Friedland is a place that plays an important role in German history – a place in southern Lower Saxony that is deeply connected to migration. It all started after World War II when the Grenzdurchgangslager was opened and people from the lost former eastern parts of Germany as well as prisoners of war arrived here. They started their new lives in this place, were registered, provided with food and housed until they could travel onward. Still more than twenty years after the war people arrived from camps and prisons in the east. Even after that, the Grenzdurchgangslager remained open and welcomed Germans migrating back from Soviet Russia and asylum seekers.
Large waves of migrants came from Chile and Vietnam. Today people arrive here from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Syria, Turkey, Russia or Vietnam. In 2016 a museum for this place was opened in the railway station building of Friedland. It is a very good medium-sized exhibition presented on two floors. It is a pleasure to walk through this museum and learn more about the history of the Grenzdurchgangslager. If you get here don’t miss the Heimkehrerdenkmal memorial on top of a hill close-by.