The creation of a Struthof Museum

Inauguration of the first museum at Struthof

In 1960 the executive board planned to create a museum in the only remaining dormitory barracks. On 27 June 1965, the day of the annual ceremony, veterans’ affairs minister Jean Sainteny inaugurated an exhibition of many original items. The displays were based on collected objects and on items that former deportees spontaneously donated. The exhibition, a precious and powerful testimony of the camp’s history, rounded out the Memorial.

The arson in 1976

In 1976 arson ravaged the museum, destroying over 95% of the collections. A few items were salvaged and put in the new building, which was rebuilt to look exactly like the original one. After more vandalism in 1979, Alfred Mantzer, a former deportee at Neuengamme, and Paul Blasy, a former deportee at Dora, designed a new exhibition with the participation of Ms. Annick Burgard, member of the executive board.

The museum rebuilt in 1980

French president Valéry Giscard d'Estaing inaugurated the exhibition on 29 June 1980. In the 1980s, panels illustrating the 1939-1945 period, the resistance against Nazism, and the deportation to KL-Natzweiler and the other camps rounded out exhibitions of items donated by former deportees and their families. That show was on display until October 2004.

The new KL-Natzweiler museum

At the same time as the creation of the European Centre of Deported Resistance Members, the museum in the former barracks has been entirely rethought to exclusively focus on the history of the Natzweiler concentration camp and its annex camps. The new, more modern exhibition features the latest information and documents based on research.