This may be a little late, but our trip to Sachsenhausen was intense. A large amount of the camp was destroyed and most of the buildings are gone, but still some buildings remain and the history there will never go away. Going through the entrance of the camp at Gate A was powerful. Thinking about how many people saw and entered through that gate who would never leave the camp again caused me to tear up. The barbed wire, or at least the few sections that are still up, was rusted and the signs warning the prisoners to stay away were faded. The medical section of the camp gave some terrible stories.
The recorded stories and accounts given to us through our hand held “tour guides” gave some chilling descriptions as to what happened to the prisoners. Those that were is the medical area were essentially test subjects for medical research. Prisoners injected with this or that disease to see what happens, if they will die, how long it will take to die, etc.
Again I felt a strong wave of emotion when going to Station Z, the end point for a lot of prisoners. There was an execution trench were hundred of prisoners saw there end face down in dirt with a bullet in their skull. There was a ramp that lead down, but I could not make myself go down the ramp.
The solitary confinement area was also hard to go into. The small rooms with maybe an open window and maybe a wood box with straw to sleep in made the atmosphere suffocating. To think that people were forced to stay in those rooms for long periods of time, it is and was inhumane.
Just the shear amount of misery that played out in this camp is heartbreaking. So much death and despair in such a small area. And this was mainly a work camp, not a death camp like others. And the thought that there were many others like Sachsenhausen, is terrifying. I learned about the Holocaust from museums, history class, and movies/documentaries, but actually getting the chance to go to a real concentration camp makes it that much more real. I pray this will never happen again. Never forget the past.