A barrack and a one-person bunker among trees in autumn.

Barrack and one-person bunker in the former forced labor camp Munich-Neuaubing, 2014 | © NS-Dokumentationszentrum München, Photo: Connolly Weber Photography

A former camp for forced laborers in Neuaubing

Eight Nazi-era barracks still stand on the site of the former forced labor camp in western Munich. The site has been used for a variety of purposes since the end of World War II. Two of the former camp buildings and the outdoor area around them will in future serve as venues for exhibitions, events, workshops, and seminars. The Neuaubing Memorial Site will not open until 2025, but there is already much to discover there—both on site and in digital form.

A forced labor camp in western Munich

Munich was a center of forced labor during World War II. Almost all Munich-based companies, factories, and businesses as well as quite a number of private individuals profited from the labor of at least 150,000 people who had been deported to Germany from areas occupied by the Wehrmacht. In the final year of the war, around a quarter of the city’s population was employed in forced labor. In many arms factories well over 50 percent of the workforce were forced laborers.  


Making history visible in diverse ways

The Neuaubing camp was one of more than 400 collective accommodation complexes for forced laborers within the Munich city limits. It was built by the Reichsbahn—German Railways—and between 1942 and 1945 at times housed as many as 1,000 laborers who were forced to work at the nearby Neuaubing Railway Maintenance Workshops (RAW). After 1945, the history of the camp gradually became forgotten. Only since the 2000s have civil society initiatives worked to make the history of the site more visible again.  

The eight barracks in Neuaubing are among the last camp buildings in Germany to have been preserved. Today they are used mainly as studios and workshops, but there is also a kindergarten and a recreational farm for children and adolescents on the site. The plan is to preserve the complex permanently and to continue these uses alongside a memorial site being created by the Munich Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism.

Information on the memorial site

Address
Memorial Site Neuaubing
Ehrenbürgstraße 9
81249 München

Go to Google Maps

Opening hours
The site is open and publicly accessible. Barrack no. 5 can currently only be visited on a guided tour.

Disabled access
The site does not currently offer disabled access. There are no public restrooms.

How to get there
By S-Bahn | Take the S8 line to Freiham Bahnhof
By bus | Take bus no. 57 or 143 to Freiham Bahnhof
There is no parking for visitors.

Barrack 5 of the former forced labor camp

A renovated barrack seen from the outside, surrounded by grass.

Barrack 5 of the former forced labor camp in Neuaubing following refurbishment in 2017 | © NS-Dokumentationszentrum München, photo: Connolly Weber Photography

Two rooms with bare concrete walls inside the empty barrack. The room has windows but no doors.

Inside barrack 5, 2017 | © NS-Dokumentationszentrum München, photo: Connolly Weber Photography

An older woman standing in a room with flowery wallpaper. She has one hand on an old stove.

Former forced laborer Anna Vladimirovna at the RAW camp Neuaubing, 2017 | © NS-Dokumentationszentrum München, photo: Connolly Weber Photography

Departure Neuaubing.
European Histories of Forced Labor

Digital History Project

What does the Munich district of Neuaubing have to do with the Ukrainian village of Yevmynka, with Rotterdam, or with a restaurant in the Italian village of Malgolo? The interactive and interdisciplinary digital project Departure Neuaubing is designed to accompany the development of the Memorial Site Neuaubing. It tells the story of Nazi forced labor in Europe and its lasting impact even today. The app uses artistic and narrative formats to make information about the past accessible. 

To the web app

For groups

Guided tour

If you would like to visit the former forced labor camp with a group, we offer a number of tours of the site outlining its history and its current use. The tours also include a visit to barrack 5.

Find out more about group tours
 

We are looking for memories of forced labor

For our new memorial site in Neuaubing we are looking for photos, documents, or objects connected with Nazi forced labor in Munich and the surrounding area. Do you know any former forced laborers? Do you have any testimony or do you know of any reports about forced labor in factories, private households, or public space? If you do, we would be grateful if you would send them to departure.nsdokumuenchende!

