Amicale Internationale KZ Neuengamme

The Amicale Internationale KZ Neuengamme (AIN) is an international association of the national organizations of survivors of the Neuengamme concentration camp as well as the families and friends of former prisoners of the Neuengamme concentration camp.

Founded in 1958 by organizations from Belgium, France and West Germany, soon other national organizations joined the AIN. Among them organizations from Denmark, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Yugoslavia, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Hungary.

Representatives of the AIN, 1960. In the center: Renée Aubry, president of the AIN from 1972 to 1990. Archive Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial.
Inauguration of the international memorial, 1965. From the estate of Hans Schwarz, general secretary of the AIN from 1958 to 1970. Archive Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial.

Inauguration of the Neuengamme Memorial

The Amicale Internationale KZ Neuengamme played an essential role in establishing a memorial on the grounds of the former concentration camp. They started with the international memorial on the premises of the former camp’s plant nursery. More than 1800 former concentration camp prisoners and their relatives attended the memorial’s inauguration in 1965.

Commemoration through the decades

For several decades representatives of the AIN demanded that a dignified memorial would be built where the concentration camp Neuengamme had stood. In 1989, the government of the federal city state of Hamburg decided to relocate the prison Vierlande, which had been built on the premises of the prisoner’s camp and to enlarge the area of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial. When this decision was in danger of being revoked by a new government in 2001, the AIN played an important role in the international protest. Finally, one of the main goals of the AIN was reached in 2005 when the concentration camp memorial was inaugurated in today’s form.

Commemorative ceremony on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of liberation, taking place in the redesigned Neuengamme Memorial. Archive Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial.
Meeting of representatives of the AIN from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands and Poland, Hamburg 2017. Archive Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial.

AIN Today

Over 70 years after the end of World War II and the liberation of the concentration camps, the work of the board of the AIN now lies in the hands of the children and grand-children of former prisoners of the Neuengamme concentration camp and its satellite camps. They continue the international collaboration of the national associations: They speak up for the memory of nazi crimes and discuss the future of remembrance as well as the importance of the transmission of memory in families and societies.

Founding members of the Young Committee on May 3, 2019. Back (l.t.r.): Tom Lemmens, Aurélie Boisseau, Katrin Duerinckx, Kristof van Mierop, Christine Eckel, Marc Cauwbergs. Seated (l.t.r.): Halina Kühl, Martine Letterie, Tom Devos, Franciska Henning. © Marc Cauwbergs.

Young Committee

On May 1, 2019, a 3rd and 4th generation descendants of victims and survivors of the Neuengamme concentration camp founded the Young Committee of the AIN. The group is built on three pillars: the wish to create a global network of 3rd and 4th generation descendants; the pledge to support each other in further researching family history; the determination to educate the public about the history of the former prisoners of the Neuengamme concentration camp and the effects of this history on the following generation.

Member Organizations

The Amicale Internationale Neuengamme consists of different member organizations, spread out over various European countries.[/vc_column_text]

Belgian Amicale Neuengamme

Never to be forgotten A number of Belgian survivors of KZ Neuengamme united in the months after their return in an organisation of ex-political prisoners of the concentration camp Neuengamme, under the motto: “Never to be forgotten”. They deposited the statutes of their new association already in October 1945. They saw it as their duty…

Danish Amicale KZ Neuengamme

The Danish National Association founded August 20th 1962. The National Association gathered many small groups in towns all over the country. All former KZ prisoners who had been linked to the Neuengamme Camp could become a member. The purpose of the association was to collect – process – distribute the historical facts about the KZ…

Dutch Foundation Vriendenkring Neuengamme

About 7000 Dutch people were imprisoned in Nazi concentration camp Neuengamme near Hamburg during the Second World War. Most of them did not survive the war. The aftermath is still noticeable today for both surviving relatives and survivors. Objectives In 1993 the Stichting Vriendenkring Neuengamme Foundation was established, with the aim: Keep the memory of…

French Amicale de Neuengamme

The French Amicale de Neuengamme was founded by a group of survivors in August 1945. It had two main objectives: Providing support to the families of the more than 7000 deceased deportees from France and to those who, among the less than 4000 survivors, were facing difficulties, Making known the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis…

German Amicale KZ Neuengamme

The AG Neuengamme (AG – study group) was founded on June 6th, 1948 as an advocacy group for the former German political prisoners, their relatives and surviving dependants. It fostered communication between survivors of the Neuengamme concentration camp and supported former resistance fighters and other persecuted peoples of the Nazi regime. The AGN advocated for…

Polish Amicale KZ Neuengamme

After the end of the Second World War, people felt the need to contact their fighters’ companions or camp comrades. The idea of uniting prisoners in associations created a feeling of solidarity among the former concentration camp prisoners – 17.000 Polish prisoners had been deported to the Neuengamme Concentration Camp. The Polish Association of Former…

[/vc_column][/vc_row]