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Between Myth and Mass Murder: The First Comprehensive Museum Exhibition on the History of the SS
At hardly any other place did the ideology and terror of the SS stand in such close spatial proximity: Heinrich Himmler, Reichsführer-SS, planned to convert the Renaissance castle in the District of Paderborn into a meeting place for the SS. The large-scale and laborious work was carried out as of 1939 with prisoners from the Niederhagen/Wewelsburg Concentration Camp located on the town periphery. At least 1,285 people died of frailty, hunger, and violence. Local and national histories intertwine at this authentic location. Wewelsburg, for example, was the site of Himmler’s last meeting with select SS-Ober gruppenführer just days before the German military invaded the Soviet Union. The SS leaders were indoctrinated for war within the staged surroundings of a Westphalian castle. The Kreismuseum’s permanent exhibition, “Ideology and Terror of the SS,” at the “Wewelsburg 1933 – 1945 Memorial Museum” comprehensively examines the history of the SS, courageously presenting its ideology and crimes, its appearance and actuality, and its past and aftermath. Original objects from the SS realm of experience, realia from the concentration camp, and the remaining National Socialist architecture provide exceptional access to this subject matter.
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