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Kreismuseum Wewelsburg

Burgwall 19
D-33142 Büren-Wewelsburg
Tel.: 0049-(0) 2955/ 7622-0
Fax: 0049-(0) 2955/ 7622-22
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A Place of the Perpetrators, a Place of the Victims

Wewelsburg castle is a very special place for a museum dealing with german history between 1933 and 1945: Through the planned construction of an ideological centre for the SS, it is a place of the perpetrators, while the establishment of a concentration camp makes it a place of the victims.

The story of Wewelsburg in the Third Reich cannot be explained without delving into the general history of the SS. Local and regional events were closely tied with the entire region and the overall European experience during the Nazi Regime and the Second World War. From this idea comes the new permanent exhibition, presenting for the first time a complete and well-rounded history of the SS, it´s ideology and it´s massive crimes.

In the 850 square meter exhibition space are embedded both the local history of the SS operations and the concentration camp in an extensive examination of the SS as a whole. The permanent exhibition resides in the historical rooms of the former SS guard house.

Ideology and Terror of the SS

It´s the only permanent exhibition showing in detail the ideological foundations of the SS and their radical and criminal consequences. In addition to studying the self-conception, organisational structure and religious, scientific, artistic and culturo-political ambitions of the SS, the exhibition also focuses on the mechanisms of exclusion, the persecution apparatus, the camp system and the practice of extermination. It also looks at the lives and suffering of the victims of SS violence as exemplified at Niederhagen-Wewelsburg concentration camp.

Exhibit: Part of the concentration camp uniform worn by Max Schubertdem KZ Niederhagen
Exhibit: Pocket calendar of Heinrich Himmler

The exhibition does not stop at 1945. It also illuminates the process of coming to terms with SS-terror after the war, as well as modern-day perceptions of the historical site of Wewelsburg, and the way in which both the perpetrators and the victims lived after the war.

An open forum terminates the exhibition tour. Visitors find here stimulations, ideas and information for a caring and dedicated life in democracy and peace.

The new exhibit utilizes both interactive media and a more classical museum format of photos and texts. Beside the historical rooms of former SS-guardhouse and Wewelsburg itself, there are many high-value exhibits on display such as Heinrich Himmler’s day-planner, KZ barrack walls and former-prisoner’s clothing.


Educational Site

Beside the permanent exhibition, visitors find several educational offers and programs. Visitors can study both individually (by using the wide range of single workstations or folders with documents) as well as in groups (by participating in guided tours or booking one of the several pedagogical programs). Guided tours and the educational programs are free of charge for schoolgroups and groups of adolscent trainees.

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