The history of the former camp

Trains for the eastern front

Munich’s western suburbs were one of the centers of the city’s war industry. At the end of April 1945 there were more than 7,000 foreign forced laborers in the districts of Aubing, Neuaubing, and Langwied, which had become part of Munich in 1941/1942. This number considerably exceeded that of the local German population. The forced laborers employed here were housed in more than a dozen collective accommodation complexes and camps.

The two largest local companies were the aircraft manufacturer Dornier-Flugzeugwerke and the Reichbahn’s Railway Maintenance Workshops (RAW). Dornier produced fighter planes. At RAW Neuaubing railway cars had been maintained, repaired, and converted since the beginning of the twentieth century. During the war, the Reichsbahn was of central importance for transporting troops and war material. Many trains came directly from the front to Neuaubing to be repaired. Special models for war use, such as hospital trains and so-called Ostloks (trains equipped with protection against frost), were also made in Neuaubing.
 

As the war continues the number of forced laborers increases

More than half of the RAW workforce were forced laborers from various European countries, at least 1,300 people altogether. They were divided up according to nationality and accommodated in camps in and around the workshops.  

The camp’s barracks are marked in red. Eight barracks are arranged in a rectangle around a central space. Three others stand in a group behind them.

Site plan of the barracks camp of the Reichsbahn in Neuaubing, planning November 1942 | Source: Construction file Ehrenbürgstraße 9, local building committee, Munich

The so-called “RAW camp” at what is now Ehrenbürgstraße 9 was opened by the Reichsbahn in spring 1942 and continually expanded until 1945. However, not all of the eleven barracks originally planned had been built before the war ended. Alongside the five barracks housing the laborers there was also a kitchen, a first-aid barrack, a barrack with washrooms, a guards’ barrack, and two one-person bunkers.

Originally the camp was intended for civilian forced laborers from the Soviet Union; later Poles, Italians, Dutch, and possibly French laborers were accommodated there as well. Among them were many women, children, and adolescents.

A historical photo of several families of liberated forced laborers at the camp.

Whole families were brought from the Soviet Union to perform forced labor in Germany. This photo was taken at the camp after the liberation in 1945. | © Privately owned by the Nartov family.

April 30, 1945: the Neuaubing camp is liberated

Two of the five barracks accommodating laborers were built in the final year of the war. The RAW camp was full to or beyond capacity. As US forces advanced on Munich and the bombing raids increased, the situation on the ground became ever more confused. Some forced laborers managed to escape amid the chaos of the final days of the war.  

The camp was liberated on the morning of April 30, 1945, but it continued to be used as collective accommodation for a number of months after that. Many of the now liberated forced laborers had to wait there before they could return to their home countries. People like them who found themselves outside their home countries as a result of war and deportations were classified as “Displaced Persons” (DPs).

How was the former forced labor camp used after 1945?

From 1949 at the latest the Deutsche Bundesbahn, as German Railways was called postwar, used the camp buildings as a hostel for apprentices. From the 1970s onward it was increasingly used for commercial purposes. In the 1980s a kindergarten and a recreational farm for children and adolescents opened there, and tradespeople and artists set up studios and workshops. These diverse postwar uses were largely responsible for the fact that the camp buildings were preserved more or less in their original state. At the same time, the site’s original function became obscured and forgotten. The Railways Maintenance Workshops located about 1km further south were finally closed in 2001. 
 

The Neuaubing camp becomes a memorial site

Since 2000, the history of the site has gradually been rediscovered as planning began for a new development in the adjacent district of Freiham. In the coming years, this development, one of the largest of its kind in Europe, will provide housing for around 30,000 people. The planning originally included the former camp complex, prompting an investigation into the history and historical significance of the site.

A historical evaluation carried out in 2008 confirmed that the site had indeed been used as a forced labor camp. The City of Munich initially bought one barrack in 2014 and then purchased the whole site the following year. A preservation order was put on all the buildings in 2017. In 2018 the city council decided to refurbish the site taking into account the preservation order and nature conservation requirements. It also decided to retain the site’s social and cultural uses permanently. The Munich Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism will open a branch there in 2025. This will include a memorial site to keep alive the memory of forced labor in Munich.