Stutthof Concentration Camp
The Stutthof Concentration Camp was the first Nazi camp built outside of Germany and was the last camp liberated by Allied forces. It lies 34km outside Gdansk and was the place of death for 85,000 people according to official figures, although the actual number killed is assumed to be much greater. Originally a small prison for Poles and P.O.W's, the camp would become the site of some of the worst atrocities of the war.
Between 1939 and 1945, 127,000 prisoners were officially registered in the camp, but those who were immediately singled out for execution were not registered at all, so there is no way of knowing the exact number of people brought to Stutthof. The camp was managed by an SS officer named Max Pauli, who would later be sentenced to death for the crimes committed here.
While there was a gas chamber here, as well as a number of wagons which were converted into gas chambers, the most shocking and disturbing facility was invented and operated by a man named Rudolf Spanner. He had discovered a way to use the fat of murdered prisoners in the production of soap, and hundreds of victims of the Stutthof camp were used to make 'Reines Judische Fett' or 'pure Jewish fat.' After the war, Spanner escaped arrest, despite the severity of his crimes.
Finally liberated on May 10, 1945 by the Soviet Army, the camp was shut down and its prisoners were released. People from 26 different nations had been kept there, a testament to the scale of the Nazi war effort.
Today there is a museum at Stutthof, open Monday through Friday from May 1st until September 30th: 8:00 - 18:00, and from October 1st to April 30th from: 8:00 - 15:00, with free admission. On Mondays there are no guide services, and no film shows. It should also be noted that, in accordance with Polish law, children under the age of 13 are not admitted.
Jim from United Kingdom Reply
I visited Stutthof in 97 when working in Poland on à projekt. very moving, however the polish person that I visited the camp with was very conflicted about visiting the camp since many poles, as well as russians, ukranians, latvians etc were no friends to the jews during this period. although the germans were the enablers of the holocaust its too simpel to think that all poles were heroes as some of the posts on this site suggest. this part Of poland had been part Of prussia before 1919. so thats only à gap of 20 years.
Sam from Poland Reply
frances from United Kingdom Reply
a most sobering visit. god help us from this ever happening again.
unknown from United States Reply
Tom Høvik from Norway Reply
A terrible site it must have been. Well kept camp, but no (few) translations of comments to pictures into english or german.-. My wife and I was there last weekend and we took a Taxi from the hotel in the Old City of great Gdansk; Zloty 260,- back & forth incl that the taxidriver waited for us in 1 1/2 hours.
Stella Ortner from United States Reply
I am trying to get some information on my grandfather and his family. According to my father my grandfather was liberated from Stutthof, but was in Dachau for a period of time. My grandfather's name is Noham Buchinsky (Buchinski). Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Carol Bell from United Kingdom Reply
I have just discovered that my father, Edmund Chilla, was a prisoner in Stutthoff. He was somehow released from there and went on to survive the war, eventually settling in the UK - meeting my mother and I am the product of that relationship.
megan eberhard from Australia Reply
i am trying to find out what war camp my grandfather was held in his name was jan eberhard /eberhardt
Colin Frame from United Kingdom Reply
I visited Stuthoff in July this year while holidaying at Stegna close by. Stegna is a very pleasant summer holiday destination and the narrow guage railway which served the camp is still in use. I thought it was a constant reminder of how thousands of people had made a journey to there deaths in the camp on the same lines. Stuthoff itself is so quiet and green it is diificult to feel the real horror of the crimes perpetrated there (there are many accounts on the Web of the experiences of former prisoners). a must to visit.
Heather magill from United Kingdom Reply
It was shocking to see what all they poor people were put through but it was also very interesting and in some parts very up setting . I really enjoyed this trip and it is worth every minute of it!
sergio from United States Reply
can somebody tell me how to get to this place by bus from Gdansk? Thanks
Krystyna Zamorska from United States Reply
Americans are still so ignorant about WWII. that I find myself teaching the history professionally (I am an English Professor) and in personal conversations. Since American's have come to think that the Holocaust was what happened during WWII, note that almost 20% of Poland's prewar population perished. In my family my grandfather was killed in a camp, my father Jan Sadanowicz (at 17) was imprisoned in Stutthof for over two years, I my mother (at 13) was taken to Germany to be a farm slave laborer. Please use "German Nazi" (not just Nazi) and "German-occupied Poland" when referring to the War. This way - perhaps - we can eliminate the often erroneous references (even in respectable American press!) to "Polish camps." Diane Ackerman's "The Zookeeper's Wife" is a great book on the German occupation of Warszawa. Peace. KZ
Kelly from United States Reply
I recently did a paper for my Medical Law and Ethics class. I started with Hippocrates, then to Leonardo Da Vinci, and then on to the Holocaust. I have studied this time period off and on since I was a teenager, but dug pretty deep with my college paper. My heart goes out to all who have suffered such an atrocity. These are stories that need to be told until the end of time. I'm actually thinking of changing my course of study. I'm not really sure where to go with it, I just know that I need to do something.
