A short journey from Berlin will bring us to the site of the concentration camp Sachsenhausen, established by the National Socialist dictatorship in 1936. At this 'prototype' camp, the first in Nazi Germany to be designed and built to serve its intended purpose, around 200,000 people would be held until the liberation in April 1945. For 5 years after World War Two, the Soviet Union retained the camp as its own prison, incarcerating a further 60,000 people until 1950.
The camp was left to neglect before becoming a memorial site in 1961 and subsequently used as a political tool by the DDR during the Cold War.
We will visit the housing estate in which once resided SS guards, the barracks of guards in training, and the site of the home of the Commandant or chief guard, before entering the prisoners' camp. We will see the remains of the Jewish camp and discuss the remarkable counterfeiting operation which occurred there, as well as visiting the 'punishment' cells, the 'boot-testing track', the 'Station Z' site of execution with its ruined gas chamber and crematorium, the camp kitchen, laundry, medical barracks and pathology laboratory.