See also: Bremerhaven (plaque)
During the war, the administrative division of the city, then called Wesermünde, looked a little different. Today’s Bremerhaven, bearing the name of the former fishing port at Wesermünde since 1947, consists of 24 districts. On the memorial plaque of the monument in the port we can read that the “Baggerloch” camp was one of 21 labour camps in the city. We can suspect that virtually every district of the city had its own “camp”, which was a cluster of forced workers, who, like throughout the country, were exploited, often treated like slaves and who usually lived in difficult – and sometimes extremely miserable conditions.
Over 3,200 people lived in the ”Baggerloch” camp. It is difficult to say what their age and sex was. Both men, women and children lived in the camps. Between the years 1940-1945 they were exploited in shipyards, fish factories, construction, craft and commercial companies as well as in households.
Description of commemoration
The memorial has the form of a brick wall which is cracked in the middle. The two parts of the wall do not stand in line but form an angle of 150-160 °. The memorial is set on a square concrete foundation, levelled with the grass. On the back of the memorial there are shrubs, including wild lilac, privet, barberry bushes.
Originally, two plaques on both parts of the monument were made of bronze. At the bottom of the left part there is still the artist’s plaque in this style from 1988. Now both plaques with inscriptions have been replaced with stone ones – made of black granite with sandblasted inscriptions. It is possible that old, refurbished bricks were used to build the memorial, although its today’s appearance may also be attributed to weather conditions, especially the wind from the sea and the high salinity of the air.
Behind the memorial there is the Bremerhaen Eiswerk building (producing frozen fish).
NOTE: Am Baggerloch street is located in the port and warehouse area, there is nobody to ask for directions at some times during the day. To reach the monument, head towards the fishing port.
The plaque on the left:
ZUR ERINNERUNG AN DIE ZWANGSARBEITER / IN BREMERHAVEN/WESERMÜNDE. // ZWISCHEN 1940 UND 1945 LITTEN UND STARBEN / IN LAGERN UNSERER STADT MENSCHEN AUS DER / SOWJETUNION, FRANKREICH, POLEN, BELGIEN, / DEN NIEDERLANDEN, DÄNEMARK, BULGARIEN, / ITALIEN SOWIE STAATENLOSE, SINTI UND ROMA.
In memory of forced labourers in Bremerhaven / Wesermünde. Between 1940 and 1945, people from the Soviet Union, France, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Bulgaria, Italy, as well as stateless people and Gypsies suffered and died in this camp in our city.
The plaque on the right:
AN DIESER STELLE BEFAND SICH VON 1941-1945 / DAS ZWANGSARBEITERLAGER “BAGGERLOCH”. ES / WAR EINES VON 21 LAGERN IN BREMERHAVEN/WESERMÜNDE, IN DENEN WÄHREND DER ZEIT DER / NATIONALSOZIALISTISCHEN GEWALTHERRSCHAFT / MÄNNER, FRAUEN UND KINDER FESTGEHALTEN / WURDEN. DIESE MENSCHEN MUSSTEN WÄHREND DES / ZWEITEN WELTKRIEGES IN UNSERER STADT / UNTER UNMENSCHLICHEN BEDINGUNGEN ARBEITEN. // VIELE VON IHNEN FANDEN DEN TOD.
In this place in the years 1941-1945 there was a “Baggerloch” forced labour camp. It was one of 21 camps in Bremerhaven / Wesermünde, where men, women and children were kept. During World War II, these people had to work in our city in inhuman conditions. Many met their death.
Date of the unveiling
Am Baggerloch (the corner of Am Baggerloch and Kühlhausstraße)
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