Once past the gates of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp the lives of the prisoners of war would change forever. This cruel and inhumane prison with its barbaric torture procedures still stands today just outside Berlin in a town called Oranienburg.
Able2 paid a visit to Sachsenhausen to bring you this spine chilling report which some readers may find distressing. The year is set between 1936 and 1945 and you have just become the next prisoner at Sachsenhausen.
'The track leading to the gates is dusty. On your right you can make out a fairly large complex, it actually looks fairly decent. This is training ground for the SS Men, sworn to their leader Aldof Hitler these will be your guards during your stay at Sachsenhausen.
At the top of their track, again on the right hand side, you can make out their head quarters. The place seems luxurious, especially through this hard and gruelling War time we are facing at the moment. Their home overlooks a lake and inside you believe various parties take place throughout the year. Born again Christians from the Concentration Camp will be their servants. Loyal and good men. You have heard stories of how the SS men tried to tempt these good souls to work on their side. On a weekly basis a handful of Christians would be lined up and asked to hand themselves over to the Nazis. If they agreed, they would live their life of luxury and become SS men. Should they deny. They would be shot dead. They all denied. They were all shot dead. When the Nazis finally understood the message the shootings stopped and it was then when they were used as servants.
Your journey doesn't take you to the right. Your journey takes you left, through the gates of Sachsenhausen.
You are stripped and given your new uniform. Attached will be a triangle, the colour of which would symbolise your ranking inside and impact how you would be treated. Black triangles were for the misfits, Green labelled repeat offenders - They were looked after the best as their distraught past allowed the SS men to use them as spies, relying on them to report fellow prisoners on any wrong doings inside the camp. The gypsies wore brown and the Homosexuals wore pink. The Jews, who along with the homosexuals were treated the worse, they wore two triangles symbolising the Star of David.
We are unaware why Hitler despises the Jews so much. Could it be the Jewish doctor who failed to save his mothers life from Cancer? Or the Jewish boss who made his Gran unemployed? We don't know.
Once you have entered the camp itself you will find yourself in a barrack. Your bed will be shared with two other prisoners giving you a rough idea how cramped your space will be. The bathroom facities are appalling. You will need to share bath tubs, if you are lucky enough to find enough room. The floor will have unwashed human excrement. Each morning you will be woken at 4am, within forty five minutes you must be washed, dressed and standing out in the courtyard ready for the morning register.
The courtyard itself is shaped as a triangle, the point of which is the entrance you arrived at. It is here where a guard is located, situated above so he can overlook the whole area if you try to escape, you will be shot. The perimeter sees an electric fence which will kill you instantly. When prisoners were first taken to Sachsenhausen the fence saw many suicide attempts. The guards cottoned onto this and any prisoner attempting to run to the fence will be shot in the leg to make sure their suicide attempt is unsuccessful.
The registers can last hours upon hours. Prisoners will be called by their numbers. Should anyone be absence the register will start again and because there're are thousands of prisoners it's a very lengthy process. Prisoners have been known to freeze to death and collapse in substantial heat during these vigorous morning hours.
On the right hand side of the courtyard is Barrack No. 38. Years from now, in 1992 Israeli Prime Minister Jitzhak Rabin will visit this very camp. His travels will antagonise Right Wing extremists who will start a fire in this very room marking their disapproval of the PM's visit.
It may surprise you that the camp has a VIP area, although prisoners still have an unbearable stay in this cornered off compound. Stalin's son was actually a prisoner here. He was used to bribe his father into exchanging the freedom of his son in favour of a high ranking officer. His father refused and his son committed suicide by managing to reach the electric fence. Another 'celebrity' held prisoner at Sachsenhausen was Jesse James who tried to escape the Concentration camp eleven times. Jesse's life and vain attempts to escape prison life inspired the classic film, The Great Escape. In the courtyard you will see poles where prisoners will be tied to and beaten there's even a hook which will be attached to prisoners feet should they obey any of the strict rules.
We haven't quite finished with well-known faces just yet. Hans Fischerkoesen was a famous German commercial animator. On suspicion being a Nazi collaborator Hans was imprisoned at Sachsenhausen for three years. During his stay he was allowed to draw pictures on the kitchen walls. The SS men weren’t the most intelligent of people and were unaware that Hans paintings symbolised the stupidity of the Nazis. For instance a goose seduced by a fox portrays the intolerance between a Nazi and a Jew.
During your imprisonment at Sachsenhausen one area you do not want to find yourself at is 'The Death Room'. This is where prisoners are lined up and shot dead by the German soldiers and the mentally ill alongside the severely disabled were taken to the gas chambers. The bodies were then dumped on a truck and taken to be burnt in Berlin. In 1940 the vehicle tipped and dead bodies littered the roads. Since this incident occurred the dead are used for experiments in the Pathology.
The two operating tables you see before you will be used for experiments and the patients will be the prisoners. At present we are trying to figure out how the perfect human can be created by the requirements of Aldof Hitler. You won’t be seeing the German leader during your stay; he actually hates the sight of blood. Although his second in command, Starlin pays a daily visit to the Pathology to ensure the procedures are carried out correctly. Local prostitutes are brought in every now and again and instructed to perform sexual acts on some of the patients, all in the name of science of course.
Other experiments have included carrying out brutal pain on a twin to see if its sibling feels the brutally as well and Aribert Heim, otherwise known as Doctor Death has been known to arrange fresh new livers for us as the prisoners organs are far too weak. At Starlin's request the Doctor brought us eleven 8 - year olds, their livers were removed without any kind of aesthetic.
Of course, the patients are useless after they have been used in the Pathology. Their bodies dead or alive are taken to the basement below via the ramp you saw upon your entrance and here they will fester until they are burnt. The bodies do serve a purpose though.
That soap you were using this morning? The contents contain the fat from a dead prisoner. His or her family will be offered to pay an extortionate amount of money for parts of their loved ones bodies. We can not guarantee the part will be from their dead siblings, although they will never know the difference. Of course any gold teeth or anything valuable will be removed before the bodies are burnt.
Artice first published on ABLE2UK in 2010.
- Comments: Be the first to comment