Landsberg – Geschichte - 20. Jahrhundert – Zeitgeschichte – NS Geschichte


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Landsberg in the spotlight of history


Landsberg’s contemporary history is much more than just the history of a German town*. In a fateful way, Landsberg is the focal point for decisive chapters of 20th-century history, including stages of the rise and fall of the Third Reich** and the historical reappraisal of everything the Nazi regime left behind.


During his imprisonment*** in Landsberg in 1923/1924, Adolf Hitler wrote Mein Kampf ****, his autobiographical political-ideological manifesto of racial fanaticism and German supremacy.

From 1933 to the end of WWII, Landsberg presented itself as the “City of Hitler". The former Hitler jail cell became a National Socialist place of pilgrimage. In 1937, the city was officially declared "City of the Youth". Following the Nuremburg [Youth] Rallies in 1937 and 1938, delegations of the Hitler Youth marched from Nuremberg to Landsberg for the closing rally of the "March of Commitment of German Youth”.

Not far from where Hitler wrote Mein Kampf, his criminally perverted theories became a horrible reality. In eleven concentration camps that formed the Kaufering***** concentration camp complex, the Nazis systematically exploited the labor of 23,000 mainly Jewish inmates. The concentration camp prisoners themselves called the camps "cold crematoria". As the end of the war approached, 6500 concentration camp prisoners were hastily buried in mass graves around Kaufering and Landsberg.

In the prison in Landsberg, many of the war criminals arrested in the American zone were punished for their actions. This same prison where Hitler formulated his National Socialist ideology was designated as War Criminal Prison No. 1 by the United States Army's Military Police (MPs). Between the end of the war and 7 June 1951, 248 war criminals, including Oswald Pohl, Otto Ohlendorf and Paul Blobl, were executed here.

Additionally, in 1945 one of the largest American DP (displaced persons) camps****** was established in Landsberg.



The European Holocaust Memorial Foundation

The main task of the European Holocaust Memorial Foundation (Europäische Holocaustgeden kstätte Stiftung e.V.) is to maintain and develop the European Holocaust Memorial site (the former concentration camp Kaufering VII) as witness to the crimes of Nazism, as a place of remembrance of the suffering of the victims, and as an educational place for future generations. In addition, the Foundation contributes to researching, sustaining and disseminating knowledge about historical events.
Therefore, the Foundation sees a fundamental duty in the planning, design and construction of a documentation center for the concentration camp complex Kaufering/Landsberg.

The European Holocaust Memorial at former concentration camp Kaufering VII

Establishing the documentation center includes the development of exhibition concepts, the dissemination of knowledge about historical events at an authentic location, as well as research and communication of contemporary history in Landsberg District. Moreover, tasks of the foundation also include exchange and cooperation with other memorial sites, information and documentation centers, museums, universities and schools.

The Foundation has compiled sources, archival material and objects from a wide variety of collections and makes them available for science, research and youth work.



* Landsberg am Lech is a city (and a district) located some 63 km west of Munich.
** The Third Reich (Third Empire) was the name assigned by Germany’s National Socialist Party (Nazis) to their vision of German domination. It is generally used as equivalent to Nazi rule. See
*** This followed the Nazis’ failed coup of Nov. 1923. See
**** See
***** Kaufering is a municipality in the Upper Bavarian district of Landsberg am Lech and is located about five kilometers north of the large district town of Landsberg am Lech
****** See



Landsberger Zeitgeschichte
Landsbergs Contemporary history
© Manfred Deiler, 2015 Landsberg am Lech
Europäische Holocaustgedenkstätte Stiftung e.V.
European Holocaust Memorial Foundation e.V.