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  • Writer's pictureDamian Brzeski

From the Holocaust to Remembrance: The Stutthof Museum as a Symbol of the Fight Against Hate

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

The Stutthof Museum in Sztutowo is a special place. It is not only another museum institution, but above all an important place of remembrance for the victims of the Nazi regime and the concentration camp that operated in Trzcinica near Sztutowo. It was here, in the years 1939-1945, that hundreds of thousands of people, mainly Jews, Poles and representatives of other nations, were detained and murdered.

The Stutthof Concentration Camp Museum was established in 1962 as an institution commemorating these dramatic events and cultivating the memory of the victims. Since then, hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world have crossed the threshold of this place to learn about the history of the camp, see the exhibits, hear the testimonies of the survivors and honor the memory of the victims.

In this article, we will describe the history of the Stutthof camp and the role of the Museum in preserving and commemorating its victims. We will guide the reader through the most important exhibitions and museum exhibitions, tell about the educational value of this place and discuss its tasks and goals. We will also learn how Poland commemorates the victims of the Holocaust and what role the Stutthof Museum plays in shaping social awareness in Poland and abroad.

wejście do obozu koncentracyjnego

History of the Stutthof concentration camp

The Stutthof concentration camp was located in today's Poland, near the city of Sztutowo, in the Pomeranian Voivodeship. It was established by the German occupation authorities in 1939 as a camp for Polish political prisoners. Soon, however, the camp expanded its activities and became a place of mass extermination of people.

About 65,000 people died during the existence of the Stutthof concentration camp. Prisoners were held in very difficult conditions, they had to work for the German war and the armaments industry. They were also subjected to torture, medical experiments and mass executions.

In the spring of 1945, as the Eastern Front advanced, the Germans began to liquidate the Stutthof concentration camp. Prisoners were murdered en masse and their bodies were burned in crematoria. The camp was finally liberated by the Red Army on May 9, 1945.

The history of the Stutthof concentration camp is one of the most terrible and tragic chapters in the history of Poland and Europe. It shows how human cruelty can cross all borders and how important it is to never forget the victims of war and totalitarianism.

Visiting the Stutthof Museum - what is worth seeing?

The Stutthof Museum is a place where everyone can learn about the history of one of the most horrific concentration camps from World War II. Located in Sztutowo, the Museum attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world every year.

Visiting the Stutthof Museum in Sztutowo is undoubtedly a trip worth taking to better understand the history of human cruelty and remember the victims of German Nazism.

At the entrance to the Museum, the tourist is greeted by the monumental gate of the camp, and on its opposite side there is an administration building in which the history of the concentration camp is presented. Inside the building you can see photos and documents that illustrate the history of the camp.

It is worth paying attention to the unique exhibits, such as everyday objects saved from the camp, clothing or weapons that were used by the guards. After leaving the administrative building, the tourist finds himself in the former camp area. Many buildings, such as barracks, crematoria and warehouses, have survived to this day.

A very interesting place is block 11, where prisoners punished for refusing to work or trying to escape were kept. In block 11 you can see the penal cells where the prisoners had to

in unimaginably difficult conditions and the gas chamber that was used to kill prisoners.

It is also worth noting the so-called the "wall of death", i.e. the place where executions of prisoners were carried out. Next to it, there is a symbolic cemetery where over 20,000 victims of the camp are buried. There is also a crematorium on the premises of the Museum, where the bodies of prisoners were burned.

Visiting this museum is an extremely moving experience that allows you to understand how cruel were the conditions in which the prisoners of the camp had to stay. It is worth visiting this place to commemorate the victims of German Nazism and to remember the importance of respecting the dignity of each person.

krematorium w obozie zagłady

The Stutthof Museum and youth education - how to talk about the Holocaust with children and youth?

Nowadays, when most information is available via the Internet, it is very important that young people have appropriate sources of information about the Holocaust. The Stutthof Concentration Camp Museum is a great place to learn the history of concentration camps and educate young people about the atrocities that took place during World War II.

Learning about the Holocaust is not only important for understanding history, but also for the personal development of every human being. Young people should be aware of what happened in the camps in order to appreciate life and respect human dignity.

The museum conducts special educational programs for schools, aimed at bringing the history of the concentration camp closer and talking to young people about the Holocaust. These programs consist of museum tours, history lessons, and discussions.

During the tour of the museum, young people have the opportunity to see what the living conditions in the camp were like. They can see what jobs the prisoners did and how they were punished for their actions. This allows for a better understanding of the conditions people lived in and what their daily lives were like.

History lessons in Stutthof are an excellent tool to teach young people about the Holocaust. These lessons cover the history of the camp, the concentration system and the life of the prisoners. Young people also learn about how concentration camps were set up, what their goals were and what methods were used to eliminate people.

Discussions are as important as tours and history lessons. Young people can ask questions and talk about their own thoughts about the Holocaust. Teachers and guides in the museum are ready to answer any questions and help clarify difficult issues.

A visit to the Stutthof Museum is not only a history lesson, but also an important educational experience for young people. It gives the opportunity to understand and respect human dignity, which is extremely important nowadays.

prosektorium w obozie koncentracyjnym

The last days of the Stutthof camp - what was the evacuation and liberation of the camp like?

The last days of the Stutthof camp were a time of chaos and destruction. In January 1945, in the face of the approaching Red Army, the Germans began to evacuate the camp. The prisoners were forced to go on a death march deep into Germany. The march was extremely brutal and devastated the already weakened prisoners. During the evacuation, the Germans also killed prisoners who were unable to keep up.

During the death march, the prisoners were forced to walk more than 100 kilometers with insufficient food and water. Those who were too weak were killed by the guards or simply left in the snow to die of exhaustion or freezing.

Meanwhile, those prisoners who were too sick or weak to take part in the death march remained in the camp. They were left in the camp and had to fight for survival in difficult conditions. Food and water were scarce, and the guards began to murder the remaining prisoners or leave them to die.

On May 9, 1945, Soviet troops entered the Stutthof camp and liberated the prisoners. They found only about 100 people living in the camp, most of whom were too weak to move. Soviet soldiers provided the survivors with medical assistance and transport to hospitals.

The events of the last days of the Stutthof camp are a tragic testimony to the cruelty and human suffering during World War II. Many people lost their lives in the camp, and those who survived were permanently injured.

Memories of those days remind us of the importance of preserving the memory of what happened in order to prevent similar crimes from ever happening again in the future.

Mapa obozu stuthoff

How to get to the museum in Sztutowo?

The museum of the concentration camp in Sztutowo is one of the most important places of national remembrance in Poland, attracting thousands of tourists from all over the world every year. Although the museum is located in the small town of Sztutowo, getting to it is not difficult.

The best way to get to the Stutthof Camp Museum is to order a taxi from your hotel in Gdansk or organize a trip. Taxis in Gdansk are not only comfortable and safe, but also relatively cheap. Usually the cost of the trip is around PLN 150-200 for a one-way trip. When using the services of an organized trip, it is worth looking for one that offers good taxi corporations.

In addition to taxis and organized tours, it is also possible to reach the museum by private car. The route from Gdańsk to Sztutowo is about 40 kilometers and usually takes about 1 hour. However, it is worth remembering that in the summer season the roads are heavily congested, which can cause delays in travel.

Another option is to travel by bus from the center of Gdańsk to Sztutowo. Buses run from Gdańsk to Sztutowo several times a day, and the journey takes about an hour. The cost of the ticket is about PLN 10 one way.

It is important to book your ticket online or by phone before your visit, especially during the summer season. Tickets can also be purchased on site, but queues at the ticket office can be very long.


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