Seminar: German Public Administration and Nazi Policies of Exclusion and Extermination

Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial, Centre for Historical Studies


Two-day seminar (6-7 hours each day)


This seminar was designed for administrative professionals and groups interested not only in the development of administrative action under the Nazis, but also in human rights aspects of administrative action today. The course also offers participants the opportunity to get to know the grounds and exhibitions of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial.


Public administration played a key role in the Nazi regime. With the help of biographies and legal texts, we investigate how political opponents were removed from the public service, how administrative officials (including those in Hamburg) contributed to the Nazi policies of marginalisation and extermination, and who was affected by these policies. We discuss how, in the interest of the Nazis, public administration officials radicalised already-existing guidelines or drew up new ones. We also look at the career paths of administration officials after the war and the denazification (or lack thereof) of the public service.


We talk about how Nazi crimes were dealt with by the judiciary while pointing out how the international community reacted to these crimes by ratifying the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Genocide Convention. We also discuss the relationship between administrative action and human rights by looking at current issues, like the treatment of refugees. Alternatively, we can take a closer look at forced labour and its compensation, or the marginalisation of Sinti and Roma.



Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial, Centre for Historical Studies

Jean-Dolidier-Weg 75

21039 Hamburg

Phone: +49 40 – 4 28 13 522