Former Forced Laborers’ Camp for War Armaments in Neukölln

The Former Forced Laborers’ Camp for War Armaments in Neukölln is typical of the numerous camps in the Berlin-Brandenburg area that housed forced laborers working in armaments production between 1939 and 1945. In this camp in the former Braunauer Strasse, which was a branch of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, primarily women were forced to produce goods for the National Registrierkassen [cash register systems] factory in Neukölln.1 At the start of the war, the company abandoned its original line and began producing weapons instead.2 To compensate for the labor shortage caused by the war, the camp with barracks was set up in 1942, primarily for Jewish-Polish forced laborers.3 The workplace, the factory on Thiemannstraße, was very close by. It produced detonators, timers for detonators, submachine guns, and aircraft parts.4
 
The place has already triggered controversy. After 1947, allotment gardens, National Registrierkassen NCR, and the sports field Hertzbergplatz were built on the site yet nothing was done to bring attention to its history. This changed only with a call for proposals in the 1980s. Following in 1994, the artist Norbert Radermacher and associates realized a light installation at the exact location of the former forced labor camp.5 Nevertheless, criticism continues to be voiced about this lost memory — and it’s true that the former camp is best described as a ‘forgotten place’.6
 
Address: Sonnenallee 181-189, 12059 Berlin

1 Bosch, Daniel/ Tholeikis, Lisanne: Das vergessene KZ Neuköllns, 26.08.2017 https://www.neukoellner.net (last access: 02.05.2019)
2 http://www.richard-quartier.de (last access: 02.05.2019)
3 Bosch, Daniel/ Tholeikis, Lisanne: Das vergessene KZ Neuköllns, 26.08.2017 https://www.neukoellner.net (last access: 02.05.2019)
4 http://www.richard-quartier.de (last access: 02.05.2019)
5 https://www.berlin.de (last access: 02.05.2019)
6 Bosch, Daniel/ Tholeikis, Lisanne: Das vergessene KZ Neuköllns, 26.08.2017 (last access: 02.05.2019)