POPPENBÜTTEL PREFABRICATED BUILDING
Events (in german)
A satellite camp of Neuengamme
was located in the Sasel neighbourhood of Hamburg from September 1944 to May 1945. The 500 women here were political prisoners, Sinti or part of a large group of Jewish women from the Lodz ghetto who had been sent to Sasel via Auschwitz. In the camp, they had to clear the streets of Hamburg’s city centre and build a prefabricated housing estate in the Poppenbüttel neighbourhood. Although they were weak and starving, the women had to perform hard labour, and several prisoners died from mistreatment, exhaustion and disease.
At the eight women’s satellite camps of the Neuengamme concentration camp
in Hamburg and Wedel, more than 2,800 women were imprisoned and made to clear away rubble, work in armaments factories, and put up makeshift dormitories. The twelve biographies featured here provide an insight into their persecution and fate. Clicking a picture displays that person’s short biography.
Wanda Edelmann and Sulejka Klein
Wanda Edelmann was born in Liegnitz (Legnica), Silesia. In Berlin in 1942 she was arrested on her way to work by two criminal police officers on the grounds that she was a ‘gypsy’. Soon afterwards she was transferred to Ravensbrück concentration camp, where she was reunited with her cousin Sulejka Klein from Hamburg-Harburg. Wanda Edelmann was sent to several satellite camps of the Ravensbrück and Sachsenhausen concentration camps before being taken to Hamburg as part of a prisoner transport in early 1945. There she was imprisoned in the satellite camps of the Neuengamme concentration camp in Langenhorn and Sasel where she once again met her cousin. Sulejka had been transferred to Ravensbrück concentration camp following the ‘liquidation’ of the ‘gypsy camp’ at Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp as she was deemed ‘fit to work’. From there she was moved to the Hamburg satellite camps of the Neuengamme concentration camp, first presumably to Langenhorn and then to Sasel. The 18-year-old Sulejka Klein died on 4 May 1945. Wanda Edelmann was liberated by British troops in Sasel. She remained in Hamburg after the end of the war.
You can find out more about Sulejka Klein and Wanda Edelmann in the Open Archive.
Livia Fränkel, née Szmuk, and Hédi Fried, née Szmuk
Livia and Hédi Szmuk were the daughters of a Jewish businessman in Sighet, Romania (under Hungarian administration from 1940). The family suffered greatly under the antisemitic legislation introduced in 1940. After Hungary’s occupation by the German Wehrmacht in March 1944, the family was forced to relocate to the Sighet Ghetto. In May 1944 they were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Their parents were murdered the day they arrived. In summer 1944 Livia and Hédi Szmuk were sent to the satellite camp of the Neuengamme concentration camp in Hamburg-Veddel (Dessauer Ufer) and from there to the satellite camps in Wedel and Eidelstedt. The two sisters were interned at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp when they were liberated on 15 April 1945. They were subsequently sent to Sweden to recover from their imprisonment. Livia and Hédi Szmuk decided to stay in Sweden, studied, and started their own families.
You can find out more about Livia Fränkel and Hédi Fried in the Open Archive.
Anita Lobel, née Landsberger
The educator Anita Landsberger emigrated from Hamburg to Czechoslovakia in 1934. As a Jew she was first moved to the Theresienstadt Ghetto in 1942 and then deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp in 1943. Thanks to the help of fellow prisoners, she was assigned to work in the orderly office. In summer 1944 Anita Landsberger was part of a prisoner transport to Hamburg where she was sent to satellite camps at Veddel (Dessauer Ufer), Neugraben and finally Tiefstack. When the camp was cleared in April 1945, the prisoners were transported to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where they were liberated by British troops on 15 April 1945. After a two-year period of convalescence Anita Landsberger emigrated to the United States.
You can find out more about Anita Lobel in the Open Archive.
Zysa Reder, née Kołosińska
Zysa Kołosińska lived in Łódź, Poland, with her parents and her brother. After the outbreak of the war, the Jewish family was relocated to the city’s newly established ghetto. When it was cleared in August 1944, Zysa Kołosińska and her brother were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. The SS separated the siblings; Zysa Kołosińska was sent to Hamburg as part of a prisoner transport and was imprisoned at the satellite camps of the Neuengamme concentration camp in Veddel (Dessauer Ufer) and Sasel. Towards the end of the war she was deported to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where she was liberated on 15 April 1945. Zysa Kołosińska lived in a number of displaced persons’ camps until 1949. She got married and had a son. The family wanted to emigrate, but her applications for the United States and Great Britain were turned down because of the poor health from which Zysa Reder had suffered following her imprisonment at various concentration camps. As a result the family remained in Hamburg.
You can find out more about Zysa Reder in the Open Archive.
