In 1936 the Nazis built one of the biggest concentration camps of the German Reich not far from the city of Berlin. Until 1945 tens of thousands were savagely killed here. Today a memorial and a museum remind us of the cruelties under the Nazi regime. A visit in one of the darkest chapters of German history.
A couple of trees bend in the wind, a strange silence lies over the area. It almost seems, as if everything held still, devoutly and still aghast at the terrors of a time, that is long gone but must never be forgotten. The Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp was opened as a prison camp for political detainees; as an exemplary and training camp it also served for the training of SS soldiers. When World War II started, more and more Jews, Romany people, Homosexuals, and other people who had been declared “inferior” were brought here. They were later joined by Soviet prisoners of war. In mass shootings tens of thousands were killed, others died of hunger and forced labor or remained heavily marked and traumatized.
To remember the victims and as a warning to future generations a memorial was opened here in 1961 already. To visualize the victory over fascism large parts of the camp were demolished. Since 1993 the area has reminded of the inhumanities of the Nazi time as a memorial and museum. Among historic remnants of buildings and reconstructed parts of the camps, where a permanent exhibition informs about the history of the concentration camp, the memorial also has an exhibition on the usage of the camp as a Soviet war prison after 1945.
You can visit both the memorial and museum every day except Monday between 8.30 am and 6 pm (from October to March only until 4.30 pm), entry is free. For larger groups it is recommended to register beforehand. From Industriepalast Hostel you reach the memorial in less than an hour. Just take S5 until Lichtenberg and from there the regional train RB12 until Oranienburg.
All the best from Berlin,
Blogger at Industriepalast Hostel
is Berliner by choice and a passionate backpacker himself. As a receptionist he knows the real hostel life; as a blogger he's been writing for Industriepalast Hostel's Berlin blog since 2014.