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What was the Purpose of the Concentration Camp in Berlin?

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.

Concentration camps are dark chapters in human history, and their existence raises questions about the depths of human cruelty. Berlin, the capital of Germany, played a significant role during World War II, including being the location of several concentration camps. In this blog post, we will explore the purpose and key aspects of the concentration camp in Berlin.

1. Historical Background

During World War II, the Nazi regime, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, sought to implement their ideology of racial superiority. They established concentration camps with the aim of imprisoning and eliminating individuals who were deemed undesirable according to their warped ideals.

2. Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

One of the most infamous concentration camps in Berlin was Sachsenhausen. Located in Oranienburg, just outside the city, it was established in 1936 and remained operational until 1945. Sachsenhausen served as a model for other concentration camps and became a training ground for SS officers.

2.1 Purpose

The primary purpose of Sachsenhausen was to imprison political dissidents, intellectuals, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and other groups considered enemies of the Nazi regime. Furthermore, it served as a site for forced labor, medical experiments, and mass killings.

2.2 Living Conditions

Living conditions in Sachsenhausen were brutal and inhumane. Prisoners faced overcrowding, malnutrition, and pervasive violence from guards. In addition, they endured grueling forced labor, which often resulted in exhaustion, injury, and death.

3. Ravensbrück Concentration Camp

Ravensbrück, located around 56 miles north of Berlin, was the largest concentration camp for women under Nazi control. Established in 1939, it became a place of unimaginable suffering for countless women during the war.

3.1 Purpose

Ravensbrück primarily targeted women who were political opponents, resistance fighters, or considered racially or socially undesirable. It also housed female Jehovah’s Witnesses, lesbians, and prostitutes. The camp included a small men’s section where male prisoners involved in medical experiments operated.

3.2 Medical Experiments

Medical experiments were a macabre aspect of Ravensbrück. Dr. Karl Gebhardt conducted experiments on victims, including bone and muscle transplantation without anesthesia. The aim was to test surgical techniques that could potentially be used on wounded Nazi soldiers.

4. Memorialization and Remembrance

Today, the concentration camps in Berlin serve as solemn reminders of the atrocities committed during the Nazi era. They stand as memorials to honor the victims and to educate future generations about the consequences of prejudice, discrimination, and tyranny.

4.1 Visiting the Sites

Both Sachsenhausen and Ravensbrück have been transformed into museums, preserving the memory of the victims and providing visitors with an opportunity to learn about the past. These visits can be emotionally challenging but are essential for understanding the importance of human rights and tolerance.

4.2 Remembering the Victims

Remembering the victims is crucial for ensuring that such atrocities are never repeated. By honoring their memory, we can work towards creating a more compassionate and inclusive world.


The concentration camps in Berlin were sinister tools used by the Nazi regime to enforce their ideology and perpetrate unimaginable human suffering. Understanding the purpose of these camps is essential for comprehending the depths of human cruelty and the importance of promoting tolerance, respect, and equality in our society today.

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 of the Concentration Camp in Berlin?

Mar 7, 2024