Germany // Berlin and Brandenburg //

Gedenkstätte Sachsenhausen

The former concentration camp of Sachsenhausen on the fringes of the small town of Oranienburg, 35km north of Berlin, has been preserved as the unremittingly miserable Gedenkstätte Sachsenhausen (Sachsenhausen Memorial) as a reminder of the crimes of two of the last century’s most powerful and terrible regimes. This early Nazi camp was a prototype upon which others were based. It was never designed for large-scale mass extermination, but all the same around half of the 220,000 prisoners who passed through its gates never left, and at the end of the war the camp was used to systematically kill thousands of Soviet POWs and Jewish prisoners on death marches. After the war the Soviets used the infrastructure for similar purposes.