The Stutthof Museum in Sztutowo was founded by the initiative of the community of former prisoners with the resolution of the Presidium of the Voivodeship National Council in Gdańsk on 12. March 1962. The museum is a national cultural institution subject to the Minister of National Culture and Heritage. Through over 40 years of its existence, the Museum has been visited by several million people from all over the world.
The Stutthof Museum covers part of the former Nazi concentration camp of the same name. Its current area is 20 ha (by the end of 1944, the camp covered approximately 120 ha). The accessible area has preserved several buildings and relics confirming the tragic past of the terrain. This includes several wooden prison barracks from the years 1939-1940, the former command post building and the gas chamber. However, most of the infrastructure of the former camp was either destroyed or deconstructed shortly after the war, since the area had no legal guardian. From 1968, the terrain was guarded by the monumental Statue of Battle and Torment, designed by W. Tołkin. This artist is also the author of the completed concept of commemorating the entire area of the former camp.
The permanent and temporary exhibitions documenting the occupation history of Gdańsk Pomerania, the history of the Stutthof camp and the lives of its prisoners are presented in the original post-camp buildings. The tour route is additionally marked with several historical plaques with archive photos. It takes about two hours to see the terrain and the exhibitions. All assistance and information is available daily at the Visitor Service Department, located in the former guardhouse next to the main entrance of the Museum. This place also offers numerous publications associated with the history of Stutthof. The visitors can always go to the cinema, which presents documentaries: primarily the Soviet and Polish chronicles from the years 1945-1946.
The museum is one of the best-known museum and science sites in the historical landscape of Gdańsk Pomerania. This is due to the direct connections of Stutthof with the history of the extermination of the so-called Pomeranian “leading layer” during the years 1939-1945 (in the Polish context of perception), the multinational structure of prisoners from over 30 nations of the world (the international context), and the convenient location of a place for memories in an area frequently visited by large groups of Polish and foreign tourists.
The small but proud of its mission museum and the numerous people visiting each year ensure that the memory of the tragic history of this place will not be forgotten and will be distributed.