Site

What remains of the site of the concentration camp complex Flossenbürg? Most of the subcamps have left no tracks. In particular, the appearance of the former main camp has changed fundamentally since the liberation of the camp in April, 1945.

With the arrival of the American military units the camp stopped from existing. The structural remains of the concentration camp lost their original purpose. What remained was a vast site. On it were prisoner barracks, SS buildings, execution sites, a crematorium and heaps of ashes and human remains. This death site was documented by the liberators.

After the liberation, the American military organized the burial of the deceased prisoners in the center of the village. The honoring of the dead with the first CC memorial in Flossenbürg impacted the villagers greatly.

A large part of the site was already being used immediately after the dissolution of the concentration camp. This was not only a pragmatic reuse of the land and the buildings. The barracks initially served the American military administration, the county and the municipality as accommodation for prisoners of war, homeless and displaced person. At the same time, a process took place with the aim to take possession and destroy the memory of the location and of the crimes.

At the end of the 1950s the community built a housing settlement on the foundations of the barracks. The former camp turned into a neighborhood. The state of Bavaria declared the former roll call grounds as a new industrial zone. In the laundry and kitchen buildings different companies produced industrial goods.

Residence area on the former concentration camp grounds, end of the 1950’s
Residence area on the former concentration camp grounds, end of the 1950’s

The village of Flossenbürg overbuilt and displaced the former camp not only topographically. Even symbolically, the memorial was trivialized and integrated into one’s own local needs and wishes – for tourism purposes for example.

The few buildings left from the camp were neglected for years to come. The state memorial administrative office consciously transformed the cemetery to look like a park. Away for the public eye, a small documentation was opened.

Only from 1998 have the structural remains of the camp been consistently involved in the design of the memorial. The present site of the former concentration camp bears the traces of all these different uses and transformation subjected on it. These reflect the stances of those in charge of it after 1945. In 2007 the first exhibition was opened in the historical laundry building.

 

 

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