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Emslandlager

Location:

The Emsland camp were situated in a former marshland in the north-east part of Germany, near the Dutch border.

History:

Between the period 1933 - 1938, the nazi regime set-up 15 camps in the marshlands in the north-east part of Germany. This territory was known as the Emsland, because of the flow of river Ems.

The purpose of the camps was a to lock up political opponents of the nazi regime. The prisoners in the 15 camps usually had to work in the exploitation of the marshlands, around the camps. It was physical hard labor.

Camp number 7 (called "Esterwegen") was a very well known camp in those days. One of it's inmates was the Nobel price winner Carl von Ossietsky.

In 1935, a former prisoner wrote a book called "Die Moorsoldaten", a book which made clear what happened in German concentrationcamps.

After 1938, most Emsland camps got others designation. For example Emsland camp number 14 became a POW camp for different nationalities ("Stalag VI C").

  Map with the location of the Emsland Camps:.

All camp locations are marked with red dots.

Emslandlager I, Börgermoor
Emslandlager II, Aschendorfermoor
Emslandlager III, Brual-Rhede
Emslandlager IV, Walchum
Emslandlager V, Neusustrum
Emslandlager VI, Oberlangen
Emslandlager VII, Esterwegen
Emslandlager VIII, Wesuwe
Emslandlager IX, Versen
Emslandlager X, Fullen
Emslandlager XI, Groß-Hesepe
Emslandlager XII, Dalum
Emslandlager XIII, Wietmarschen
Emslandlager XIV, Bathorn
Emslandlager XV, Alexisdorf

The cyan colored dot marks the location of the Emslands camps information centre (DIZ Emslandlager).

 

Current status:

There is not much left of the Emsland camps these days. On some former camps sites you can see some of he original buildings. On most locations of the former camps, information shields. The pictures below show the sites of the Emsland camps as is looked in 1994.

  Emslandlager I, Börgermoor

Founded in June 1933 and used as a concentrationcamp until May 1935. From 1935 to it's liberation on the 22nd of April, 1945 it was penal camp.

There is not much left of the camp, just some foundations of buildings and a cellar.

     
  Emslandlager II, Aschendorfermoor

Founded in March 1933 as a penal camp, it stayed that way until the liberation on April 20th, 1945.

There is not much left of the camp, near the camp are the remains of a special park, made by prisoners for the guards. About 1km from camp site is a war cemetery with victims of the camp, with 195 buried.

Left of the informationsign about the camp is a former prisoners of the Emsland camp number 2.

     
  Emslandlager III, Brual-Rhede

In the period autumn 1933 and April 1945, it was used as a penal camp. After 1939, it became a military penal camp.

There's nothing left of the camp.

     
  Emslandlager IV, Walchum

The camp existed between 1933 and 1944 as a penal camp, with over a 1000 prisoners in 1943.

There's nothing left of the camp.

     
  Emslandlager V, Neusustrum

The camp was founded in September 1933 as a concentrationcamp. In May 1935, it became a penal camp, with over a 1500-2000 prisoners.

There's almost nothing left of the camp,

     
  Emslandlager VI, Oberlangen

The camp was founded in the autumn of 1933 as a concentrationcamp. It existed as such until September 1939. After that period it became a penal camp and a POW subcamp. Between 1943 and 1944, it became an independent came for (Italian) POW officers.

About 1km from camp site is a war cemetery with victims of the camp, with 1315 buried.

There's nothing left of the camp,

     
  Emslandlager VII, Esterwegen

Build in July 1933 as concentrationcamp. Between 1934 and 1936 it was ruiled by the SS. During this periode, the former Nobel price winner Carl von Ossietzky was in the camp. After 1937 it was used as a penal camp.

Near the former camp site is a war cemetery with victims of the camp.

The former camp site is currently a story depot for the German army.

     
  Emslandlager VIII, Wesuwe

Founded in 1938. Used between 1939 and 1944 as a POW camp.

About 1km from camp site is a war cemetery with victims of the camp, with 2000-4000 buried.

There's nothing left of the camp,

     
  Emslandlager IX, Versen

Used between 1938 and September 1939 as a penal camp. In September 1939 it became a POW camp, until 1944. After that period it became subcamp of the concentrationcamp Neuengamme ("KZ-Aussenlager Meppen-Versen").

About 1km from camp site is a war cemetery with victims of the camp, with 350 buried.

There's not much left of the camp, only a transformer house.

     
  Emslandlager X, Fullen

Used between April 1938 and September 1939 as a penal camp. Between September 1939 and May 1942 as a POW camp. After that period it became subcamp of the concentrationcamp Neuengamme

There's nothing left of the camp,

     
  Emslandlager XI, Groß-Hesepe

Founded in 1938 and used as a penal camp until September 1944. After that period it became a POW camp and subcamp of the concentrationcamp Neuengamme.

There's not much left of the camp, only a transformer house.

     
  Emslandlager XII, Dalum

Used between 1938 and September 1939 as a penal camp. In September 1939 it became a POW camp, until November 1944. After that period it became subcamp of the concentrationcamp Neuengamme ("KZ-Aussenlager Meppen-Dalum").

A few kilometers from camp site is a war cemetery with victims of the camp, with 8000-16000 buried.

There's not much left of the camp, only a transformer house and the original entrance.

     
  Emslandlager XIII, Wietmarschen

Founded in May 1938. Used until September 1939 as a penal camp. In September 1939 it became a POW camp, until the liberation of the camp in April 1945.

Part of the former camp site is currently a war cemetery with victims of the camp, with 150 buried.

     
  Emslandlager XIV, Bathorn

Used between May 1938 and September 1939 as a penal camp. In September 1939 it became an independent POW camp ("Stalag VIC"), until April 1945.

There's not much left of the camp, only a transformer house.

     
  Emslandlager XV, Alexisdorf

The camp was founded in September 1939 as a penal camp. It existed as such until September 1939. After that period it became a POW subcamp..

Not far from the former camp site a war cemetery with victims of the camp, with 600-6000 buried.

There's not much left of the camp, only a transformer house.

References:

 

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