flossenbürg concentration camp or one if its subcamps is possible in the polyglot online database "Memorial Archives" http://www.MemArc.info (including many victim data of cooperating institutions). More than 150 video testimonies of former inmates are available. Digitized personal related documents bring evidence to more than 90% of the circa 100,000 inmates of Flossenbürg concentration camp. All known names of the prisoners are available in a large commemorative book in the basement of the permanent exhibition "Flossenbürg Concentration Camp 1938-1945" in the Memorial. Since 2016 there is a digital “Book of the Dead“ to be found on the Memorial’s website.

Opening Times

March – November:

daily 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

December – February:

daily 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

On December 24 / 25 / 26 and 31 and on January 1 the Memorial is closed.

From December through March the crematorium is not accessible.

Accessibility

A visit in the archive is possible from Monday to Friday by appointment.

Sources

  • YV/ClaimsCon'06