KZ Sachsenhausen had an important position in the Third Reich because it was also the administrative center for all of the concentration camps. KZ Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg was intended to set a standard for other concentration camps, in its design and also in the treatment of prisoners. This day trip is part of the 9-DAY HISTORY RAIL TOUR: “FASCINATION AND TERROR” – RISE AND FALL OF THE THIRD REICH.
The Memorial Site can easily be visited from Berlin by taking the regional train “RE 5” (towards “Stralsund” or “Rostock”) to Oranienburg Station. The fare is covered by the “Berlin Welcome Card ABC” and the train takes about 25 minutes.
The Memorial and Museum Sachsenhausen is about 15-20 walking minutes from the station but you may also take a public bus (804 or 821) to the bus stop “Sachsenhausen Gedenkstätte, Oranienburg” which is located right at the entrance of Sachsenhausen Memorial Site.
About 30,000 prisoners died in the concentration camp, even though KZ Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg was originally not intended as an extermination camp (those camps were built in the East). Prisoners’ deaths were caused by exhaustion due to very hard labor, by diseases due to poor living conditions and diet, by abuse and medical experiments, etc.
The Memorial Site (Visitor Center, the open air-exhibition “Murder and Mass Murder in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and the “Station Z”) are open every day and the admission to the Memorial Site is free. When you get to the Memorial Site you first want to visit the Visitor Center. There you have the option to rent audio guides for a small fee. The audio guide is accompanied by a map of the area and contains information about the grounds and history of the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp.
You should plan to spend about 2.5 to 3 hours to visit the site.