The museum building of the Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp Memorial. Photo: Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp Memorial

After 1989

After the end of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), a new concept was developed for the memorial work at Mittelbau Dora. In terms of content, this work focusses on the historical events taking place on these grounds. Structural relics and other sites bearing witness to the events have been uncovered and marked. The same is true of the tunnel system, which was made accessible again in 1995.

Operated by the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation, the memorial has been financed by the State of Thuringia and the German federal government since 2000. A permanent exhibition on the camp history opened in the newly erected museum building in 2006. That presentation concentrates on Mittelbau-Dora’s significance as a model case of forced labour in the concentration camps. The memorial facilities erected before 1989 have been preserved as documents of how the Nazi past was treated during the GDR era.

The removal of the border facilities after 1989 also made the Mittelbau concentration camp’s largest subcamp in Ellrich-Juliushütte accessible once again. There the former inmates’ camp had been divided in two by the border after 1945. The former inmates’ lodgings had been demolished, first in the GDR and later on the western side as well.

In 1995, members of the “Jugend für Dora” (“Youth for Dora”) association and the city of Ellrich began working together to expose the former camp grounds. Since 2010, text plaques erected by the city of Ellrich in cooperation with the French Commission Dora-Ellrich and the Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp Memorial inform visitors about the former camp.