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Camp Jail

The camp jail, known as the "bunker", was the central detention centre in the camp. Many inmates were murdered here.

View of the prison cell building with barred windows. On the left in the background a storage shed belonging to the wood yard.
Camp jail, 1945. Photo: Unknown.
An information stele can be seen in the right foreground of the picture, which reveals that it is the location of the former camp prison. The foundation walls can be seen behind it. The carpentry barracks can be seen in the background.
Foundation walls of the former camp jail, 2022. Photo: Lukas Severin Damm.

The jail was completed in the summer of 1944 and had 32 narrow cells, into which were crowded eight or more inmates. In the middle of the long building were interrogation room. Here, members of the SS and Gestapo brutally tortured their victims, many of whom did not survive the ordeal.

The purpose of the jail was to break any form of resistance in the camp. In the autumn of 1944, the SS broke up multiple resistance groups and held over 300, largely Soviet, French, and German inmates, in the detention cells. Approximately 200 of them, almost exclusively Soviet citizens, were publicly hanged in the following months on the roll call square and in the underground tunnel system.

Local GDR officials had the massive stone building demolished down to its foundations in 1952—against the protests of former inmates. In 2011 protective measures were taken by extending the walls of the foundations with concrete. Rammed concrete walls indicate the location of the former walls of the jail yard.

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