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
The 2G rule will apply in all of the Brandenburg Memorials Foundation facilities of as of November 24
20. December 2021
According to the updated and stricter Brandenburg Corona Ordinance, which was issued today, the 2G rule will apply in all of the Brandenburg Memorials Foundation facilities of as of tomorrow (November 24). more
Current opening hours due to the Corona pandemic
23. June 2021
The open-air exhibition and the historic site in the forest can be viewed at any time during daylight hours. more
Death March Memorial in Below Forest
Head of Charge: Carmen Lange
Telephon: +49 (0)39925-2478
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(copy 2)Friends of the Death March Memorial in Below Forest e.V.
With the financial assistance of