Bike Touring Highlight
A former paper and furniture factory is now a concentration camp memorial in Osthofen.
From March 1933 to July 1934 the buildings of the former paper mill were used as an early concentration camp. Auxiliary police officers arrested unpopular persons and political opponents of the Nazi regime without a court order, above all members of the KPD, the SPD and trade unionists, but also members of the center, Jews, Jehovah's Witnesses and Sinti. The prisoners were housed in the one-story hall to the left of the gate. The hygienic conditions and the accommodation in the drafty and wet and cold factory hall were extremely primitive. The Nazi press, which frequently reported on it, cynically described the Osthofen concentration camp as a re-education camp for "overgrown Marxists".
In 1936, the Bühner couple bought the building of the former paper mill for a small price. They moved there with their existing furniture factory to enlarge. The furniture factory Hildebrand & Bühner GmbH produced living room cupboards as standard. From 1942-1945 prisoners of war were also employed there.
In 1976 the company went bankrupt.
In 1986 the Project Association Osthofen was founded, which had the idea of a memorial. In 1991 the building was acquired by the state of Rhineland-Palatinate with the aim of setting up a memorial.
With the opening of a permanent exhibition in 2004, the expansion of the Osthofen concentration camp was completed
The concentration camp in Osthofen was a so-called "re-education camp" (from 1933 to 1934), in which the will of the prisoners was broken in order to eliminate the political opposition. At this early stage, the central location of the concentration camp was important, as it should have a deterrent effect on the population. Later labor and extermination camps, however, were exposed and screened. Today's memorial site can be visited and reflects very clearly the importance and impact of the early concentration camps. More information: gedenkstaette-osthofen-rlp.de