Saturday, August 23, 2014

Berlin Day 2: Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

The Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp tour was very sobering, as it should be. I booked the tour through Insider Tour Berlin, and I paid 12euro because I'm under 26 years old. The tour met up near my hostel at the train station at 10am. Once the group was ready we caught the train to the camp.
I did not take any photographs.

Entrance to the camp (photo source)

Our tour guide, Roy, was great and very knowledgable. He was also from the UK, so it was nice hearing an English voice.

Wikipedia has this to say about the camp:
The camp was established in 1936. It was located 35 kilometres north of Berlin, which gave it a primary position among the German concentration camps: the administrative centre of all concentration camps was located in Oranienburg, and Sachsenhausen became a training centre for Schutzstaffel (SS) officers (who would often be sent to oversee other camps afterwards). Executions took place at Sachsenhausen, especially of Soviet prisoners of war. 
Among the prisoners, there was a "hierarchy": at the top, criminals (rapists, murderers), then Communists (red triangles), then homosexuals (pink triangles), Jehovah's Witnesses (purple triangles), and Jews (yellow triangles). 
During the earlier stages of the camp's existence the executions were done in a trench, either by shooting or by hanging. A large task force of prisoners was used from the camp to work in nearby brickworks to meet Albert Speer's vision of rebuilding Berlin. 
Sachsenhausen was originally not intended as an extermination camp—instead, the systematic murder was conducted in camps to the east. In 1942 large numbers of Jewish inmates were relocated to Auschwitz. However the construction of a gas chamber and ovens by camp-commandant Anton Kaindl in March 1943 facilitated the means to kill larger numbers of prisoners.

After the camp tour I got to meet a friend, Maria, who reads my blog and writes one of her own. She is a really cool chick and I'm glad we got to hang out. Day 3 in Berlin was spent with her and I had an awesome time to end my stay in Berlin.

2013 Trip:
Paris Day 1 [here]
Paris Day 2 [here]
Paris Day 3 [here]

Rome Day 1 [here]
Rome Day 3 [here]
Rome Day 3 [here]

Vienna Day 1 [here]
Vienna Day 2 [here]
Vienna Day 3 [here]

Berlin Day 1 [here]
Berlin Day 2 [here]
Berlin Day 3 [here]

UK [here]

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