Freiherr-vom-Stein-Str. 1
(Kasseler Straße)

Row of houses with the Siechenhof in the centre
In the centre of the picture the Siechenhof with Cyriaci Chapel, undated (Privatsammlung Stadt- und Gästeführer Gilde e.V., Nordhausen)

The Siechenhof was built in 1284 as accommodation for impoverished and diseased people. During the National Socialist era, the building served as a prison, a collection point for Nordhausen Jews before their deportation and finally as a detention centre for foreign forced labourers.

Police prison

Immediately after the National Socialist takeover, a wave of arrests against members of the opposition began throughout the German Reich, primarily targeting Communists and Social Democrats. There were also numerous arrests in Nordhausen. As the cells in the Nordhausen police station were no longer sufficient to hold the many political prisoners, the police set up a temporary prison in the Siechenhof in the spring of 1933. With 60 to 120 prisoners, the police prison in the Siechenhof was usually overcrowded. In the summer of 1933, around half of the prisoners were Social Democrats and Communists from Nordhausen. With the transfer of political prisoners to concentration camps, the Siechenhof prison was closed again around 1934.

After 1941, the Nordhausen Gestapo used it again as a detention centre - now for foreign forced labourers who had violated the repressive residence and work regulations.

Starting point of the deportations

During the pogrom in November 1938, SA and SS men drove 150 Jews from Nordhausen into the Siechenhof, destroyed their homes and businesses and set fire to the synagogue. On the morning of 10 November 1938, 82 Jewish men were loaded onto lorries and deported to Buchenwald, where they were imprisoned until shortly before Christmas. At least seven men died during their imprisonment in Buchenwald. In 1942/43, the Gestapo deported the 79 Jews still living in Nordhausen to the extermination camps. Most of them were murdered there. Today, the renovated wing of the former Siechenhof is home to the Nordhausen district music school. A plaque erected in 2008 commemorates the history of the site during National Socialism.