Themes of our private Tour "Memorial of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp": camp system Sachsenhausen, model concentration camp of the Nazi regime in the vicinity of Berlin, living in a concentration camp near Berlin, Jewish persecution, Holocaust, place of remembrance, Platform 17... (you can select topics or get an overview of from us ).
In 1936, inmates build a concentration camp near Berlin – Sachsenhausen. The Sachsenhausen camp served the Nazi regime as a model and training camp. Overall, about 200 000 persons (especially political opponents and Jews) were imprisoned, tortured or killed. In late summer 1941, a mass shooting facility was built, in which up to 18 000 Soviet prisoners of war were murdered. Overall, tens of thousands of prisoners were murdered. The evacuation of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp by the SS began the morning of April 21st, 1945, when the Red Army was only a few kilometers away. The prisoners were sent on a death march in which again more than 1000 prisoners died.
However, it is important to us, the history of the camp and storage system, shown on the basis of the current literature and numerous eyewitness reports in all the necessary differentiations. It is not our goal to shock the viewer during the private visit, but we do not want to gloss over the situation in the camp. We do cater to guest needs and sensitivities and can omit portions of the camp. However, one should bear in mind that the place every affected emotionally se.
The guided tour of the camp is suitable for children under 12 years old NOT.
Guide & Arrival
Arrival: the Sachsenhausen concentration camp is located north of Berlin. With a car you need about 50 minutes for the journey. By public transportation, about 1:25h (including 1.5 km walk.).
Our private guide will accompany their visit to the memorial of the concentration camp in Sachsenhausen with solid expertise and proper respect. Despite the strong emotional stress, this place is a very important one to visit in order to fulfill our duty of remembrance. We want to help.
All our guides are licensed for the Memorial Coentration Camp Sachsenhausen.
Some places of interest during the Tour
Formed like a triangle the camp was controlled by the massive tower A and its heavy machine gun on top. Through the iron gate below the tower, prisoners entered the camp for the first time. Many of them left it through the gate on their daily way to other special work camps nearby. The inscription on the gate says: "Arbeit macht frei" – "Work Will Set You Free".
Every morning, thousands of prisoners had to line up on the half-circle behind tower A. They had to wait here until everybody was counted. That procedure sometimes took hours and hours. When one had escaped the the night before all other inmates had to stay standing until the person was caught. Once the escapee was taken again he was hanged in front of the inmates still waiting. Here also one side of the former death-strip is to be seen. Anybody stepping on that strip was shot dead without calling.
The place really was used for curing sick inmates. The work conditions of the people who tried to help were unspeakable. After the war it became known that the infirmary of Sachsenhausen was a place where medical testing was done. There is an exhibition in the remaining barracks and everyone can be sure that the guide knows how to handle this very sensitive issue.
Here doctors conducted autopsies. To pretend that things were handled according to the law, a death certificate of every murdered inmate was needed. So the doctors made up all kind of reasons why someone had died. The place is still very much in its original condition.
In late 1942, 12 000 soviet POW's were killed at station Z. There is a set of rooms serving this purpose to kill: one room where the person was killed, one place where the body was kept and behind were the crematories where the bodies was burned. All this is still very visible.
After the night of broken glass (crystal night) in 1938, the Nazis created a new extra camp attached to the original Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. Here, they locked away thousands of Jewish citizens. Many of those were later transported to Auschwitz. Their barracks are still there. Inside is an exhibition about the prisoners life. Also bunk beds and the washrooms are to be seen here.
Like a camp inside a camp, a walled prison was built to keep the inmates that the SS especially wanted to punish. In those little cells, many were locked away in eternal darkness. Amongst them were people like Reverend Martin Niemöller, one of the leading figures of the Confessing Church.
The camp has been used again already in 1945. This time, the soviets locked away their enemies here. Many of those were of course former Nazis. But, as a matter of fact, many people who were opposing the new dictatorship were arrested here too. Thousands died because of the lack of food and the freezing cold of the winters. Hear their stories. And find out to what extend the two regimes using the camp were alike.
"First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me."