Today the Sachsenhausen concentration camp is a museum and memorial to all those that were incarcerated within its walls. On visiting the camp you will feel a sense of shame, pity and fear at what one human can do to another. The sachsenhausen concentration camp was built in the summer of 1936 using prison labour from the emsland camps just north of Berlin. It was one of the first new camps to be built after the chief of German police was appointed in July 1936, Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler a death camp. It was designed to a fan shape so that tower A could view all barracks and areas of the camp. Tower A housed the guards with Machine guns pointed out in view of the full camp.
The camp was to symbolize the subjugation of the prisoners to the absolute power of the SS. More than 200,000 people were imprisoned within the sachsenhausen concentration camp between 1936-1945. The prisoners included political opponents that were shot in the head in the execution trench and were the first prisoners of the camp, then followed the groups defined by the the National socialist ideology to be biologically or racially inferior these were to include, Jews, Sinti, Roma, Soviet Pow’s, polish, disabled non jewish Germans and homosexuals.
During the so called (“Night of Broken Glass”) of November 1938, SS chief Heinrich Himmler ordered the arrest of about 30,000 Jews and their incarceration in three concentration camps: Sachsenhausen, Dachau, and Buchenwald. Almost 6,000 Jews were deported to Sachsenhausen. The people in the camp were starved, drowned in the toilet, hanged, flogged, shot and experimented on. Many barracks would house around 400 people so you had to share your bed with up to 2 other inmates, going to the toilet was a problem as you would lose your space to sleep. Also going to the toilet was only allowed in the early morning and at night. Many inmates couldn’t stand the brutality and ran toward the electrified fence to kill themselves through sheer desperation.
On listening to the audio you hear of such a tragedy that one cannot fathom it, 12 boys aged around 11 are taken from auschwitz and brought to the sachsenhausen concentration camp, they are to be tested on for curing disease. They are given a thick liquid through their mouths with germs containing the hepatitis pathogens. After 8 days one of the boys was tested to see if his liver had enlarged, the doctor feeling around found the area and performed a liver puncture, the boy was told by an inmate to be quiet and not make a fuss, the boy was in excruciating pain. sachsenhausen concentration camp is only one of the many horrid death camps that existed in Germany and poland. On visiting it leaves you with a of real sadness a sickness in the bottom of your stomach and a very very heavy heart.