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Execution Site

The execution site in the yard of the camp jail was used by the SS and the Gestapo for the secret shootings and hangings of inmates.

View of the execution site surrounded by high walls in the courtyard of the detention cell building of Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp.
Execution site, 1945 (after liberation). Photo: Unknown.
In the foreground on the right is the information board at the execution site, which offers a historical comparison of the current design of the execution site. In the background is a depression with high concrete walls that replicates the former execution site.
Information board at the execution site, 2022. Photo: Lukas Severin Damm.

The execution site was situated in a walled-in area set into the ground, which could not be seen from the camp. In contrast to the executions that took place on the roll call square or in the tunnel system, which were aimed to spread fear and terror in the camp, the SS and the Gestapo performed clandestine murders at this location. Predominantly German inmate functionaries and prominent members of the resistance were shot or hung in the gallows at this site.

It is no longer possible to determine the number of inmates murdered here. They include the German communists Ludwig Szymczak and Georg Thomas, who had refused, in their function as camp seniors, to hang another Russian inmate on the roll call square. Just a few hours before the camp was cleared, on the evening of April 4, 1945, they were shot by Gestapo officials in the jail yard, together with six other political prisoners.

The largely destroyed walls of this execution site were reconstructed with rammed concrete in 2011.  

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