Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

While in Berlin I visited the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. This camp was the first one the Nazis built from the ground up and was known to be the model concentration camp after which many others were modeled after. Several hundred thousand people past through the gates and over 30,000 died here. After World War II, this camp was used by the Soviet’s in their fight for communism, thus having a double meaning for the German people. Because the camp was used after the war, much of it has been taken down so what I saw were partial recreations of how the camp actually stood in its day.

Seeing a concentration camp first hand was definitely something I wanted to see in Europe, but it was harder than I imagined. I just can’t believe something like this happened. I can’t believe that it happened for over five years. I just can’t comprehend it.

On the entrance gates, the famous Nazi slogan Work will make you freeis displayed:

In order to escape, prisoners faced many challenges and very few ever made it out alive.

In the memorial, there is a museum displaying artifacts of the prisoners:

These bunkbeds used to house hundreds as men. Often, five + were sharing one bunk (so over 15 people on a single set):

There are the original remains of the execution chambers used here:

A memorial:

The daytrip to Sachsenhausen was very eye-opening and extremely informative. The most disappointing part of the day was when a young American guy decided the bathrooms were too far away and decided to go on the original fence of the camp. I honestly could not believe someone would do something like that – to a piece of history none the less. It made me feel disgusted – how could someone be so ignorant?

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