Neus from Spain Reply
Hi! I am Erasmus student and I would like to know how I can arrive to Stutthof by public transport. Could sb help me, please?
Mick,L. from United Kingdom Reply
i visited Stutthof (2007) never been to a death camp before not sure if i ever want to go to another, having said that it was a experience i wont forget to see for yourself the conditions they endured ,the gas chambers,the cremertorium with its metal stretchers for burning the bodies,to the torture huts photos of men women and children that died there if you get the chance to see for yourself be prepared for a shock you will come away with sadness and horror.R.I.P. for all those who suffered and perrished there.Mick from Liverpool U.K. for all those who made snide comments and jokes on this page your nothing but sad pricks be grateful you were not of there generation
Jim from United States Reply
My family just returned from a visit to the Stuutthof Concerntration Camp. A long time wish as a parent was for my daughter see this with her own eyes vs. reading about it in a history book. The grounds are a sacred place. We had a local private guide, car and driver. We will never forget this sobering & horrifing experience. The piles of shoes, the gas chamber, and the pictures of the prisoners will always be in my mind and heart.
tammy from United States Reply
Good afternoon! What is the easiest/fastest way to travel from gdansk to the concentration camp? Thanks in advance for your help!
robert from United Kingdom Reply
God bless all who were sent there and forgive all who did their miltary service in this place
Megan Duren from United States Reply
I agree. To see people be so rude is heart breaking. A Camp like this should be honored and NOT diluted. Even an elementary school child could identify the difference in a time to goof around and a time to shut your trap.
stewart alexander from United Kingdom Reply
So sad that people make offensive comments on this site, god bless all those who died at Stutthof Concentration Camp
stewart alexander from United Kingdom Reply
So sad that people make offensive comments on this site, god bless all those who died at Stutthof Concentration Camp
Lorna McElnay from Ireland Reply
A Polish friend of mine took me to see the camp at Stuttoff some time ago and I can still sense the silence and the atmosphere. Seeing the names of some lost souls on some posts was very sad for me to see. My friend said after he has never known me to be so quiet. Despite learning about history at school the sense of horror only hit me on this visit and I think on it often.
monique wolters from Netherlands Reply
Hello, I am searching for information of a SS-hauptsturmfuhrer With the name Haupt.he has something to do in the history of my friends mother.He was hauptsturmfuhrer in the envirement of Nurnberg and played trombone. do you have any information of such. gratefully, monique wolters
Mark Schaufler from United States Reply
I have been there twice, you don't speak as you look, only see and listen. It is a sobering reminder of what we are capable of. I pray it never happens again. I take anyone I can there.
Nalliana from United States Reply
When I Read This It Felt Like I Was Really There. Me And My Friend Were About To Cry. ]:
Amanda from United States Reply
I have to do a research for this at school and i cry everytime i have to read about this cause its very sad
Sarah from United States Reply
you pppl need to realize this is for research not for making stupid commmentns about something you know othing about!! get a life!!!!
Intellectual from United States Reply
You people below me are ridiculous and disrespectful...
phillip from Israel Reply
i am a survivor of the holocaust and i dont see how this could possibly offensive. this is just stating facts of a sad story....p.s.....i love orlando bloom
dylon hoke from United States Reply
im jewish and i find all these comments offensive >=(
3oh!3 from United States Reply
i have to write a 1st person letter for school, so ima try to get into the prisoner's heads
Max from United States Reply
I also have to do a project and its seems so sad X'((
john richards from United Kingdom Reply
I visited this camp back in the early seventies.I can vividly remember the pile of shoes taken from the prisoners it was about 6ft high.My imagination ran riot in the prison blocks which also incorporated a surgery a room about 10ft x 8ft.I think more used for experimental purposes than the welfare of the prisoners.I will never forget the tranquility of the whole area of the camp i never heard a bird whistle.
bri from United States Reply
i have to do a project on stutthof for school and waht i have learned is verrrrrrrrrrry sad and depressing
cami from United States Reply
wow i hate to think that things like this ever happened to ppl!!!! so forgeet hitler and his stupid nazi's
roger whitehead from United Kingdom Reply
having visited this camp with some colleagues we were horrified tot see first hand the depths to which the German depravity descended. They were nand are Nazis
Sue Olanczuk from United Kingdom Reply
We visited Stutthof last Sunday but now reading these pages I realise how much deeper the horror was than I did when there. One sign perhaps of the beginnings of healing was a bird nest in one hut with the babies being fed. Other than that I could neither see or hear bird life.
robert Parrish from United States Reply
My wife and I were on a Cruise recently and went to visit Stutthof. It is hard to beleive what happened to people at the camp. Please do not close your Museum because generations need to know the terrable things that appened in that camp. It is heart breaking but very impressive.
Chas H from United Kingdom Reply
I am taking a great interest in the camps during ww2, having been to several, Auschwitz- Berkanau, Bergen Belsen,Treblinka, Soribor, Dachau to name but a few, Stutthof is on my list and I find that those who help retain the camps for this generation to see do a great job, we must ALL help towards this sort of crime against humanity NEVER happens again, I am an ex forces and I am unable to bring myself to understand WHY other human beings could do such things to other humans and WHY was it permitted to go on, I will find the answers I am looking for, the main one WHY?. God bless those who suffered and perished, at the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.
