Natzweiler-Struthof Museum

The photo above shows the lobby at the entrance to the museum which is located in one of the former barracks buildings. The picture displayed on the wall was taken at Bergen-Belsen, an exchange camp in western Germany which became a concentration camp in December 1944; it was voluntarily turned over to the British on April 15, 1945 because of the typhus epidemic there. It shows a British soldier shoving emaciated bodies into a mass grave with a bulldozer.

On the same wall, on the left, but out of camera range, is a dramatic photo of a survivor of Wöebbelin, a sub-camp of Neuengamme. Apparently, there were no photos of the Natzweiler camp, and photos of other camps are used throughout the museum. The photos are the most gut-wrenching ones from the Holocaust. Captions on all the exhibits are in French only.

An exhibit near the entrance says that the original buildings in the Natzweiler camp were burned to the ground during an arson attack in 1976, but a few of the buildings have been reconstructed. There are displays which explain the rise of Nazism and a huge, detailed map of the concentration camp system. According to the displays, the Natzweiler camp was mainly for anti-Nazi resistance fighters, including captured British SOE agents. The medical experiments are mentioned and there is a photo of Dr. Josef Hirt doing an autopsy. Dr. Hirt was the one who was responsible for 87 Jews being gassed at Natzweiler because he needed skeletons to illustrate the difference between various races.

The photo below shows a view of the inside of the museum. In the center is a large wash basin of the type used in all the concentration camp washrooms. It is being used here as a plant holder. There is another room in the museum which shows two other washbasins just like this one. On the right in the photo below, inside a glass case, is a model of the camp. According to the model, there was another large section of the camp where SS soldiers lived. On the left is a photo display, showing pictures that I recognized from Dachau, Sachsenhausen and Buchenwald.

The photo below shows bunk beds that were used in the Natzweiler camp. The photo on the end of the bed in the center was taken at Buchenwald.

The photo below shows flush toilets in the museum, which was formerly a barrack building. The toilets have no seat, which is the way European toilets were apparently made back then. The toilet in the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam has no seat and looks like the ones in this photo, except that it is white with blue flowers.


The Camp


Ash pit

The gallows


Camp Prison