In order to enter the memorial´s Open Room, the vistor must first ascend the outside ramp. There is a roof over it, but, as a result of the open slats you are very aware of the weather outside; especially in the winter. This effect enables one to understand very quicky just how important a role the weather played for the prisoners.
As the name implies, the room serves two purposes. Initially, the visitor can find important basic information pertaining to the history of "Goldfish" and "Zebra". These words are symbolic for both the underground factory as well as the camp area - the Neckarelz prisoners were referred to as zebras because of their striped prison garb.
In addition, the history before the year 1944 is presented in a few pictures and events. These illustrate how the history of the time was reflected in the local history.
Frames with real mirrors provide us with thought-provoking impulses with regard to the victims and the perpetrators; It gives us a reflective approach to the history that will be concretely revealed in the room that follows "Concentration Camp Complex - Neckar Camps". At the same time, this part of the exhibition brings us into the present.
Death, Escape, Illness
The Open Room´s second function, which becomes evident after having walked through the "Neckar Camp Concentration Camp Complex", shows the possible ways out of the camp. These include DEATH or ESCAPE as well as EVACUATION and LIBERATION as the "expected" ways out.
A death register made of metal is dedicated to those who died in the Neckar camp. The topics "Escape" and "Evacuation" can be found on the eastern front wall of the memorial, as the evacuation in March 1945 headed toward the Dachau concentration camp - in the south east.
In the Neckarelz camp complex, ILLNESS could also have been a way to survive, even though that sounds quite difficult to believe. The reasons for this can be found in the original district barracks, which are accessible to our visitos. This display is dedicated to the topic "Medical Care" and to the frequent lifesaving efforts of the doctors.