John from United States Reply
My Aunt is actually going to visit this camp on July the second. I can't believe that human beings could do this to other human beings, these serial killers, that is what they were, couldn't have suffered enough for their sick,twisted and sadistic crimes.
Tim from United States Reply
Thank you Poland for keeping the Stutthuf memory alive. We must never forget and you must preserve the camp for others to witness for all time.
Gary Marsala from United States Reply
I have been a visitor to Poland many times. I have many friends in Poland and know it to be a proud country. My father and mother worked in production of war goods in the United states during world war II , and my father in law was in the U.S. Army. He fought in many battles against the germans, and also was there in liberate the Polish People and the jews . The atrocities committed against the people were horrific. The German people at this time were the worst. These things whould never be forgotten, and atrocities such as this never allowed to happen again......I have been to many places in Poland and have viewed so much. I have to say to the Polish people God Bless you, You are a couragous and proud People. It is an honor to be your friend.
john nagiel from United Kingdom Reply
my father and his brother and cousins were put here on sept 9th 1939 to construct the camp i believe the germans cleared the whole village of all the men aged 15 and over to do this job,i visited the camp with my family in 2001 and i cannot believe that these things happened to the people of poland,my father never sp0ke about the war and i have been trying to find things out since his death in 1977, i think the polish people are all heros and should speak out to let every generation know what happened the writings in the history books do not do the people of poland justice GOD BLESS POLAND
stacy from United States Reply
wow yaeh i am in middle school too and i am doing research on this and its crazy
sam from United States Reply
im only in midel school but i love learning about the holocoast, we hade to do a famious land mark research paper and i choose stutthof, all i have to say to the person that said that mr.rudolf spanner didnt make soap out of inosent people is that that definetly happend, thers pics at jewisgen.org
from United States Reply
There was no mass production of soap! Get that straightened out.
Necci from United States Reply
What was done in these camps was horrible...No one should ever have to go through those horrible events
susan clemans from United States Reply
OMG this is so upseting a class is going to the holacost mueseum
chris edwards from United Kingdom Reply
I visited Stutthof in August 2008. We were driven there by a private taxi and did not realise until we were there that our driver's grandfather and grandmother had been there, one died there and one survived. It was an experience i will never forget. I did not know much about the holocaust before but this knocked me off my feet. It was a very sad place but a place where if you get the chance you must visit. I think every school child should be told about the holocaust in school.
Joseph F. Hamilton, III from United States Reply
In 1976, I toured this concentration camp between my jr. and sr. year in high school. I was a southern baptist, dating a jewish girl, so I was sensitive to the situation. My girlfriend's brother was along on the trip of a US soccer team touring the country. Many things I witnessed here rose every hair on my body; however, none so much as to see the family name of a family that I was doing summer yard work for, of dear friends of the very girl I was dating. To have a leader of a country (Iran) deny the existence of these atrocities, is as evil as those who perpetrated them. Put me in a room with him, and justice will prevail, or die... the latter is unlikely. America should awaken...concentration camps are already built here in the US...Google it...and it has nothing to do with race or ethnicity...just money. Get ready people...and God Bless...
gabe baglan from United States Reply
i heard that this camp made soap from people's fat... i feel disgusted as to how the nazis could do this
Gerald Silverman from Canada Reply
I'm not sure what "John" meant when his review said "I loved it". This is a testament to man's inhumanity to man. Maybe the Polish government should reverse its policy about no children under 13 permitted. This lesson should be learned as early as possible in life.
david everton from United Kingdom Reply
Having visited stutthof last week(30th may 2008)I felt obliged to encourage anyone who gets the chance to visit the camp and pray that we can make sure that this murder and humiliation never again be allowed to happen.Poland is a beautiful country and the polish one of the friendliest nations i have met.
katie shoulders from United States Reply
it was a sad time for everyone . i hope that it will never happen agian.there needs to be more information on this page.
john from United States Reply
i loved it
Patricia Mullen from United Kingdom Reply
I visited the camp in September 2007. I was also aware of the silence and the lack of birds, however I was struck by the amount of butterflies, especially those flying in pairs. Each time I went into one of the huts I experienced nausea and headaches. The museum is a reminder of all those who suffered and are still suffering. May we never forget.
lucy komorek from United Kingdom Reply
I remember upon entering the camp in 1986, the immediate sickly feeling in the base of my stomach,i also recall the eerie silence,no birds were singing all you could hear was wind russtling in the trees.You could feel the dead around you, welcoming you in.To this day i remember it all as if it was yesterday.
Sandra Rath from United States Reply
There is so little written about Stutthof concentration camp that it is nice to see that it is being mentioned. My stepfather was born in this camp, so we have visited on several occasions. Each time is striking. We should support these museums so that this history will never be wiped away and forgotten!
clifford hardie from United Kingdom Reply
this place is a must see if you have any thoughts for those who perished