The Germans built four concentration camps on the island, subcamps of the Neuengamme concentration camp (located in Hamburg, Germany). Each subcamp was named after one of the Frisian Islands: Lager Norderney located at Saye, Lager Borkum at Platte Saline, Lager Sylt near the old telegraph tower at La Foulère and Lager Helgoland, situated in the northwest corner of the island. Over 700 people died in the Alderney concentration camps (out of a total inmate population of about 6,000). These were the only Nazi concentration camps on British soil.
Little remains of Lager Borkum now. The gateposts still stand, but now form the entry to the island's tip - the impot.
It was organised by the Schutzstaffel - SS-Baubrigade I—which was first under supervision of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp; and since mid-February 1943 ran under the Neuengamme camp in northern Germany. It was used by the Nazi Organisation Todt, a forced labour programme, to build bunkers, gun emplacements, air-raid shelters, and concrete fortifications.
Lager Borkum was located near the centre of Alderney and was the smallest of the four camps. The Borkum and Helgoland camps were "volunteer" (Hilfswillige) labour camps and the labourers in those camps were treated harshly but marginally better than the inmates at the Sylt and Norderney camps. The prisoners in Lager Sylt and Lager Norderney were slave labourers forced to build the many military fortifications and installations throughout Alderney. Sylt camp held Jewish enforced labourers and was a death camp. Norderney camp housed European (usually Eastern but including Spaniard) and Russian enforced labourers. Lager Borkum was used for German technicians and volunteers from different countries of Europe. Lager Helgoland was filled with Russian Organisation Todt workers. (For further information on Alderney concentration camps, see Appendix F: Concentration Camps: Endlösung – The Final Solution; Alderney, a Nazi concentration camp on an island Anglo-Norman; for further information on Nazi treatment of Jews and other people, see The Holocaust).
War crime trials
After World War II, a court-martial case was prepared against ex-SS Hauptsturmführer Max List (the former commendant of Lagers Norderney and Sylt), citing atrocities on Alderney. However, he did not stand trial, and is believed to have lived near Hamburg until his death in the 1980s.
- Staff (1967-02-23), Verzeichnis der Konzentrationslager und ihrer Außenkommandos gemäß § 42 Abs. 2 BEG, Bundesministerium der Justiz, retrieved 2008-09-26, "6a Alderney, Einsatzort der I. SS-Baubrigade Sachsenhausen, ab Mitte Februar 1943 Neuengamme" (German)
- Christian Streit: Keine Kameraden: Die Wehrmacht und die Sowjetischen Kriegsgefangenen, 1941-1945, Bonn: Dietz (3. Aufl., 1. Aufl. 1978), ISBN 3-8012-5016-4 - "Between 22 June 1941 and the end of the war, roughly 5.7 million members of the Red Army fell into German hands. In January 1945, 930,000 were still in German camps. A million at most had been released, most of whom were so-called "volunteers" (Hilfswillige) for (often compulsory) auxiliary service in the Wehrmacht. Another 500,000, as estimated by the Army High Command, had either fled or been liberated. The remaining 3,300,000 (57.5 percent of the total) had perished."
- Subterranea Britannica (February 2003), SiteName: Lager Sylt Concentration Camp, retrieved 2009-06-06
- Christine O'Keefe, Appendix F: Concentration Camps: Endlösung – The Final Solution, retrieved 2009-06-06
- Matisson Consultants, Aurigny ; un camp de concentration nazi sur une île anglo-normande (English: Alderney, a Nazi concentration camp on an island Anglo-Norman), retrieved 2009-06-06 (French)
- The Jews in the Channel Islands During the German Occupation 1940-1945, by Frederick Cohen, President of the Jersey Jewish Congregation, http://www.jerseyheritagetrust.org/edu/resources/pdf/cijews.pdf
- Noted in The Occupation, by Guy Walters, ISBN 0-7553-2066-2
- The Edward F. Lyons, Jr. papers, ca. 1917-1959 are located in the Northeastern University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections Department, Boston, MA.