If you are looking for information about the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp the majority of tips have been placed on the Oranienburg page. The camp is located in the Sachsenhausen district of Oranienburg and VT has created locations for both. This link will take you to the other pages. Oranienburgmore
To give this a positive twist, I was mighty glad that night that there were no fleas and lice in my bed, that I could take all the time I wanted on the loo; that nobody forces me into being raped 6 times a day because I would have the tragic circumstance to look attractive enough to make them enjoy looking at my torture; that nobody makes me stand...more
Can you take more? Coz here is more to take and I am beginning to feel a bit sicklish again myself. And angry.As you may know, one thing about the Nazis is that they liked to humiliate people and kill people naked so along with people’s lives they could even take away their dignity, even in individual executions as in Auschwitz, and not just...more
The Russians also represented a large part of the war prisoners murdered by the Germans, I think the second largest group after the Jews, if not the first because to the German Nazis, they were sub-human as well. In a temporary exhibit about medical experiments they featured a photo series of how a Russian prisoner was tortured to death and then...more
What was relatively new to me, was that the Russians continued to imprison people here after the war. Even though the conditions improved in terms of not deliberately massmurdering people, torture, sexual abuse, starvation, diseases etc. were still on the agenda. The Russians also didn’t take well to political Germans or international love stories,...more
Some locals present in the meeting said they thought so many people were dying—they saw the smoke coming from the crematorium—because of the hard labor and poor food the thin starving men in the work crews they sometimes saw were obviously subjected to. From my point of view it sounds like evasion, but I am looking in retrospect. Remember this:...more
On the wall, you can see an outdoor exhibit that is also accessible on Monday, when the other exhibits are closed. The tower in the back holds an exhibit that gives you a little break after all the murderous bits, about the relationship of the locals to the camp. Don’t be too surprised if you don’t hear the bad bits told here, further down read...more
This place with its white tiles just made me ill. It was worse than being inside a gas chamber in Auschwitz. I could just about see the red blood splashing out on the wall tiles. I could not stay inside and did not want to take pictures there and went right out again. I don’t know why. Maybe because I read about what happened in another camp. There...more
On the other side of the Jewish building is an exhibit with more eye witnesses and survivors speaking about daily torture and humiliation “every day life”, with more dysfunctional bilingual buttons for audio recordings. The German audio usually has the original speaker, unless he or she emigrated to the US or Australia, then the English button...more
The Jewish barrackIt has a metal cage around part of its boards that are burnt black as it was attacked by “antisemites” , I guess they meant Neonazis aka Skinheads, in the 90ies. They left it like this as a statement and only added the cage. It features the history about how all that rage started post WWII, with lots of photos, audio recordings of...more
The execution trenchI used to think this was where the ovens were, but that path leading down to the wooden paneling where on the other picture you see people walking down is actually a path that leads up to the crematorium, so the body cart can roll up on it carrying the dead. The wooden paneling was there so bullets could be recycled to be used...more
The outdoor area You see the barbwire, the signs, the walls, the gallows, the areas with mass graves or ashes, the strange waltz that prisoners had to pull around for punishment, the memorial stones with those sad and horrible stories, like that stone for this German guy’s mom, with photos, who was sent here and died because she fell in love with...more
There is a MacDonalds and an inexpensive Vietnamese restaurant near the station which advertises “We use original spices and MSG”,just so you know you are getting your daily chemicals . On the way to the camp ( if you walk there) you come by a supermarket with a yellow and black sign called “Netto” where you can stock up on inexpensive foor and drink for your walk around the camp site. It’s huge! Otherwise, there is a cafeteria on the memorial compound. I felt funny drinking the tab water there—and also using their bathroom—as it’s also a burial place so to speak, with all those ashes and remains of prisoners about.
Favorite Dish: I didn't visit the restaurants.
From Berlin, Sachsenhausen Concentration camp can be reached by two trains:
S1 from Friedrichstraße, (or other transit stations en route) to Oranienburg, which takes ca. 40 minutes and costs a little over 6 Euro for a round trip.
There is also an express train from Hauptbahnhof Berlin ( main station) going to Stralsund (the final station shown on the destination sign) which stops at Gesundbrunnen station and then only Sachsenhause.. It is much cleaner and in summer very cold due to heavy AC. This express train RE 5 leaves hourly and only takes only 20 minutes and costs the same as the other local train. The ticket for either train is valid for any trains going that direction.
However, I found it very difficult to buy the ticket from the RE vending machine as you have to enter the exact name of the station and it’s all very slow, and also to finally find the right platform for this express train as it’s not the same sale system as BVG (which means busses, subway and all) but a totally different vending machine. There must be a human ticket vendor somewhere but for that you have to go to a different area of the train station. Not good if your train leaves within the next 10 minutes. Check www.bvg-info.de for schedules.
Both trains are relatively well frequented, but I prefered the atmosphere in the express train .
Outside of Oranienburg station, you can try to catch one of the busses going there—just ask, or join the clusters of foreign tourists . The memorial is called “Gedenkstatte Sachsenhausen” in German. There are two busses that are headed that way, leaving from the platform farthest from the station, kind of in the middle of the road. Or you could walk which takes ca. 15 minutes. There are signs called “Gedenkstätte”. Depending on the day time, not many people are out and about, but all are happy to practice their English language skills and help. The last bus back to the train station leaves some time around 6 or 7 p.m, check when you get off to visit.
There is a bookstore with an elaborate collection in the lobby of the camp. You can sit down there and read most of the books, many survivors' autobiographies. It closes at 6, I believe.
Food and Drink for those on a budget: A supermarket is along the way, with a yellow and black sign called netto.
Hm, nightmares? Depression? Or indifference, after the 20th descripition of how to torture someone to death? Copycats? Political awareness and a stronger understanding of the necessity of human rights organizations and enforcement?
Public transportation at night:
A South Asian migrant from Berlin told me he would NEVER go to anyplace outside of Berlin in Brandenburg, meaning, to venture out into formerly East German territory . However, there are plenty of individual international tourists visiting Oranienburg’s memorial, and I haven’t heard of any incidents.
If an attacker is alone, you can even talk to those youngsters, challenge their philosophy and they are not all aggressive per se. But in groups, worse even if drunk, and especially if you are a dark-skinned guy, not a girl, skinheads or neonazis may attack you and kill you just for fun as has happened in Germany before. None to this extent, has, to my knowledge, and on this scale, ever (officially) happened in a daytime train full of commuters in this area, but keep this in mind.
What DID happen on this train line was that I got sexually harrassed in a pretty empty late night train departing near the camp by a really aggressive immigrant. A man working for the train company finally told the guy off. Something similar also happened in a Berlin train full of commuters and tourists, nobody spoke up for me and my friend, when these guys would keep bothering us 3ven physically and calling us Nazis when we told them off. The other people all just pretended not to see and hear, as usual.
You have to ask the people around you directlya nd tell them what exactly to do. You can also pretend you are calling police even if you don’t actually have a cell phone on you, , just describe where you are and what the offender looks like. All of those I had since took off at the next stop when they heard me make my pretense call.