Seminar: The Armed Forces, the Armaments Industry and Their Implication in the Concentration Camp System and Nazi Policies of Extermination

Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial, Centre for Historical Studies


Study day (6-7 hours) or two-day seminar (6-7 hours each day)


In this study day or two-day seminar, participants become familiar with the site of the former Neuengamme concentration camp while taking a closer look at the role of the armed forces in both the concentration camp system and the Nazi extermination policy. The goal is to offer insight into the responsibility of those involved, how much room for manoeuvre was available to them, and how they regarded themselves.


We focus on how the Wehrmacht participated in the deportation, mass executions and enslavement of millions of so-called foreign workers (Fremdarbeiter) and concentration camp prisoners from all over Europe. We also talk about Soviet POWs – their treatment and how they were transferred to concentration camps – and how concentration camp prisoners were used as workers for the Wehrmacht.


If booked as a two-day seminar, on the second day, we enlarge upon the actions of the Wehrmacht personnel who functioned as concentration camp guards, while also exploring reasons for the imprisonment of Wehrmacht soldiers in concentration camps. In addition, we look at how perpetrators were prosecuted and how society dealt with these crimes after the war. We can also look at what did or did not change in the military in terms of personnel after 1945.


Further possible topics can be chosen according to the group’s interests and can include, for example, the human rights aspect of military action and how soldiers regard their role today.



Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial, Centre for Historical Studies

Jean-Dolidier-Weg 75

21039 Hamburg

Phone: +49 40 – 4 28 13 522