During World War II, the Nazis built many internment centers throughout Europe, but among them all, the one that was considered the ideal prototype to embody the ideals of the National Socialist regime was the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
After the harsh events that occurred in the camp those years, the Sachsenhausen concentration camp was transformed into a memorial in honor of the victims of barbarism, so that these terrible events will never be repeated. I explain how to visit it.
1. Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Excursions
If you travel to Berlin it will be easy to get to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, as it is located only 35.1 kilometers from the German capital being the closest to it. If you like contemporary history and want to visit it you have these options:
Tour to Sachsenhausen memorial in English with accredited guide - From.
Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Tour - From.
2. Tour to Sachsenhausen memorial in English with accredited guide.
The Sachsenhausen concentration camp is considered one of the essential visits to make for those who travel to Berlin. To see it, this is the most complete and popular option.
What is this tour about?
This is a 6 hour excursion to Sachsenhausen to learn with a Spanish speaking guide (accredited by the memorial itself) the history of this place, the type of prisoners it housed and their harsh living conditions. It held around 60,000 prisoners, of which more than 12,000 did not manage to escape alive.
In addition, this walking tour will show you the most important sites of the camp such as Barracks 38, the punishment cells, the central courtyard or the infirmary where human experiments were performed on the inmates.
During the tour you will also hear several testimonies of the survivors, see some pictures of the camp taken by the SS as well as secret documentation found at the end of the war.
Why take this guided tour?
Without a doubt, I recommend doing this tour to Sachsenhausen with a guide instead of doing it on your own mainly because you will not have to worry about how to get the tickets there and because you will have the narration of a professional guide who will answer your questions and give historical context to what you see in the camp, which is quite convenient in a place like this.
Information of interest
- Duration: 6 hours
- Recommended if... you want to get to know Sachsenhausen but don't have much time to plan on your own to visit.
3. Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Tour
This tour to Sachsenhausen is the best option if you are looking for a more private experience (since only your group can participate) or you don't feel like seeing it on your own because doing it with a guide is more enriching, since they know a lot about History and about this concentration camp in particular.
What is this excursion about?
This is a 6 hours free tour with guide in English, that is to say, a tour of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp where at the end of the visit each traveler is free to pay the price according to his budget and how satisfied he was with the experience. In this case, the minimum price of 3 euros is intended to cover the donation to the memorial and the costs of confirming the reservation.
During the walking tour through the facilities you will have the opportunity to learn from a guide the history of Sachsenhausen, its evolution from concentration camp to special camp of the Soviet secret service, the difficult living conditions of the prisoners and you will make an itinerary through some of the most outstanding sites of this space as the tower A, the central courtyard, the barracks 38 and 39, the punishment cells, the Soviet memorial or the infirmary, among others.
Why take this guided tour?
If you have a limited budget on your trip to Berlin and you can't spend much but you don't want to miss Sachsenhausen, a free tour is your best option as it adapts very well to your circumstances and you will enjoy all the advantages of a guided tour in English.
Moreover, as you can easily book your tickets online, you won't have to worry about queuing at the ticket office to get them.
- Length: 6 hours
- Recommended if... you would like to take an excursion to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp without spending a lot of money and where only your group participates.
What is and what you will see at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
Nazi Germany designed this place as the ideal prototype in which to embody the ideals of the National Socialist regime and it came to house the central administration office of the other concentration camps.
It began as a detention center and labor camp for political prisoners, but the Nazis soon also interned people they considered inferior because of their race, religion or other characteristics.
During the time Sachsenhausen was in operation (1933-1945), thousands of people were subjected to forced labor, torture, starvation, human experimentation and finally extermination.
After the liberation of the concentration camp by the USSR, Sachsenhausen became a special camp of the Soviet secret service and another detention center for GDR prisoners. Since 1993 it has been a memorial to the victims of that time.
What you will see
Because Sachsenhausen was almost completely dismantled in the 1950s, most of the concentration camp is empty and hardly anything remains of the original infrastructure. However, many parts were reconstructed following the models used by the Nazis and with the same materials to give it greater authenticity and accuracy.
Tower A: the watchtower through which the concentration camp is accessed.
