“Valley of Death” memorial, end of the 1940s
“Valley of Death” memorial, end of the 1940s

From 1946 on only the crematorium remained as a part of the memory landscape, which after the erection of the chapel adopted a religious identity and contained no historical information. Even though the “Valley of Death” memorial was one of the first commemoration sites in Europe, the horrendous events which took place here, and in the 90 subcamps of Flossenbürg in Bavaria, Bohemia and Saxony, vanished from the memory. Not only did the crimes vanish, but so did the victims from the public consciousness.

When the survivors returned to Flossenbürg to commemorate 50 years of the camp’s liberation, they found houses, a small industrial zone and a cemetery, which resembled a park, on the site. The remains of the concentration camp were reshaped in an unrecognizable way. The survivors and their relatives criticized the state of the memorial, which was nothing more than a cemetery. A year later a research and documentation office was founded in Flossenbürg - at first for a limited amount of time - which paved the way to the foundation of the Flossenbürg Memorial.

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