• Stutthof Museum and Memorial
In September 1939, the SS established a camp close to the village of Stuffhof (Polish: Sztutowo), about 34 kilometres east of Danzig (Polish: Gdańsk). The camp was in operation until April 1945. In 1962, a memorial was dedicated to the approximately 65,000 victims of the concentration camp.
Image: Stutthof, 1941, Entrance to the camp, Muzeum Stutthof w Sztutowie
Stutthof, 1941, Entrance to the camp, Muzeum Stutthof w Sztutowie

Image: Sztutowo, 2005, Entrance to the former camp, Stiftung Denkmal, Ronnie Golz
Sztutowo, 2005, Entrance to the former camp, Stiftung Denkmal, Ronnie Golz
After World War I, the victorious powers laid down a new order for the eastern territories of the German Reich in the Versailles peace treaty. East Prussia was separated from the rest of the German Reich by the so-called Polish corridor. Danzig and surrounding areas were assigned the status of a free city – an independent state under the auspices of the League of Nations.
Before World War II, Danzig and vicinity were the subject of German revisionist politics. Immediately after the German invasion of Poland, National Socialists began to forcibly »Germanize« the region: Polish teachers, civil servants, priests and members of Polish organisations were interned and murdered on a large scale. Already in the first days of war, about 150 prisoners were forced to set up a camp close to the village of Stutthof. In particular, Poles and Jews from Danzig were incarcerated there.
The camp was continuously extended, and from 1942 on, it was run as an independent concentration camp. The number of prisoners rose rapidly and numerous satellite camps were established. Forced labour, hunger and abuse by the guards determined camp life. From the start, members of the SS hanged or shot prisoners. Sick and weak prisoners were killed by SS doctors by poison or phenol injections to the heart. In the summer of 1944, prisoners were also killed in a gas chamber.
Due to the advancing Red Army, the camp was gradually dismantled beginning mid-January 1945. On January 25 and 26, 1945, the SS began evacuating the Stutthof camp. Over 10,000 prisoners had to march in columns on so-called death marches bound west or towards East Prussia. At the end of April 1945, the SS evacuated further groups of prisoners. There were about 150 prisoners at Stutthof when soldiers of the Red Army reached the camp on May 9, 1945.
Image: Stutthof, 1941, Entrance to the camp, Muzeum Stutthof w Sztutowie
Stutthof, 1941, Entrance to the camp, Muzeum Stutthof w Sztutowie

Image: Sztutowo, 2005, Entrance to the former camp, Stiftung Denkmal, Ronnie Golz
Sztutowo, 2005, Entrance to the former camp, Stiftung Denkmal, Ronnie Golz
Until the end of 1940, over 10,000 prisoners passed through the camp as part of the »cleansing« of the region of Danzig. Beginning 1942, prisoners from other occupied regions were brought to Stutthof as well. Also, prisoners from other concentration camps in the German Reich were transferred to Stutthof, mainly craftsmen who were deployed in the expansion of the camp. Between June and October 1944, 23,566 mostly Jewish prisoners arrived at the camp in 11 transports; among them were 21,817 women from the Auschwitz concentration camp. They were deployed both in the Stutthof main camp and its satellite camps.
In the second half of 1944, when the Wehrmacht was retreating from the east and ghettos and camps in the Baltic states were being dissolved, many of the Jews from there were deported to Stutthof. The number of Jewish prisoners at the camp thus rose to 49,000.
From the summer of 1944 on, the SS began murdering prisoners in a gas chamber: 100 Polish and Belarusian prisoners, 12 members of a Polish resistance group, 77 Soviet prisoners of war and over 1,450 mostly Jewish women, who were no longer able to conduct forced labour, met this fate.
Thousands of prisoners died on the death marches during the evacuation of the camp: they collapsed of exhaustion or were shot by the SS guards. Close to half of the nearly 12,000 prisoners who remained at the camp died of typhus until April 1945.
Between September 1939 and April 1945, a total of about 110,000 prisoners from 27 countries passed through the camp. About 65,000 of them perished.
Image: Stutthof, autumn 1939, The first prisoners were Polish intellectuals and politicians, Muzeum Stutthof w Sztutowie
Stutthof, autumn 1939, The first prisoners were Polish intellectuals and politicians, Muzeum Stutthof w Sztutowie

Image: Sztutowo, 2005, Gallows, Stiftung Denkmal, Ronnie Golz
Sztutowo, 2005, Gallows, Stiftung Denkmal, Ronnie Golz
An association of former prisoners and victims' families organised a commemorative ceremony and a holy mass in Stutthof in June 1946. The participants wished to set up a memorial site on the premises of the former concentration camp, however, the political developments in Poland were not favourable. The consolidation of the communist dictatorship in 1948/49 meant that the memory of victims of National Socialism was subjected to Stalinist state propaganda. Many former prisoners were persecuted by the authorities and as a result gave up on their initiative. An association of former prisoners with the aim of setting up a memorial could only be established in the course of the détente after 1956. The initiative was met with the support of the municipal authorities in Gdańsk.
On March 12, 1962, a memorial site and museum were opened. The building of the camp commander's office, four wooden barracks, the gas chamber, the crematorium and several working quarters have been preserved or reconstructed. In 1968, the »Monument to Struggle and Martyrdom« by Wiktor Tołkin was unveiled. Dedicated to the victims of the Stutthof camp, it is located on the site on which the victims' ashes from the crematories were scattered. There are several more monuments on the premises.
In 1967, an archive was founded. Most of the 300,000 camp documents remained intact. 90 percent of the former prisoners could be identified by name.
Image: Sztutowo, 2005, The 1968 memorial on the former camp premises, Stiftung Denkmal, Ronnie Golz
Sztutowo, 2005, The 1968 memorial on the former camp premises, Stiftung Denkmal, Ronnie Golz

Image: Sztutowo, 2005, Memorial stone to the Jewish victims of the Stutthof concentration camp, Stiftung Denkmal, Ronnie Golz
Sztutowo, 2005, Memorial stone to the Jewish victims of the Stutthof concentration camp, Stiftung Denkmal, Ronnie Golz
Image: Sztutowo, 2019, Sign at the entrance to the former camp site, Stiftung Denkmal
Sztutowo, 2019, Sign at the entrance to the former camp site, Stiftung Denkmal
Image: Sztutowo, 2019, At the entrance to the former camp site, Stiftung Denkmal
Sztutowo, 2019, At the entrance to the former camp site, Stiftung Denkmal
Image: Sztutowo, 2019, Memorial from the year 1968, Stiftung Denkmal
Sztutowo, 2019, Memorial from the year 1968, Stiftung Denkmal
Image: Sztutowo, 2019, Former camp premises, Stiftung Denkmal
Sztutowo, 2019, Former camp premises, Stiftung Denkmal
Image: Sztutowo, 2019, Former camp premises, Stiftung Denkmal
Sztutowo, 2019, Former camp premises, Stiftung Denkmal
Image: Sztutowo, 2019, In the permanent exhibition of the museum, Stiftung Denkmal
Sztutowo, 2019, In the permanent exhibition of the museum, Stiftung Denkmal
Name
Muzeum Stutthof w Sztutowie
Address
ul. Muzealna 6
82-110 Sztutowo
Phone
+48 (0)55 247 835 3
Fax
+48 (0)55 247 835 8
Web
http://www.stutthof.pl
E-Mail
stutthof@stutthof.pl
Open
Exhibition: May to September daily 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., October to April 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Administration, archive, research bureau: Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Possibilities
Exhibitions, film screening, archive, guided tours by prior registration