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Stutthof concentration camp

Stutthof was the longest functioning concentration camp – it was in use constantly between 2 September 1939 and 9 May 1945. First prisoners were transported here by lorries already the day after the attack on Poland. They were Poles and Jews arrested by in Gdansk and parts of Polish Pomerania Province conquered by the Wehrmacht.  This was as a result of so called ‘Säuberungsaktion’ – a political cleansing campaign executed on the territories that were to become part of the Third Reich. The purpose was to eliminate the ‘unwanted elements’.

The prisoners started to build barracks on a forest clearing between the villages of Steegen and Stutthof inhabited by Germans. A place that was unpopular among the locals (behind a closed down old people’s home) was chosen to locate the camp. A cormorant colony that was nearby discouraged strollers, mushroom or berry pickers from visiting the forest. A road that passed the place led to some small communities on the Vistula Spit. The traffic was insignificant because of that. This was the reason why the place was considered to be well isolated. On the other hand thanks to a narrow gauge railroad it was well suited for efficient transport of prisoners from the entire region.

The upgrade of Stutthof to a state concentration camp was made after Himmler’s inspection in November 1941. From that moment transports of prisoners from the entire continent reached the camp. The site was constantly being expanded. There were plans to make the camp capable of holding 200 thousand prisoners at the same time. People were forced to slave labour both on the site but also outside of it in a gravel pit, shipyards, factories or farms etc. Factory halls were built in the camp where prisoners were employed by production of engines for Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe. Over time a crematory was built. A gas chamber was first used in summer of 1944.

Over 110 thousand people of 28 countries (mainly from Poland, Soviet Union, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Hungary and the Baltics) were imprisoned in the camp. Over 65 thousand died (in this number 28 thousand Jews). People died of cold, starvation, sicknesses, slave labour, sadism of camp guards. For many of the prisoners Stutthof was just a chapter of their gehenna – they were transported from here to Auschwitz, Neuengamme or other death camps.

The authorities decided to evacuate the camp fearing the advance of the Red Army. Thousands of prisoners died both in the death march and during the sea evacuation. When Russian troops liberated the camp on 9 May 1945, i.e. one day after Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender, the soldiers found only 200 seriously sick prisoners alive.

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Travel time from Gdansk – about 1 hour and 15 min.

GUIDE SERVICE – 1100 PLN per group

Headphones – 15 PLN per person

Film about the camp – 15 PLN per person

Bus transfers from 850 PLN per group


+48 796-096-431


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Guided tours in Stutthof Museum – former Nazi German concentration camp. Book a guided tour in English, Swedish or Norwegian. Bus transfers for request.