International concentration camp committees

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Max Mannheimer, giving an address at the former Dachau concentration camp, May 5, 2002

International concentration camp committees are organizations composed of former inmates of the various Nazi concentration camps, formed at various times, primarily after the Second World War. Although most survivors have since died and those who are still alive are generally octogenarians, the committees are still active.

Committees' history and purpose[edit]

During the Nazi era, there were active, underground resistance organizations at several of the camps, such as those at Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald and Dachau. After liberation, these groups became the foundation of post-war survivor organizations for their respective camps.[1]

The concentration camp committees are international organizations because their members come from and live in many different countries. The purpose of the committees is to educate the world about what was done under the Third Reich regarding the arrest and deportation of religious, political and social groups considered "undesirable" by the National Socialists. They also serve to care for the survivors of Nazi brutality, and finally, the committees facilitate communication and cooperation among survivors.[2][3][4]

The committees' efforts have resulted in the establishment of numerous camp memorials and commemorative events and displays.[5][6]

Appeal in the new century[edit]

Held under the auspices of the International Auschwitz Committee in Berlin, there was a meeting of the presidents of the international camp committees from January 24–27, 2009.[7]

A document was produced under the auspices of the International Auschwitz Committee that was signed by representatives of ten different Nazi concentration camps in Berlin on January 25, 2010. It refers to the pledge taken by survivors to work for peace and freedom, to remember the past and work to keep fascism from gaining ascendancy and noting the thinning ranks of their own members, it calls on young people to take up the work for future generations.[8]

List of international concentration camp committees[edit]

Notable members of camp committees[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "65 years since liberation of Buchenwald" Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine (April 12, 2010). Retrieved April 17, 2010.
  2. ^ History of the International Auschwitz Committee Retrieved April 17, 2010
  3. ^ Description of the International Sachsenhausen Committee, official website. Retrieved April 17, 2010 (in French and German)
  4. ^ Letter about the establishment of the International Sachsenhausen Committee, written by Pierre Gouffault, late president of the Committee. Retrieved April 17, 2010
  5. ^ Comité International de Dachau Archived 2009-02-26 at the Wayback Machine History of the organization. Retrieved April 17, 2010 (in French and German)
  6. ^ Description of the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site City of Munich official website, tourist information. Retrieved April 17, 2010
  7. ^ "The Survivors’ Bequest” International Auschwitz Committee official website. (January 25, 2009) Retrieved April 17, 2010
  8. ^ "Preserve Remembrance — Conserve Authentic Places — Assume Responsibility"[permanent dead link] (PDF) Document signed by representatives of 10 Nazi concentration camp committees. (January 25, 2009) Berlin, Germany. Retrieved April 17, 2010
  9. ^ Werkstattaustellung in der Gedenkstätte Sachsenhausen Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine (in German)

External links[edit]