On 21 April 1945 the SS forced more than 30,000 inmates of Sachsenhausen concentration camp, some of them women and children, to leave the camp on foot on a death march towards the north-west. Hundreds died on the way or were shot by the SS. From 23 to 29 April more than 16,000 inmates were corralled together in the Below Forest near Wittstock, where they camped in the open air without food and water, fenced in by barbed wire and guarded by a chain of SS guards.
Already in 1945 a commemorative stone was erected in the nearby cemetery in Grabow for 132 concentration camp inmates who died in Below Forest. The first commemorative stone at the historic site of the forest camp followed in 1965. Ten years later, the memorial that still exists today was inaugurated. Since 1976 120 uniform commemorative tablets have marked the routes of the Death March between Oranienburg and Schwerin.
In 1981 the Museum of the Death March was opened as an external site of the Sachsenhausen National Memorial. In 1993 it became part of the Brandenburg Memorials Foundation. In early September 2002 a fire attack by neo-Nazis destroyed one of the two exhibition rooms. After this, a process of redesigning started.
The Death March Memorial in Below Forest was reopened in April 2010, following an extensive redesign, for the 65th anniversary of the Liberation. Its central focus is the historic site in the forest, covering some 20,000 m². On a raised platform next to this is the open-air exhibition "April 1945: the Death March by the Inmates of Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp".
- April 1945 Death March and forest camp
- 1945-1981 Commemorating the Death March
- 1981-2010 Museum of the Death March
- since 2010 Death March Memorial in Below Forest
Memorials remain open
In accordance with the current Corona regulations of the regional government and in agreement with the health authorities, the outdoor areas of the Memorial will continue to be open to visitors. Booked educational events can only be held in the form of guided tours in the outdoor areas.
Visitors are obliged to comply with the general rules of conduct, social distancing and hygiene.
We ask for your understanding and hope you stay healthy!
75th Anniversary of Liberation online
Online activities commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp starting on 13 April
Follow us on twitter.com/GMSachsenhausen
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The open-air exhibition and the historic site in the forest can be viewed at any time during daylight hours.
Office, information centre and bookshop:
Mondays to Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
19 Dec. 2020 until 1 Jan. 2021: CLOSED
The hygiene and distancing rules must be strictly observed!
ADMISSION IS FREE.
Follow us on:
Death March Memorial in Below Forest
Head of Charge: Carmen Lange
Telephon: +49 (0)39925-2478
(copy 2)Friends of the Death March Memorial in Below Forest e.V.
With the financial assistance of