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* in the occupied territories

Memorial stone for the forced labour camp „Am Dammacker“

Quoted from: Engelbertz, Susanne: Heimatgeschichtlicher Wegweiser zu Stätten des Widerstandes und der Verfolgung 1933 - 1945 vol. 6: Bremen, 1992. p. 68
 
Translations and notes in square brackets: Jan Dohrmann
 
"The camp of the same name was located at the street Dammacker. One side of the camp was close to the dike and the other side to the street Buntentorsteinweg, which is why it was also called camp "Buntentor". Additionally it got the name "Russenlager" [russian camp], because from September 1942 on mainly Soviet prisoners of war and forced labourers lived here.
 
It was planned as accommodation for 1,500 people. In September 1941, the files of the Senator for Construction showed six living barracks and 11 further barracks for the administration, the guards and as kitchen and washing barracks. For one year, from September 1941 to September 1942, it was used by the Senator for Construction to house the prisoners of war and foreign civilian workers used in the air-raid shelters. After that, other companies as well as the Senator also accommodated forced laborers in the "Russenlager". In July 1942, 300 "Ostarbeiter" [eastern workers] who were employed by Borgward lived here for two months. The administration of the camp was under the control of the DAF. In January 1943, the DAF [German Labour Front] stated a number of 846 persons (source STAB 4.26/1.1375).
 
At the end of the war, the evacuation lists drawn up by the Building Senator showed 10 residential barracks with 711 male "Ostarbeiter" and 180 female "Ostarbeiter". As employers the senator for the building industry with over 600 and the company Krupp with 50 persons were mentioned. Another file of the Building Senator reports 147 boys aged 12 to 21 who had to work for various companies during the last months of the Nazi regime (source STAB 4.26/1-1351)."
A memorial stone was erected on the site of the former forced labour camp in March 2015 by the initiative "Residents against forgetting" (more on the group in the section on actors). The boulder, about 50 centimetres high, bears the inscription "1942 - 1945 forced labor Camp Am Dammacker". Around the turn of the millennium, a new development area was created where the camp used to be and so the memorial stone stands on the street in front of a terraced house settlement.
 
The memorial stone, 23rd November 2018. Source of photo: Jan Dohrmann
An information board is attached to a tree next to the memorial stone. It provides basic facts about the history of the camp and an aerial photograph from 1945 is shown. A QR code and a link refer to an article with further information on the website "Spurensuche Bremen" (search for traces).
 
The information board, 23rd November 2018. Source of photo: Jan Dohrmann
In the interview, a member of "Residents against forgetting" reports that the memorial stone is strongly perceived in the neighbourhood, but also by passers-by. Fortunately, no cases of vandalism were known.
The memorial stone can be found at the address Am Dammacker 27 in 28201 Bremen. It is located on a private property in front of a row of houses. However, the inscription on the stone and the information board can be read from the sidewalk.
The members of the initiative "AnwohnerInnen gegen das Vergessen" ("Residents against forgetting") are responsible for the erection of the memorial stone. They all live in the Bremen district of Huckelriede. Around the turn of the millennium, a new development area was created there from an allotment settlement. A historian informed the recent sttlers that there was a forced labour camp on the site during the World War II. As a result, the residents decided to take a closer look at the topic and founded the initiative. A core group of five people, including four schoolchildren, then set itself the task of intensively reappraising the history of the forced labour camp. For this purpose, records were researched in the State Archives and aerial photographs of British and US reconnaissance aircraft from the 1940s were analysed. The initiative has published the results in a brochure (see Sources, literature tips, websites).
 
In 2015, a boulder from a resident's garden was inscribed by a neighbouring stonemason. The costs were borne by the members of the initiative and people from the surrounding area. The stone was erected in March 2015.
 
The boulder without the inscription, 10th October 2014. Source of photo: AnwohnerInnen gegen das Vergessen
The information about the initiative comes from a conversation with a member of "resients against forgetting".
Sites of memory