Collection Point Ahlem

»Deported to their Deaths« – panel 4 – Deportation and Death

In the beginning of December, the Gestapo ordered the first group of Jews, earmarked for deportation from Hannover, to get ready to leave. Each person was permitted to take a suitcase, a backpack, and provisions as luggage. Shortly after, they were put under house arrest. From the 10th of December, the Gestapo collected the deportees with trucks and brought them to Ahlem. Because of poor preparation, many had to hold out for hours outside in the icy rain.


We are brought to the horticultural school Ahlem like felons (…). There, we were led into a gymnasium, where each person is issued a number. Afterwards, suitcases and backpacks were inspected and handed over as large-sized luggage. Then, we stood there into the night and waited with our hand luggage, such as hand bags and blankets, until we were further inspected. When it was our (…) turn, they first took all of our jewellery, even a shabby, cheap wooden brooch. Then, (…) things such as knitting needles, knives (cutlery), sausage, butter, and sometimes even bread (…). After we returned with half empty bags, the so-called body search followed. From the diaries of Lore Pels (Oppenheimer), who was 15 years old at the time.

They made us stand up (…) in turn and demanded (…) that we strip down. One after the other, we were thoroughly searched, in the mouth, in the genital area (…). (Klaus Becher, 1926-2008).

The confiscated items filled many baskets. Finally, some small groups of detainees were put up in halls and supplied with meagre rations. Others were left to their own devices.

Then, we were told we should (…) move to a staked-off area. There, they detained us until the 15th of December – four entire days – (…) without food and without toilets! (Klaus Becher).

Afterwards, we moved to our assigned camp like the poorest beggars. A hall with about 60 mattresses beside each other, without a walkway, men and women. (…). For food, there was soup. Lore Pels (Oppenheimer).

Picture credits

1: Marlis Buchholz, from: Buchholz Marlis: Die hannoverschen Judenhäuser. Zur Situation der Juden in der Zeit der Ghettoisierung und Verfolgung, Hildesheim 1987.

2: Municipal Archives, Hildesheim


Exhibition: Deported to their Deaths
Duration: December 15th, 2011 to January 27th, 2012
Location: Neues Rathaus Hannover, Bürgersaal
Panel: 4 from 39 – Deportation and Death
Size: 650 x 2050 mm
Technique: Digital print on Alu-Dibond