On 21 April 1945 the SS forced more than 30,000 inmates of Sachsenhausen concentration camp, some of them women and children, to leave the camp on foot on a death march towards the north-west. Hundreds died on the way or were shot by the SS. From 23 to 29 April more than 16,000 inmates were corralled together in the Below Forest near Wittstock, where they camped in the open air without food and water, fenced in by barbed wire and guarded by a chain of SS guards.
Already in 1945 a commemorative stone was erected in the nearby cemetery in Grabow for 132 concentration camp inmates who died in Below Forest. The first commemorative stone at the historic site of the forest camp followed in 1965. Ten years later, the memorial that still exists today was inaugurated. Since 1976 120 uniform commemorative tablets have marked the routes of the Death March between Oranienburg and Schwerin.
In 1981 the Museum of the Death March was opened as an external site of the Sachsenhausen National Memorial. In 1993 it became part of the Brandenburg Memorials Foundation. In early September 2002 a fire attack by neo-Nazis destroyed one of the two exhibition rooms. After this, a process of redesigning started.
The Death March Memorial in Below Forest was reopened in April 2010, following an extensive redesign, for the 65th anniversary of the Liberation. Its central focus is the historic site in the forest, covering some 20,000 m². On a raised platform next to this is the open-air exhibition "April 1945: the Death March by the Inmates of Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp".
- April 1945 Death March and forest camp
- 1945-1981 Commemorating the Death March
- 1981-2010 Museum of the Death March
- since 2010 Death March Memorial in Below Forest
12. 2019 – 14:30 - 17:00 Uhr
07. 2019 – 14:00 - 16:00 Uhr
Die Gedenkstätte Sachsenhausen trauert um Jonny Valentin (1924-2019)
23. January 2019
Die Gedenkstätte Sachsenhausen trauert um Jonny Valentin. Wie erst jetzt bekannt wurde, ist der Überlebende des KZ Sachsenhausen bereits am 12. Januar 2019 im Alter von 94 Jahren in Magdeburg verstorben.
Gedenkstätten zur Erinnerung an die NS-Verbrechen in Deutschland rufen auf zur Verteidigung der Demokratie
16. December 2018
Aufruf, der von der 7. Bundesweiten Gedenkstättenkonferenz am 13.12.2018 in Berlin verabschiedet wurde
Contact and Information
Death March Memorial in Below Forest
Head of Charge: Carmen Lange
Telefon: +49 (0)39925-2478
Telefax: +49 (0)39925-77835
Booking is required for guided tours and educational project work.
Please let us know if members of your family had to go on the death march, if you witnessed the death march in your town or village when you were a child or if you have any enquiries about content.
The open-air exhibition and the historic site in the forest can be viewed at any time during daylight hours.
Texts in the whole exhibition are in both German and English. A French version of the texts is available as a handout, as are shorter texts in Danish and Dutch.
The office, information centre and bookshop are open Mondays to Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission is free. Guided tours cost € 15 to € 50 [per person], depending on group size. Project costs by arrangement.
To reach the Memorial by car or bus, leave the A 19 motorway at the Wittstock exit and follow the signs.
By train, it is unfortunately only possible to travel as far as Wittstock/Dosse station, which is 12 kilometres from the Memorial. If you get in touch with us we may be able to help you get to the Memorial.
With the financial assistance of