truth of the photographs of various crimes and atrocities included
in this Holocaust project needs to be shown. The photos may be of
graphic nature and disturbing - before providing access to younger
learners, parents and teachers should preview the sites and guide
through what they may read and see.
November 1944 20 Jewish children, ten boys and ten girls, had been
brought from Auschwitz to the concentration camp of Neuengamme,
just outside Hamburg. The youngsters, aged between 5 and 12 years
old, came from all over Europe and were to be human guinea-pigs in
a series of medical experiments conducted by the SS doctor Kurt
Dr. Heissmeyer removed the children's lymph glands for analysis,
and he injected living tuberculosis bacteria in their veins and
directly into their lungs to determine if they had any natural
immunities to tuberculosis. They were carefully observed, examined
and photographed as the disease progressed. The condition of all
the children deteriorated very rapidly and they became extremely
On April 20, 1945, the day on which Adolf Hitler was celebrating
his fifty-sixth birthday and just a few days before the war ended,
Heissmeyer and SS-Obersturmführer Arnold Strippel decided to kill
the children in an effort to hide evidence of the experiments from
the approaching Allied forces. To conceal all traces the SS
transported the children to the former Bullenhuser Damm School,
which had been used as a satellite camp since October 1944. They
were immediately taken to the basement and ordered to undress. An
SS officer later reported: "They sat down on the benches all
around and were cheerful and happy that they had been for once
allowed out of Neuengamme. The children were completely
The children were told that they had to be vaccinated against
typhoid fever before their return journey. Then they were injected
with morphine. They were hanged from hooks on the wall, but the SS
men found it difficult to kill the mutilated children. The first
child to be strung up was so light - due to disease and
malnutrition - that the rope wouldn’t strangle him. SS
untersturmführer Frahm had to use all of his own weight to
tighten the noose. Then he hanged the others, two at a time, from
different hooks. 'Just like pictures on the wall', he would
recall later. He added that none of the children had cried. At
five o' clock in the morning on April 21, 1945, the Nazis had
finished with their work and drank hard-earned coffee ...
of the children was Jacqueline Morgenstern, born
to Suzanne and Karl Morgenstern in 1932 in Paris, France.
Here Jacqueline led a happy life, she attended school
and her father and uncle owned a beauty shop in central
The family's feelings of security collapsed, however,
when in 1940, Germany invaded France and the brutality
of the Nazis accelerated with murder, violence and
terror. In 1944 Jacqueline and her parents were sent to
Auschwitz. Jacqueline and her mother went to the women's
work camp, where food rations were meager. Suzanne gave
Jacqueline most of her food, so she became malnourished
and ill. When the Nazis found her no longer useful for
forced labor, they sent her to the gas chambers.
her mother's death, Jacqueline was sent to a special children's
barrack where the children were being held for later bogus medical
experiments. The majority of the children spoke only Polish but
one of the boys, Georges Andre Kohn, spoke French, too, and they
became close friends.
Andre Kohn was 12 years old and the youngest son of
Armand Kohn, a rich Jewish businessman in Paris. In 1944
Georges, his grandmother (75), mother, father, his older
sisters, Rose-Marie and Antoinette, and his eighteen
year-old brother, Philippe, were crowded into cattle
cars with hundreds of Jews to be deported to the
Buchenwald concentration camp.
Three days after the train began moving, Rose-Marie and
Philippe broke the bars of the car's small window,
jumped out and miraculously survived the Holocaust. When
the train arrived at Buchenwald, the family was
separated. When the war was over, only Armand Kohn and
the two escaped had survived.
on April 20th, 1945, when the British were less than three miles
from the camp, all the children of Bullenhuser Damm were murdered
After the war, the SS doctor Kurt Heissmeyer returned to his home
in Magdeburg, postwar East Germany, to resume medical practice,
highly regarded as a lung and tuberculosis specialist. The
much-admired physician was eventually tried and sentenced to life
imprisonment in 1966. Arnold Strippel, the SS-Obersturmführer
commanding these killings as well as many others, lived for years
well in West Germany in a villa situated on the outskirts of
Frankfurt despite all efforts made by relatives of the children to
take him to trial.
Opened in 1980, this memorial is located in the cellar of the
former school. The room where the children were murdered has been
kept in its original state. In an adjoining room there is an
exhibition on the fate of the victims. The documentation also
provides insight into the various individual and inofficial
attempts made during the 1970s and 1980s to shed light on the
crime, and describes the deliberate delay of criminal proceedings
against Arnold Strippel, the SS officer in charge of the murder
The association 'Kinder vom Bullenhuser Damm e.V.' has
planted a rose garden behind the school. Anyone who wishes may
plant a rose there as a tribute to the dead. The rose garden is
open at all times.
Not one of the children of Bullenhuser Damm was older than twelve.
Stripped of their childhoods, they lived and died during the dark
years of the Holocaust and were victims of the Nazi regime. Had
they survived another two weeks, they would have been liberated by
the Allied forces ..
million children were murdered during the Holocaust.
This figure includes more than 1.2 million Jewish children, tens
of thousands of Gypsy children and thousands of institutionalized
were established 1996 to promote education about the history
of the Holocaust and assist visitors in developing understanding
of the ramifications of prejudice and racism. The resources
include essays, poems, eyewitness testimonies, photographs,
documents, films, literature, timelines, links.