Not far from the brickworks is the canal basin the Germans built to load the bricks onto barges.
"The Dove-Elbe river and the branch canal
From 1940 to 1942 up to 1,600 prisoners were deployed on the broadening of the Dove-Elbe river and the construction of the branch canal leading to the brickworks.
Along with the clay pits, the labour brigades "Elbe 1" and "Elbe 2" were considered to be Neuengamme's death squads. The SS used this work to exterminate hundreds of prisoners.
Excavation work was done mostly by hand using shovels. The prisoners were made to carry off the mud in wheelbarrows and wagons at a running pace.
The prisoners only had thin canvas jackets and trousers to wear, which offered no protection against the weather. They worew wooden clogs on their feet.
Prisoners — called "Muselmanner" — who were exhausted and longer capable of working, soon fell ill. Many were killed by the SS using lethal injections, others were sent to extermination camps such as Auschwitz."
- reads a museum sign next to the canal
|The brickworks in the distance on the right|
|enlargement of the English text on the sign above|
|English text on this sign is quoted at the top of this post|