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Camp Entrance

The camp gate marks the transit point between the SS area and the inmates' camp. Every day the SS drove thousands of prisoners through the gate to their workplaces.

View of the camp entrance of the former Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp. On the left the entrance barrack No. 1
Entrance barracks, camp entrance, 1946. Photo: Franz Becker.
 In the foreground are two people on the camp street, talking. Behind it you can see the barracks of the Political Department next to the camp entrance. Other people are standing in front of the gate.
Barracks of the Political Department next to the entrance to the former Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp, early summer 1946. Photo: Unknown.

The construction of the camp was never complete. There were constant improvisations. There was no gate building as in other concentration camps, merely a heavily guarded wooden gate reinforced with barbed wire positioned between two barracks. The right barracks held the Political Department, a branch of the Gestapo. It registered the delivered inmates, kept a registry of the dead, and selected inmates for torture in the camp jail. The left barracks contained the offices of the SS camp officers. Not far away were the camp headquarters. This was the seat of the camp commander, who oversaw the entire SS personnel and who was the highest authority of the camp. The adjutants provided support to the commander.

Neither the buildings at the entrance nor the gate have been preserved. Since 1969, two cement posts and the wall with the lettering "KZ-Lager Dora-Mittelbau" have marked the location of the camp gate for visitors to the memorial site.

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