Lager Norderney, was one of the four German forced labour camps set up under the Organisation Todt (OT) in 1942, holding up to 1,500 workers.
As a typical OT labour camp, the first batch of workers were volunteers from the continent, brought to the island to establish the necessary infrastructure in advance of the construction of the ‘Atlantic Wall’ defences.
Over time, these were replaced increasingly by forced labour from many of the German occupied countries. As conditions deteriorated in the camps generally, a large contingent of some 570 French Jews were brought to Norderney in 1943, and accommodated in a separate wired-off compound under the control of the SS. On their evacuation in May 1944, the French survivors were amongst the first Alderney labourers to be freed with the Liberation of Paris in August.
Some of the structures of Lager Norderney still remain. The former Saye Farm buildings survive together with the farmhouse which was used as the OT commandant's quarters.
Photo - Courtesy of Colin Partridge.
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