Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten Gedenkstätte und Museum Sachsenhausen

Orientierung auf dem Gelände der Gedenkstätte und Museum Sachsenhausen

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1 Visitor Information Centre

This building, which since 2004 has housed the Visitor Information Centre, was erected in 1939/40 as a workshop for the care and maintenance of weapons.

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2 Models

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in 1944/45
Soviet Special Camp in 1947/48
Memorial in 1961

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3 Camp Street

Prisoners were taken into the camp along the Camp Street, which separates the Concentration Camp Command Headquaters and the Prisoner's Camp from the grounds of the SS Troop Camp.

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4 SS Toop Camp

The complex included a military barracks, where camp guards were trained and housed. It also housed contained centralised institutions serving the entire concentration camp system.

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5 Entrance to Command Headquarters and Prisoners' Camp

The entrance stands exactly on the central axis of the camp. It is here that prisoners entered Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp.

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6 Command Headquarters

The Command Headquarters, sited between the SS Troop Camp and Prisoners’ Camp, contained offices, accommodation and a casino for about 100 to 250 SS command staff.

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7 Commandant's House

THE CONCENTRATION CAMP SS 1936–1945.
DIVISON OF LABOUR AMONG THE PERPETRATORS
The concentration camp prisoners were subject to the almost unrestricted power of the 100 to 250 SS command staff. Additionally, there were up to 3,500 SS men in the »Brandenburg« Death’s Head Brigade. The commandant’s house was a place of central importance. It was here that the commandant consulted with his six divisional heads and with the head of the guard unit on matters such as planning mass murder operations. The exhibition on display in the original offices of the commandant’s house focuses on two such cases in order to illustrate the various participants’ culpability in the context of their biographies.

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8 New Museum

ORANIENBURG CONCENTRATION CAMP 1933 / 34
On 21st March 1933, local SA stormtroopers took over a disused brewery in middle of the town of Oranienburg and set up the first concentration camp in the state of Prussia. Over 3,000 prisoners, mostly political opponents of the National Socialists, were humiliated and maltreated there; some of them were even murdered. With works of art, artefacts, documents, films and audio clips, the exhibition shows how tactics of public intimidation rapidly developed into a state-organised concentration camp system.

FROM MEMORY TO MONUMENT 1950–1990
Films, audio clips, works of art, plans and numerous artefacts illustrate the story of the memorial site, from the first acts of remembrance after 1945 to inauguration as one of the GDR’s National Memorials in 1961, continuing up to German reunification in 1989. The exhibition examines the sweeping changes made to the historical substance by East German architects and planners, as well as key aspects of the political instrumentalisation of antifascism.

SPECIAL EXHIBITIONS

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9 Signs of Commemoration

Along the path by which visitors entered the Memorial site until 2003, there are stones, plaques and sculptures that commemorate groups of people or individuals who were imprisoned in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp.

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10 Entrance to the Prisoners' Camp "Tower A"

THE CONCENTRATION CAMP SS 1936–1945:
EXCESSES AND DIRECT PERPETRATORS
Tower A is where Department III (Protective Custody Camp) of the concentration camp command was based. Its personnel had direct power over the prisoners. Its activities are shown in the exhibition, which highlights specific excesses and those who committed them – ranging from SS Block Leaders up to the head of the SS. Insights are also given into the special design and layout of Sachsenhausen concentration camp, which embodied the SS goal of achieving total control.

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11 Security System

The security system, consisting of a death-strip, an electric fence and a camp wall, was reconstructed as part of the creation of the National Memorial in 1961.

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12 Roll-call Area

This semicircular space was where prisoners had to assemble for roll-call: in the early years three times a day ; later on once in the morning and once in the evening – often suffering for hours in the rain and cold.

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13 Shoe-testing Track

The shoe-testing track had a variety of surfaces and was laid out in 1940. Prisoners in the punishment squad had to march round it endlessly, to test leather substitutes for the German shoe industry.

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14 Small Camp

This complex of barracks, erected in 1938, is where most of the Jewish prisoners were kept, until they were deported to Auschwitz in October 1942.

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15 Barrack 38

JEWISH PRISONERS IN SACHSENHAUSEN CONCENTRATION CAMP 1936–1945
Barracks 38 and 39 were part of the »Small Camp«. It was there that the SS incarcerated Sachsenhausen’s Jewish prisoners from November 1938 to October 1942. An anti-Semitic firebomb attack in 1992 destroyed parts of both barracks. The new Barrack 38 Museum tells the story of Jewish prisoners in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, with the aid of prisoner’s biographies.

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16 Barrack 39

THE 'EVERYDAY LIFE' OF PRISONERS IN SACHSENHAUSEN 1936–1945
In Barrack 39, the 'everyday life' of prisoners in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp is presented thematically in a multimedia environment. Twenty different prisoners each relate their personal experiences under the headings: "Roads to Sachsenhausen", "The Prisoner Comunity", "Work", "Space and Time", "Violence, Dying and Death" and "Living with the Memory".

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17 Prison

THE PRISON WITHIN THE CONCENTRATION CAMP
1936–1945
Built with prison labour in 1936, this threewing block of cells was used as a prison by the Gestapo and the camp authorities. It was a place veiled in secrecy, a place of torment and murder. It held those punished by the SS for infringements of camp discipline as well as prominent figures arrested by the Gestapo. The exhibition is housed in five original cells of the one remaining wing of the cell block.

