Monday, 4 April 2011

Object of the Month - April 2011

April's Object of the Month is, like February's, courtesy of the Royal Highland Fusiliers Museum in Glasgow.

This item was in the reserve collection, and is an interesting example of "trench art".

The inscription on the back conceals a fascinating story about a little-known part of the Second World War.

No.6 C.I.C. (Civil Internment Camp) Neuengamme, which lies close to Hamburg, was converted from a Nazi Concentration camp at the end of the Second World War to incarcerate it's former landlord.

The concentration camp had existed from 1938 until 1945, and more than half of the estimated 106,000 prisoners held there died.

After the War the camp was initially used to house Russian "displaced persons" before being used by the British to intern SS member and Nazi Party officials.

The British handed Neuengamme over to the Hamburg authorities in 1946. The Civil Internment Camp closed in 1948, and from then until 2006 it was used as an ordinary prison.

Since 2007 the whole site has been used as a memorial.

There are a number of links that will tell you more - wikipedia has a lot of detail on the camp, mostly about its days asa concentration camp.

Courtesy of the RHF Museum comes a document translated from German detailing "The British in Neuengamme".

Finally, you can view a site which has photos of the memorial site as it stands today, which are in places compared against historial photos in a "then and now" style. 

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