The emergence of a specific memorial for the gas chamber

The first memorial at Cronenbourg cemetery

On 16 September 1955 a Memorial was inaugurated at the Strasbourg-Cronenbourg Jewish cemetery in memory of the 87 Jews sent to Natzweiler to undergo medical experiments. Their remains were found at the Liberation in the Strasbourg University medical-legal institute and buried in Cronenbourg cemetery.

A plaque is affixed at the entrance to the gas chamber building

On 28 May 1969, as the former deportees Mantzer and Blazy were working to create a museum in one of the camp’s barracks, the executive board decided to place a panel at the gas chamber building’s entrance with the inscription “Ministry of Veterans’ Affairs and War Victims. Gas chamber of the former Natzweiler-Struthof camp, designated historic monument”. It was affixed in 1970.

Early university research

In 1985 Jean-Claude Pressac published a book in the United States that revived the Jewish memory, and that of the medical experiments. The Struthof Album explained, with backing by documents, for the first time exactly how the Struthof gas chamber operated. The French translation, L’Album du Struthof : étude du gazage au Struthof de 86 juifs destinés à la constitution d’une collection de squelettes, appeared shortly afterwards.

The publication of the complete list of the Jewish victims’ names

In August 2004 German historian Dr. Hans Yoachim Lang made public the list of the names of the 87 Jewish victims transferred from Auschwitz in his work Die Namen der Nummern, Wie es gelang, die 86 Opfer eines NS-Verbrechens zu identifiziere.

Inauguration of the names’ plaque

On 26 June 2005 M. Hamlaoui Mekachera, junior minister of veterans’ affairs, inaugurated a plaque inside the building with the names of the 86 Jews the Nazis gassed in August 1943 as part of Hirt’s medical experiments.

The recognition of this specific memory in Strasbourg

On 11 December 2005 a commemorative plaque in memory of Hirt’s 86 victims was affixed to the Strasbourg medical school’s anatomy institute. A new memorial bearing the victims’ names was inaugurated in the Strasbourg-Cronenbourg Jewish cemetery on the same day.