Thousands of people died in the Neuengamme concentration camp. This is the International Monument erected in memory of them. It consists of several parts: a tall stone column, a sculpture by Françoise Salmon entitled “The Fallen Prisoner” and a stone wall. Take a moment and look at all of them.
During the concentration camp period, there was a plant nursery at this place, where the ashes from the crematorium were used as a fertilizer. That is why this place symbolically stands for the camp's cemetery. What the victims' relatives and the survivors actually wanted was to have a monument where the crematorium used to be, but this has been refused. Due to this fact, a little monument was erected in this place in 1953 and then in 1965 the international monument you can see now.
The tall monument represents the chimney of the crematorium. The grooves on both sides of the monument represent railways; on the one hand, they represent the field railways which was a part of the work the prisoners had to perform, and on the other, the rail line that brought prisoners into the camp. The wreath hangers on the column in the form of triangles represent the triangles the prisoners wore on their uniforms.
Next to the column, there is a sculpture called The Fallen Prisoner. It serves as a reminder of the suffering in the concentration camp. The prisoner is emaciated, literally reduced to a skeleton and unable to stand, their limbs twisted in pain. You can see that the limbs are also positioned in the shape of triangles. In contrast to this, the prisoner's face seems to be calm and the head rather big compared to the body. This represents the unbreakable spirit and the tranquility which precedes death.
Along the wall surrounding the monument, there are 22 stone plaques with the names of the countries which the prisoners came from. At the end of the wall, there is a plaque with the names of the subcamps .
Please walk along the wall towards the street and our last station, the House of Remembrance. Enter the house and take a moment to look around.