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German Concentration Camp Memorial Vandalized

DW staff (win)June 6, 2008

A new attack on a concentration camp memorial in eastern Germany has officials worried that sites commemorating the Nazi horrors are still targets for neo-Nazi attacks.

A man with a concentration camp inmate flag stands in front of a memorial stone at Belower Wald
Former inmates still return to the memorial site each yearImage: picture-alliance / dpa/dpaweb

The Belower Wald memorial in the eastern state of Brandenburg was vandalized on Thursday, June 5. The unidentified perpetrators, believed to be right-wing extremists, demolished flower pots and the entrance door to the site, according to memorial officials.

The suspects also tried unsuccessfully to smash in a security-glass window at the museum, which highlights the death march of inmates from Sachsenhausen concentration camp during the last days of World War II. In April 1945, some 33,000 inmates were forced to march north and many died along the way. About 16,000 inmates were left in Below forest, where the memorial is now located.

It's not the first attack on the memorial: In 2002, an arson attack almost completely destroyed the museum, which is situated in a secluded location of the forest.

"The new attack on the museum worries us greatly," said Guenter Morsch, who heads the memorial sites in Brandenburg. The attack proved that memorial sites were still targets for neo-Nazi attacks, he added.