Schwerte received civic rights in the 12th century.
The railway facility in the eastern district of Schwerte became a branch of the Buchenwald concentration camp in April 1944. The camp had 445 prisoners in August and 670 in November 1944. The number of escapees was comparatively high, in November 1944 48 prisoners escaped. The camp in Schwerte was disbanded in December 1944 and the remaining prisoners were brought back to Buchenwald.
^Benz, Wolfgang; Barabara Distel; Angelika Königseder (2006). [in google booksDer Ort des Terrors: Geschichte der nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager] Check |url= value (help) (in German). C.H.Beck. pp. 572–574. ISBN978-3-406-52963-4. Retrieved 2009-03-29.