Perpetrator Studies Network


KZ-Gedenkstätte Mittelbau-Dora

Mittelbau-Dora is both a history museum and a historical crime scene. Traces and relics testify to the Nazi crimes as well as to changing approaches to dealing with the site’s past. What is more, Mittelbau-Dora is and remains a place for the mourning and commemoration of the victims.

One of the chief aims of the permanent exhibition is to draw attention to the extensive interrelationships between the camps and their social surroundings, and thus contribute to the critical examination of the themes of perpetration and the responsibility borne by accomplices and spectators. One important question here is what motivated construction companies and armament industrialists but also small-time tradesmen to exploit concentration camp inmates as forced labourers. Yet the exhibition also scrutinizes the responsibility borne by technicians, engineers and managers who had concentration camp inmates assemble V2 rockets in the Mittelwerk factory – and thus triggers discussion about the ethics of science and technology.

The grounds of the former Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp are the point of departure for the commemoration and historical-political education work carried out at the memorial. The memorial programme is intended to provide the visitors with impulses for a personal investigation of the site’s history, and to support and accompany that process. The aim is the development of an alert and critical awareness of history.

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