Barracks 38 and 39**: these were the buildings in which the Jewish prisoners were crammed. You can see the reconstructions of the bunks and toilets that were made later according to the testimony of survivors. Today it is the Museum of the Resistance.
Punishment cells: this was the prison of the camp. Here the most important prisoners were locked up and the Gestapo applied brutal punishments.
Kitchen and laundry: two barracks with permanent exhibits about Sachsenhausen.
Shooting pit, gas chambers and mass grave: places where the Nazis murdered the prisoners and later buried them.
Sickbay and morgue: this was the site where human experiments were performed on the inmates and where some of the corpses were stored.
Tower E: This tower shows an exhibition about the relationship between Oranienburg and Sachsenhausen.
Central courtyard: This was the space where the Nazis forced the prisoners to train for long hours in the rain, cold and heat or where they carried out public executions by hanging.
Monuments**: in the camp there are several memorials dedicated to the victims such as the Soviet memorial, the one in the central courtyard, the plaques dedicated to the Spanish prisoners or the monument next to the disappeared gas chamber to all those killed in Sachsenhausen.
Why visit the Sachsenhausen concentration camp?
Given its proximity to Berlin, an excursion to Sachsenhausen will allow you to delve into a tragic episode of European history, empathize with the suffering of many people and reflect on what happened here so that it will never be repeated. In addition, if you like history, you will see in person one of the most important places in the development of World War II.
However, to do it you must take into account that it is a very hard visit. Before joining this tour you should prepare yourself for what you are going to see and hear here. There will be times when you will get a lump in your throat and goose bumps as you walk through this place and imagine the aberrations that were committed at this site.
So, be warned that the Sachsenhausen concentration camp tour may not be suitable if you are a very sensitive person. In fact, it is not recommended for children under the age of 12 because of the crudeness of the exhibits.
Plan your visit to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp
Where is it?
Straße der Nationen 22, 16515 Oranienburg
How to get there?
These tours do not include travel to Sachsenhausen due to the proximity of the camp to Berlin, so you can go on your own. These are the transports you can take:
By train from Berlin: Take the S1 line (S-bahn Wannsee direction Oranienburg) at Berlin Friedrichstraße station and get off at Oranienburg station which is the last stop. To travel you will need a ticket valid for ABC zones. Trains run every 20 minutes and the journey takes about 45 minutes.
To Sachsenhausen from Oranienburg train station**: You can walk 20 minutes to the concentration camp (don't worry, the way is well signposted) or take buses 804 (direction Malz) and 821 (direction Tiergarten) to the memorial.
By car from Berlin: Take the A111 freeway to Hamburg. When you arrive in Oranienburger Kreuz take the A10 direction Prenzlau and exit at Birkenwalder. Then take the B96 towards Oranienburg and follow the signs "Gedenkstätte" to Sachsenhausen. The journey takes about 50 minutes.
- March 15 to October 14: 8:30 AM to 6 PM.
- From October 15 to March 14: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.
Museums are closed on Mondays.
What should I take with me to Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
This place is large and you have to walk a bit between the different points of interest so I advise you to wear comfortable shoes. As for clothing, as this is a visit to a memorial, I recommend you to wear formal clothes out of respect.
In the concentration camp you can take pictures, so there is no problem to bring your camera but remember that Sachsenhausen is a memorial to the victims of Nazism, so when taking pictures try to do it with some consideration.
For the way back to Berlin I advise you to bring a bottle of water and some snacks in case you work up an appetite.
6. Other excursions you might like to do
If during your trip to Berlin you would like to do more excursions apart from this one, have a look at The best tours and excursions from Berlin where you will find more ideas to make the most of your getaway.
Frequently asked questions
What places of the concentration camp will I visit in this tour?
You will live the camp's history by visiting its laboratory, infirmary, cells and barracks, as well as the punishment cells and crematorium in a comprehensive walking tour of the place as you listen to sensitive commentary by an expert guide.
What is included in a visit to the concentration camp?
All tours will include the guidance of a local expert and a map of the city, and private options will include a pick-up at your hotel.
What should I know before visiting Sachsenhausen?
You are probably wondering if photos are allowed, and while they are, it's really easy to take a picture that is not really appropiate at these places, so we recommend you to think before you shoot. On that note, be careful about the clothes you wear, since you probably don't want to be displaying any awkward slogans.