The Fugitive Museum
This year a new museum opened where we had a massive amount of german fugitives from May 1945- February 1949.
In the same area, you can see the cemetery for the German soldiers and fugitives. The fugitives mainly consisted of women, children and older adults. Danish guards patrolled the barbed-wired fence, and Oksbol Camp became the 6th biggest city in Denmark. Nobody should socialise with Danish people. Inside the camp, everybody had their duties. The children went to school, and the adults prepared food or helped maintain many people and buildings. Talented people among the fugitives had many theatre plays performed every day at their theatre. Every adult among them was vetted for Nazi sympathies.
The museum consists of the former hospital, the main building, exhibitions, a café and a shop. The renovation is made so that you still feel the roughness of camp life.
We were equipped with headsets with surround sound to give an authentic impression of life at the camp.
Today’s authorities could learn a lot from that time. To organise good schools for the children and let the adult work to help the fugitives not to despair in the long waiting time.
What I missed at the museum was, indeed, the background story.
I have had lessons in history at school for many years, and I have heard about WWII since my early childhood. Sadly, history lessons are not given chronologically anymore. I fear that many have no background to understand the story of the many people who fled the Red army and had nowhere to call home. The Soviet Union had taken East Prussia.
Each fugitive has a story to tell, and I would have read or heard them. As with so many modern museums, everything seems to be minimalistic.
Outside the main building is a large forest. At the time of the camp, there was hardly a tree anywhere. We could take an extended guided tour with the headset to make the visit credible. We heard crying babies, wheels and children playing, interchanging with small conversations from their daily life between young people.
If you want to know more about this subject, I have another post about German fugitives.