Guided tours for registered groups
Guided tours at the Bergen-Belsen Memorial are educational programmes lasting three and a half hours.
The focus of each tour involves visiting the grounds of the former POW and concentration camp. Today these grounds are a cemetery and place of remembrance. The huts, watchtowers and fences were removed, so there are very few visible traces left of the camp at the Memorial today. The grounds have also been redesigned multiple times in the past.
During the tour, the guides accompany the group through the grounds, provide orientation and help the participants understand the events that took place here using historical sources, maps and biographies. The history of the site is embedded in the context of the National Socialists’ policy of persecution, the camp system, the so-called ‘people’s community’, the Second World War and the war of annihilation against the Soviet Union. The tour also addresses the life of survivors after the liberation in the nearby Displaced Persons camp, as well as the history of the Memorial and the socio-political approach to dealing with the site.
At the start of the tour, the guides provide an overview of the event programme and talk with the participants about what they are interested in and would like to learn, and also what they already know about the site. Each tour explores the external grounds and also includes a visit to the permanent exhibition. This exhibition documents the history of the POW camp, concentration camp and Displaced Persons camp through a large number of photos, witness interviews, documents, objects and historical films.
Please note that the POW camp in Hörsten and the railway station in Bergen (the ‘Ramp’) are not included on our tours. These sites are freely accessible to the public and can be visited independently before or after the tour. You will need to plan extra time if you intend to visit these sites (around 60 minutes).
The sequence and scope of each section of the tour vary and are based in part on the needs and previous knowledge of the participants. The goal of the tour is to give the participants an impression of what happened at this site, what the socio-political circumstances were and who was responsible for it. The tour therefore addresses the perspective of the victims and survivors and also examines the question of perpetratorship and society’s responsibilities.
You can find more information about booking tours here.