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What was the Purpose and History Behind KZ Berlin Sachsenhausen?

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Concentration Camp

Want to explore sachsenhausen concentration camp? Come and join us on the Original Berlin Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Memorial Tour.

KZ Berlin Sachsenhausen, located just outside Berlin, Germany, was one of the major concentration camps established
by the Nazi regime during World War II. This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the purpose and
historical significance of KZ Berlin Sachsenhausen for absolute beginners.

1. Origins and Construction

KZ Berlin Sachsenhausen was built in 1936 by the SS (Schutzstaffel) as a model concentration camp. It was initially
intended to serve as a prototype for future camps and as a training ground for SS personnel. The camp was
strategically located near Berlin to allow easy access for the Nazi leadership.

The construction of the camp was completed within a year, and it became operational on July 12, 1936. Its close
proximity to Berlin enabled the SS to use the camp as a site for propaganda purposes, showcasing the supposed
“rehabilitation” of prisoners through forced labor.

2. Purpose and Function

KZ Berlin Sachsenhausen primarily served as a concentration camp and later evolved into a complex of subcamps.
Its purpose was to systematically imprison and eliminate individuals perceived as threats to the Nazi regime,
including political dissidents, social outcasts, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Jews.

Prisoners at Sachsenhausen were subjected to brutal conditions, forced labor, medical experiments, and
inhumane treatment. Many prisoners died due to executions, malnutrition, disease, and the harsh living

2.1. Prisoner Categories

The camp classified prisoners into various categories, identified through colored triangles. Political
prisoners wore red triangles, Jews had yellow triangles, homosexuals had pink triangles, Jehovah’s Witnesses
wore purple triangles, and green triangles were assigned to professional criminals.

2.2. Medical Experiments

Medical experiments carried out at KZ Berlin Sachsenhausen were among the most notorious in Nazi Germany. Doctors
subjected prisoners to experiments involving infectious diseases, sterilization, hypothermia, and other forms of
torture. These experiments caused immense suffering and resulted in many deaths.

3. Liberation and Aftermath

KZ Berlin Sachsenhausen was liberated by Soviet forces on April 22, 1945, towards the end of World War II.
Following the liberation, the camp was used by the Soviet occupation as a camp for German prisoners of war and
later as an internment camp for former Nazis.

Today, KZ Berlin Sachsenhausen stands as a memorial and museum, providing visitors with a haunting reminder of the
atrocities committed during the Holocaust. The exhibits and displays document the camp’s history, the stories of
individual prisoners, and the overall impact of the Nazi regime.

4. Visiting KZ Berlin Sachsenhausen

If you decide to visit KZ Berlin Sachsenhausen, here are a few tips to make your experience meaningful:

  • Plan your visit in advance and check the official website for any updates or closures.
  • Consider taking a guided tour to gain a deeper understanding of the camp’s history and significance.
  • Respect the solemnity of the site by conducting yourself with appropriate behavior and maintaining a
    respectful demeanor.
  • Take your time to explore the various exhibits, read survivor stories, and reflect on the atrocities
  • Remember to be sensitive to the emotions that may arise during your visit and seek support if needed.

By honoring the memory of the victims and learning about the horrors of KZ Berlin Sachsenhausen, we contribute to
preserving the importance of remembrance and ensuring that such atrocities are never repeated.

Want to explore sachsenhausen concentration camp? Come and join us on the Original Berlin Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Memorial Tour.


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What was the Purpose and History Behind KZ Berlin Sachsenhausen?

Mar 7, 2024