The Cap Arcona (ship) was designated from the "cape Arkona" on the island Rügen. It was a luxury steamer of the Hamburg South America line with 206 m and 27500 GRT space measure, which 1927 ran from the pile and were considered as one of the most beautiful ships of its time. The steamer carried both luxury travelers as well as emigrants, predominantly to South America. Starting from 1940, the Cap Arcona was used by the Kriegsmarine and remained in the Baltic Sea. Starting from at the end of 1944, it was used to the transport of refugees from East Prussia to the west, given up afterwards by the Kriegsmarine. Starting from April 26 1945, the Cap Arcona was loaded with prisoners from the KZ Neuengamme and together with two smaller ships, the Thielbek and the Athen to destroy brought into the Lübeck bay in the intention, traces of the KZ crimes.
On May 3 1945 the Cap Arcona, the Thielbek, the Athen and the Deutschland floated unprotectedly in the Lübeck bay between Neustadt (Holstein) and Scharbeutz. They were sunk by allied fliers. Approximately 7,000 to 8,000 KZ passengers drowned, survivors drowned in the cold Baltic Sea or on the bank was shot by SS.