Remembering: Political Prisoners at Sachsenhausen

In September 1939, thousands of communists, social democrats and trade union leaders are arrested in Germany. 5,000 of them are sent to Sachsenhausen, as well as 900 Jews. End of September 1939, there are 8,384 prisoners in the camp.

In April 1940, the first crematory is built in Sachsenhausen.

In the following years, some 30,000 inmates die in Sachsenhausen from exhaustion, disease, malnutrition or pneumonia from the freezing winter cold. Many are executed or die as the result of brutal medical experimentation. SS practices methods of mass killing that are later used in the death camps.

Towards the end of the war, 13,000 Red Army prisoners of war arrive at Sachsenhausen. Over 10,000 are executed in the camp. Their bodies are then burnt in the crematorium…













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