Stutthof concentration camp museum
In this article, we will give you information on Stutthof Museum in Sztutowo – how to get there from Gdansk, what to expect to see there. Also, we point out some information to help you organise your trip to Stutthof Concentration Camp Museum: price, opening hours etc.
Although its Polish name of the village is Sztutowo, even in Poland this place is better recognized by its German name: Stutthof. It is conveniently located close to the sea and has been a fishing settlement for ages. In 1919 Stutthof became part of the territory of the Free City of Gdansk, and after the beginning of the Second World War, Germany incorporated the village. What happened in Stutthof afterwards, hugely influenced its future. Even though neighbouring villages recovered from the Second World War trauma and are now popular summer resorts, Sztutowo is mostly known for Stutthof Concentration Camp that Nazis built here.
Stutthof Concentration Camp Museum
Stutthof Concentration Camp Museum in Sztutowo, located 35 km from Gdansk, is one of the most important martyrology places in northern Poland. It is not as recognized as Auschwitz, but for people living in Pomerania this is a very important place. If you have ever heard about the Gdansk concentration camp, you probably heard about Stutthof, as there was no concentration camp in Gdansk itself. Here, in Stutthof, the day after the beginning of the Second World War, Nazis set up the first concentration camp to exterminate the people of Poland and other nations. First prisoners arrived in Stutthof from Gdansk and Pomerania region.
Those were mainly people arrested in Gdansk: priests, teachers, local politicians and civilian servants. In the following years, transports with prisoners from other parts of Poland and abroad came to Stutthof Concentration Camp. In total, during 5 years of camp’s history, around 110 thousand people from 28 countries were imprisoned. On 25th January 1945, the camp’s commandant ordered the evacuation of the prisoners to Lebork. This is known as a death march, as many of them never reached the destination.
In conclusion, during the years 1939-1945 about 65 thousand people died in the Stutthof camp or during its evacuation. In 1962, Polish Authorities opened the Stutthof Concentration Camp Museum in Sztutowo.
Polish concentration camps?
Very often in Western European countries media, you may hear or read about Polish concentration camps. This is the term Polish governments protest against every time. Remember, just because concentration camps – including Stutthof concentration camp – were set up in Poland, doesn’t mean they were Polish concentration camps. They were constructed by German Nazis and run by German Nazis. This doesn’t mean that we blame all Germans for it, we just want the world to hear about Nazi concentration camps, not Polish concentration camps. So remember, it was Stutthof Nazi Concentration in Poland, not Polish Concentration Camp in Stutthof.
How to get from Gdansk to Stutthof Museum
Getting from Gdansk to Stutthof by bus
Gdansk to Stutthof bus (line 870) leaves every hour from Brama Wyzynna bus stop during the peak season. Ticket price is about 10-14 PLN/one way. Outside the peak season hourly buses run on weekdays, but on weekend buses run less frequently, so check the schedule here. You should get off the bus at the bus stop “Stutthof Museum” (Sztutowo Muzeum), which is about 2 km before Sztutowo village. From the bus stop you will see the entrance to Stutthof Museum.
There are many companies offering the trip to Stutthof Concentration Camp Museum from Gdansk, but their prices start from 200 PLN/person (about 45 EUR). Although it is convenient to be driven there and back in a car, the price seem to be too high. If you go on your own, the trip should cost you about 50 PLN (12 EUR) per person including audio guide.
Getting from Gdansk to Stutthof by car
If you have your own car, it might be more convenient for you to go to Stutthof Concentration Museum by car. Most of the route from Gdansk to Stutthof is a brand-new high-speed road, and it should not take you more than 50 minutes. If you don’t have your own car in Gdansk, consider renting Trafficar or Mimove for the whole day. There is a car park next to the entrance to Stutthof Museum. The parking fee is 7 PLN for 3 hours. The next hour costs 5 PLN.
Getting to Stutthof by train
This is the most interesting way to get to Stutthof, but it also takes much more time, so consider this to be a full day trip, with spending some time in Sobieszewo Island. There is a narrow-track train that runs between Mikoszewo and Sztutowo, calling at Stutthof Museum. To board the train, you first need to get to Mikoszewo. To get there, you need to take the 112 bus (direction Przegalina), and get off the bus at the last stop. This should take you about 40-50minutes. Then you need to go through Vistula River with a ferry (4 PLN). Then you need to walk about 500 meters to the train stop. Trains leave at 10.35, 13.35 and 16.35, so make sure you have enough time to catch one of them after leaving the bus. The train ticket from here to Stutthof Museum costs 13 PLN. You may buy it from the staff.
As I mentioned, it’ll take you some time to get from Gdansk to Stutthof Museum by train, but if you have accommodation in Sobieszewo or Mikoszewo, this is the best way to get to Sztutowo.
Stutthof Concentration Camp Museum
The remains of the Stutthof Concentration Camp were turned into a museum in 1962. In the museum, you’ll see the remains of the Nazi concentration camp, including the main gate, the barracks, the headquarters and the gas chamber. Stutthof Museum is much smaller than Auschwitz-Birkenau near Krakow but still well reflects the sad and tough part of history. Over 100 thousand people visit the Museum every year.
Please remember to respect the place during your visit.
Stutthof Museum – Practical Information
Stutthof Concentration Camp opening hours:
|1st of May-30th of September||8.00 – 18.00|
|1st of October-30th of April||8.00 – 15.00|
Last admission 30 minutes before closing time.
Stutthof Concentration Camp entrance fee
Entrance to the Stutthof Concentration Camp Museum is free. There is a cinema room where every 30 minutes a short film is presented. The entrance fee to the cinema room is 5 PLN.
Audio guides in English and German are available for the fee of 15 PLN. Information boards inside the Stutthof Museum only in Polish, so we recommend renting an audio guide. You may take pictures inside, but you need permission if you want to use them in a commercial project.
Visiting Stutthof Concentration Camp museum – practical tips
If you plan to visit the Stutthof Museum in October-April, make sure to wear warm clothes because it’s mainly an open-air museum. You should reserve about two hours to see the whole museum.
There are several days during the year that visiting the Museum might be difficult: 25th of January (the beginning of the death march), 9th of May (liberating of the camp) and 2nd of September (first prisoners arriving at the camp). Parking is free on those days, but expect it to be full.
After visiting the Stutthof Museum
If after seeing Stutthof Concentration Camp Museum you still have some time left on that day, consider going from Stutthof to Malbork, to see Malbork Medieval Castle. Alternatively, you may go back to Gdansk through Sobieszewo Island and either simply stay on the beach, or visit Mewia Lacha birds reserve.
Going from Gdansk to Auschwitz concentration camp
Stutthof concentration camp was the biggest in northern Poland, but it was not the biggest in the whole of Poland. So if you want to see just one concentration camp during your trip, consider going to Auschwitz concentration camp in Oswiecim. There is only one direct connection from Gdansk to Auschwitz – hoper.pl buses leave Gdansk at 8.05. Alternatively, you may go to Krakow and then decide whether you want to visit Auschwitz Museum