Madeleine Schulps, née Madja Kochaner
Madja Kochaner was born in Łódź, Poland, the daughter of a Jewish family. After the outbreak of the war the family was relocated to the town’s ghetto. Her father volunteered for a work transport in Posen (Poznan), but never returned. Her mother fell ill and died in 1942. Madja Kochaner, now left to fend for herself, was adopted by Chaim Rumkowski, the head of the Jewish Council of Leaders in the ghetto. In August 1944 she was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp and, in September, to the satellite camp of the Neuengamme concentration camp in Hamburg-Veddel (Dessauer Ufer), and later to the Sasel satellite camp. In early April 1945 she was sent to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where she was later liberated by British soldiers on 15 April 1945. Madja Kochaner remained at the Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons’ Camp where she worked in the emigration office until she herself was able to emigrate to the United States at the end of 1949.
You can find out more about Madeleine Schulps in the Open Archive.
Dagmar Lieblová, née Fantlová
Dagmar Fantlová was born in Czechoslovakia, the daughter of a Jewish doctor. In early June 1942 the family was sent to the Theresienstadt Ghetto and, in December 1943, deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, where her entire family was murdered by the SS. Dagmar Fantlová only survived because she was mistakenly thought to be older than she was and therefore deemed ‘fit to work’. She was assigned to work details at the satellite camps of the Neuengamme concentration camp in Hamburg-Veddel (Dessauer Ufer), and later at Neugraben and Tiefstack. She was sent to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April 1945. After the liberation on 15 April 1945 she returned to Czechoslovakia. Following a two-year period of convalescence she obtained her school-leaving qualifications and went on to study. Dagmar Fantlová became a teacher and, later on, a professor of German studies in Prague.
You can find out more about Dagmar Lieblová in the Open Archive.
Nada Verbič was a bookkeeper and correspondent from Ljubljana, Slovenia. When war broke out, she became active in the resistance. She was arrested in April 1944 and deported to Ravensbrück concentration camp in early May 1944. Four weeks later she was sent to the satellite camp of the Neuengamme concentration camp in Hamburg-Wandsbek, and then to the Eidelstedt satellite camp where she was liberated by British troops. After the end of the war Nada Verbič was put in charge of a displaced persons’ camp in Hamburg-Altona. She helped former forced labourers to cope with the tribulations of everyday life and organised cultural activities. In September 1945 she returned to Ljubljana where she worked as a librarian.
You can find out more about Nada Verbič in the Open Archive.
Eligia Piotrovska lived through the occupation of Poland by the Wehrmacht from 1939 and the Warsaw uprising in August 1944. She was arrested on 4 September 1944 and deported to Ravensbrück concentration camp. Three weeks later she and her mother, along with 1,000 other Polish women, were sent to the Helmstedt-Beendorf satellite camp of the Neuengamme concentration camp. In April 1945, when the camp was cleared, she was put on a prisoner transport that was shunted around Germany for days on end before arriving at the Neuengamme satellite camp in Hamburg-Sasel on 21 April 1945. On 1 May 1945 Eligia Piotrovska was sent to Sweden, via the satellite camp in Eidelstedt, as part of the ‘White Buses’ rescue operation. She returned to Poland in June 1946.
You can find out more about Eligia Piotrovska in the Open Archive.
Esther Rosenbaum, née Nutovich
Esther Nutovich grew up with nine siblings in a devout Jewish family. They lived in the town of Sighet in Transylvania, which was occupied by Hungary in 1940. Two months after Hungary’s occupation by the Wehrmacht in March 1944 Esther’s family was forced to relocate to the Sighet Ghetto. Two weeks later the family was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp where her parents were murdered by the SS. Esther and her sister were put on a prisoner transport and sent to the Hamburg satellite camp of the Neuengamme concentration camp in Veddel (Dessauer Ufer), and later the satellite camps at Wedel and Eidelstedt. Following the clearance of the camp she was transported to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April 1945. By the time she was liberated on 15 April 1945, Esther Nutovich was seriously ill. She survived, but remained deaf in one ear. In the late 1940s she emigrated to Palestine and, from there, to the United States.
You can find out more about Esther Rosenbaum in the Open Archive.
The Poppenbüttel Prefabricated Building Memorial
is a reminder of the destruction of Jewish life in Hamburg and the persecution of women under the Nazis. The women’s camp in Sasel, which was a satellite camp of Neuengamme concentration camp, is documented here, along with seven other satellite camps in Hamburg and Wedel. This memorial focuses on the lives of the women prisoners, the period after the war and how sites of persecution are remembered today.
The memorial is located in the only remaining prefabricated building from the former temporary housing estate in Poppenbüttel constructed by women from the Neuengamme satellite camp in Sasel. One part of the building houses the exhibition, and in the other, visitors can tour one of the original apartments built in 1944. A wooden sculpture in the form of a peace tree was erected in front of the memorial in 1989 to remember the fate of the concentration camp prisoners and the horrors of World War II.
Opening hours: Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.,
tours available on request.
Admission is free.
Book a group tour: Museumsdienst Hamburg,
Phone: +49 40 4281310