#sharingmemory – The 76th anniversary of liberation at Brandenburg-Görden Prison Memorial
Dear guests and visitors of the digital 76th anniversary,
the Memorials Brandenburg an der Havel welcome you to the homepage of the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Brandenburg-Görden prison. Here you will find our program for this event:
Liberation in 1945
Beginning operations in 1931, the prison is regarded as one of the biggest correctional facilities of the German Reich. Between 1933 and 1945, approx. 20,000 political prisoners and common criminals from all over Europe are detained here. In 1940, the Nazis install a guillotine to be used in executions.
Holding approx. 3,500 inmates in April 1945, the prison is completely overcrowded. The prisoners are malnourished and suffer from lack of medical care. When the frontline draws closer, the guillotine is sunk in a nearby lake. Some of the warders and the director flee.
In the morning of 27 April, the cells are unlocked. Representatives of the prisoners and the remaining staff prepare for a peaceful handover of the prison to the approaching Red Army. Around noon, a Soviet tank rolls through the gate greeted by cheering prisoners. 
Since the prison is situated between the frontlines, the Red Army orders the facility to be evacuated on 28 April. Most of the inmates leave Brandenburg-Görden on the same day. Around 300 ill or emaciated prisoners remain in the prison hospital, now a civilian one, to be nursed there.
Between 1945 and 1948, the site is part of the largest repatriation camp run by the Soviet occupation administration. On the occasion of the first anniversary of liberation, former inmates and their relatives are allowed to enter and, standing in front of the Nazi execution place, remember the people killed here.
The prison in Brandenburg-Görden is a listed architectural landmark; it was comprehensively modernized in the 2000s leaving only one wing untouched. Photographer Arnd Weider shows it in artistic pictures giving an impression of the historic correctional facility. The artist speaks about his work in a video interview.
As in previous years, our remembrance will centre this year on one particular group of inmates: prisoners in security confinement in Brandenburg-Görden will be the focus of a video documentary in 2021. Their fate, just as that of other Nazi victims stigmatized as “anti-social”, is still largely unknown.
On the occasion of the 76th anniversary of liberation, the Brandenburg-Görden Prison Memorial, together with filmmakers of Out of Focus, made a short film about the site.