Why were the barracks burned down after the war?

As early as 1949, a project was designed to preserve the camp as a place of remembrance for the victims of Nazism. Because of the camp’s poor condition, it was decided to raze most of the wooden barracks, which had been damaged by bad weather. On 29 March 1954 barracks 12 was symbolically burned down during an official ceremony marking the start of the construction of the national deportation memorial. In attendance were Paul Demange, prefect of the Bas-Rhin and former deportee at Neuengamme ; Georges Ritter, former deportee and vice-president of the Bas-Rhin General Council ; Camille Wolff, former deportee, member of Parliament from the Bas-Rhin and President of the Organisation of Former Internees of the Schirmeck and Struthof Camps  ; Yves Bouchard, former deportee and representative of the Alliance network ; representatives from the National Struthof Committee, FNDIRP, UNADIF and UFAC, as well as a delegation of officers who had been deportees.

Four barracks were preserved as places of remembrance : a deportee dormitory (today housing the museum), the kitchen block, cell block and cremation block.

Today the former barracks locations are symbolised by stone markers inscribed with the names of other European concentration camps.