Interview und virtueller Rundgang: Das sowjetische Speziallager Nr.5 in Ketschendorf/Fürstenwalde
Project team: Josephine Eckert, Thomas Köhler, Freya Ziegelitz, Irmgard Zündorf
Contact at ZZF: zuendorf [at] zzf-potsdam.de
The Soviet Army established a total of ten internment camps in its occupation zone after the end of World War II. Ostensibly, they served denazification purposes, but many opponents of the new regime were also interned. Together with the "Initiativgruppe Internierungslager Ketschendorf", interviews and a virtual tour are planned at the site of the former Special Camp No. 5, which are intended to preserve and present knowledge about the site in the long term. The Soviet Special Camp No. 5 existed in Ketschendorf near Fürstenwalde from April 1945 to spring 1947. At times, up to 9,000 prisoners lived in cramped quarters and under disastrous conditions in the housing estate requisitioned for this purpose. Between 4,600 and 6,000 people died during their incarceration.
The former camp and its victims were kept secret by the GDR and the Soviet Union. Some 4,500 bodies discovered during construction work in the 1950s were passed off by the SED as war victims and buried anonymously in the forest cemetery in Halbe. It was not until May 8, 1990, on the initiative of Superintendent Eckhard Fichtmüller and other private supporters, that the first commemoration could take place. Today, a memorial site commemorates the special camp.
Together with a film team, students of the Master Public History program (FU Berlin/ZZF Potsdam) will conduct interviews with the "Initiativgruppe Internierungslager Ketschendorf" and develop a virtual tour of the site. In cooperation with a student of computer science, a website is also to be created that will provide information about the special camp.