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.
One of the principal forced labour camps set up in 1942 under the Organisation Todt (OT) named after German North Sea islands, Lager Norderney held up to 1,500 workers at its peak in 1943.
The first batch of volunteer workers, brought to the island by the conscripted OT construction companies to build what would eventually become part of the defences of the 'Atlantic Wall', were first accommodated at Norderney. These would soon be replaced by forced labour from many of the Nazi-occupied countries of Europe.
As conditions deteriorated in the camps over time, a large contingent of some 850 French Jews arrived in two transports in the late summer of 1943 and were confined to a separate, secure area within the Norderney camp. They were subjected to particularly harsh treatment by their OT supervisors who wore the uniform of the Allgemeine SS. On their evacuation in May 1944, the French survivors were amongst the first Alderney labourers to be freed with the liberation of Paris just three months later.
Some of the pre-war structures incorporated within the Norderney camp remain to this day. The former outbuildings and house at Saye Farm survive, the latter being used as the quarters of the camp commandant.
Photo - Courtesy of Colin Partridge.
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