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18 Passage to Zone II of the Soviet Special Camp

In 1946, a gate was inserted in the eastern camp wall between Zone I and Zone II of the Soviet Special Camp. Here stands the first commemorative stone for the victims of the Special Camp, put up in the summer of 1990.

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19 Prisoners' Camp

The barracks were erected in four rows around the semicircular roll-call area. Together with the "Small Camp", this gave Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp a total of 68 barracks.

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20 Site of the Gallows

Prisoners were executed in front of their comrades assembled in the Roll-call Area, as a deterrent. At Christmas, the SS had a Christmas tree put up here.

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21 Prisoners' Laundry / Meeting Room

In this sturdy building, constructed in 1937, prisoners’ clothing was washed – infrequently. Today, it houses a meeting room and a room for workshop exhibitions.

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22 Prisoners' Kitchen

SACHSENHAUSEN CONCENTRATION CAMP 1936–1945. EVENTS AND DEVELOPMENTS
Located in what was once the prisoners’ kitchen, the exhibition focuses on key events in the history of Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, illustrating changes and continuities and examining phases and breaks. On the walls of the cellar, in which potatoes were peeled, remarkable paintings from the eras of the concentration camp and the Soviet Special Camp can still be seen. A twenty-minute film, shown in a separate room, relates what happened in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp to broader historical developments between 1933 and 1945.

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23 Memorial of the "National Memorial" (1961)

This obelisk, some forty metres high, was the central monument and also the symbol of the GDR’s Sachsenhausen National Memorial, opened in 1961.

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24 Camp Wall near "Station Z"

MURDER AND MASS MURDER IN THE CONCENTRATION CAMP 1936–1945
The exhibition deals with the history of this particular site, as well as the concentration camp’s various facilities for killing people. It concentrates on separate planned acts of murder and mass murder, including that of about 13,000 Soviet prisoners of war in the autumn of 1941.

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25 Execution Trench

In this trench, resistance fighters, conscientious objectors and people sentenced by Nazi Special Courts were executed.

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26 Burial Ground with Ashes of Victims of the Concentration Camp

In 1996 and 2004, several trenches were discovered near to "Station Z". In them, the SS had tipped ashes from the crematorium.

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27 Site of Commemoration "Station Z" for the Victims of the Concnetration Camp

The central site of commemoration of the victims of Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp is located beside the remaining foundations of the crematorium and extermination facilities.

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28 Industrial Yard

The industrial yard has survived almost intact. It accommodated workshops owned by the SS, in which concentration camp inmates were forced to work.

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29 Tower E

THE TOWN AND THE CAMP 1936–1945
At the northern end of the camp triangle is Tower E. It houses a small exhibition about various aspects of the relationship between Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and the surrounding area: the town of Oranienburg and the parish of Sachsenhausen.

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30 "Sonderlager" of the Concentration Camp / Zone II of the Soviet Special Camp

The site of the "Sonderlager" of the concentration camp, set up in 1941, was used as Zone II of the Special Camp after 1946. A gateway leads to the southern part of the "Sonderlager"/Zone II, where there are no remains above ground level.

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31 Soviet Special Camp Museum

THE SOVIET SPECIAL CAMP NO. 7 / NO. 1 IN SACHSENHAUSEN 1945–1950
Between 1945 and 1950, the Soviet secret services held a total of around 60,000 people in the core area of the former concentration camp. A dedicated exhibition space, built in 2001, and two of the remaining original masonry barracks house the museum, which documents the history of the Special Camp and the fates of its inmates, 12,000 of whom died from hunger and disease.

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32 Massen Graves and Memorial for Victims of the Soviet Special Camp / Signs of Commermoration

At least 7,000 corpses were disposed of in the largest of three mass graves dug for prisoners who died in the Special Camp. In front of the memorial which was placed here in 1993 is a space for individual signs of commemoration.

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33 Site of the first Crematorium

In 1939, the first crematorium was erected, not far from guard tower C, just outside the camp wall in the Industrial Yard. It was used until "Station Z" was built in the spring of 1942.

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34 Infirmary Barracks

MEDICAL CARE AND CRIME IN THE CONCENTRATION CAMP 1936–1945
The original barracks R I and R II of the infirmary date from when the concentration camp was set up. The exhibition not only examines the medical crimes committed in them, such as compulsory sterilisation and castration, the murder of patients and experiments on humans, it also covers "everyday" medical care in the camp and the prisoners who gave or received it. Among them were men implicated in the attempt to kill Hitler on 20th July 1944, who were brought, in a serious condition, to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. Sachsenhausen’s role as a showcase camp to impress visitors is also highlighted.

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35 Pathology Building and Cellar Mortuary

In the Pathology Building, built in 1941, autopsies were performed on the corpses of those who had died or been murdered.

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36 Mass Graves for Concentration Camp Victims

Six mass graves for fifty corpses each were dug to bury prisoners who died in the Infirmary Barracks after 22nd/23rd April 1945, when the camp was liberated.

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37 T-Building

CENTRE OF TERROR. THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS INSPECTORATE 1934–1945
Only a few hundred metres away from today’s memorial site, there stands the building that, between 1938 and 1945, housed the administrative headquarters of the entire concentration camp system. The men who sat behind desks in the Inspectorate determined conditions of imprisonment,
coordinated forced labour and organised mass mur der. The exhibition is in a room that has remained largely unaltered since it served as the office for the head of the concentration camp system.

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