“Our commitment must be to remember the victims who perished, respect the survivors still with us, and reaffirm humanity's common aspiration for mutual understanding and justice.”
-- Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust
A new permanent exhibition has been opened on the site of a former concentration camp in Ladelund, North Friesland, near the Danish border. Between 1 November and 16 December 1944, 300 people died in Ladelund of the consequences of harsh conditions and forced labour. On Saturday 18 November 2017 a new permanent exhibition was opened, outlining the stories of those interned and killed on the site.
The concentration camp existed within the municipality of Ladelund from November 1 to December 16, 1944. The SS had 2,000 prisoners from twelve different countries dig anti-tank trenches between Humptrup and Ladelund. The trenches were intended to stop a feared Allied invasion from the north.
The exhibition centres around the nine graves a the edge of the village cemetry, in which people from 12 countries are buried. The victims died as a result of forced labour. The exhibition also explores the reactions of local villagers to the concentration camp and how the creation of a memorial site encouraged interactions between villagers and the families of victims.
Ladelund was a satelite camp of the concentration camp Neuengamme and held 2,000 people. In 1950, the St. Petri parish set up the first memorial on the Ladelund cemetery.
Photo: Permanent exhibition in Ladelund. Credit: Juliane Wetzel