Before the Second World War broke out, in
August 1939, the Germans from Gdansk had already chosen the site of a
future concentration camp that was initially intended for the Polish
intelligentsia from Eastern Pomerania and Gdansk. Arrests of the Polish
elite began with the German invasion of Poland, and already on September
2, just one day after Poland was invaded, the first transport of 150
people was sent to Stutthof. Of all the camps the Germans created on the
territory of prewar Poland, Stutthof was operating the longest.
During the first phase, prisoners from Gdansk were sent to the camp,
above all members of the Polish intelligentsia. Over the course of
1942, the camp began receiving transports from all over Poland and
abroad. The camp's importance was growing, and as a result it was
expanded almost tenfold. In addition, Stutthof was given 39 sub-camps.
In the last phase, the camp became a place of mass extermination of the
Jews. About 110,000 people were imprisoned there, representing 45
nationalities from 26 countries. Among them were Poles, Jews, Russians,
Ukrainians, Belarusians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Czechs,
Slovaks, Finns, Norwegians, French, Danes, Dutch, Belgians, Germans,
Austrians, English, Spanish, Italians, Yugoslavians, Hungarians and
About 65,000 people perished there as a result of the conditions,
disease, executions by shooting, hanging or gassing. Many died during
the evacuation of the camp before its liberation by the Red Army on May
A museum was created at the site in 1962.
One can visit what remains today of the camp, as well as permanent and
temporary exhibitions. Groups can hire guided tours, which are also
available in English and German.
Buses and trains travel to Stutthof from Gdansk, which is about forty kilometers away.
Panstwowe Muzeum Stutthof (Stutthof State Museum)
Tel: (+48 55) 2478353,(+48 55) 2478359; Fax: (+48 55) 2478358
The museum office is open from Monday to Friday from 7am to 3pm. The
museum's exhibitions may be viewed daily from 8am to 3pm, or to 6pm
during the summer. Admission to the museum is free.
One should allow a minimum of two hours to visit the ground and museum.
Stutthof State Museum webiste: www.stutthof.pl
The closest functioning Jewish Community is in Gdansk.