1. Wittmoor Concentration Camp Memorial Stone and Plaque.
2. Gestapo-Zentrale Stadthausbrücke (Gestapo Headquarters, No. 8 Stadthausbrücke)Today No. 8 Stadthausbrücke houses the Baubehörde (Planning Department and Building Control Office).
There is a memorial plaque in the entrance hall which states:
Wir gedenken der Opfer, die hier während We remember the victims who suffered der nationalsozialistischen Gewaltherrschaft here under the Gestapo during the unter der Geheimen Staatspolizei gelitten haben. period of National Socialist tyranny. Für viele war hier die erst Leidensstation For many this was the first stage of suffering auf dem Weg in die Konzentrationslager. on the way to the concentration camp. Verteidigt die Menschenrechte. Protect human rights.
Hamburg's first concentration camp was established as early as April 1933 in the
closed-down peat factory on Wittmoor.
Prior to the Second World War, Police Headquarters was accommodated in the Stadthaus. Today No. 8 Stadthausbrücke houses the Baubehörde (Planning Department and Building Control Office). After the Nazis came to power they established a special commando with the task of tracking down and persecuting political opponents. Initially, the commando was mostly made up of SA men (Storm Troopers), but after the turn of the year 1933/34 the SS took over, and shortly thereafter the Gestapo was formed. From the start the Gestapo made the Stadthaus a place of terror, brutality and torture. Those Hamburg Jews, that for whatever reason came into the hands of the Gestapo, were especially badly maltreated. For many of these individuals the Stadthaus was the first stage of suffering that ended in an extermination camp. In 1933 many political prisoners were taken from the Stadthaus to Wittmoor concentration camp.
For many prisoners, having survived the torture in the new Gestapo Headquarters in the Stadthaus, life behind the barbed-wire of Wittmoor concentration camp was almost bearable. Initially, violence was rarely used and the guards did not have the brutality of the later concentration camp guards. The policemen and SA men (Storm Troopers) on guard duty in the Wittmoor camp were not brutal enough for the Nazis; they played football and got into political discussion with the prisoners. The prisoners were able to organize protests and sucessfully attained visiting hours for relatives, and improvement in the quality of meals. However, it should not be forgotten that these were political prisoners, arrested merely for being political opponents of the Nazis, and who were forced to do unpaid, forced labour. For many prisoners Wittmoor concentration camp was a stage on the way to the extermination camps.
A Hamburg newspaper dated 4 June 1933 carried a whole page article entitled "Pictures of Wittmoor Concentration Camp". The population were therefore informed about concentration camps, but the majority looked away and said nothing, also when the terror directed against selected minorities became more and more brutal. This passive acquiescence led ultimately to the programme of mass murder.