A Decentralizing Concept of the Museums

The redesign of Sachsenhausen Memorial encompasses an overall decentralizing concept, giving visitors the opportunity to learn about the history of the places within the authentic surroundings. The remnants of buildings and other relics of the camp, will be put into the focus of the presentation and combined with an explanatory historical documentation on its history. Eleven of the planned thirteen permanent exhibitions currently on display show further unique aspects of the history of Sachsenhausen that are directly connected to the places they are shown.

All exhibitions are in German an English except for No. 37 which is in German only.

(The numbers are related to the map of the memorial site.)

7. Commandant's House

History of the SS Command Staff – 1936-1945
(in preparation)

8. New Museum

Oranienburg Concentration Camp – 1933-34

On 21st March 1933, local SA stormtroopers took over a disused brewery in middle of the town of Oranienburg and set up the first concentration camp in the state of Prussia. Over 3,000 prisoners, mostly political opponents of the National Socialists, were humiliated and maltreated there; some of them were even murdered. The exhibition uses artwork, artefacts, documents, films and audio clips to show how tactics of public intimidation rapidly developed into a state-organised concentration camp system.

8. New Museum

From Memory to Monument – 1950-1990

Films, audio clips, artwork, plans and numerous artefacts illustrate the story of the memorial site, from the first acts of remembrance after 1945 to inauguration as one of the GDR's National Memorials in 1961, continuing up to German reunification in 1989. The exhibition examines the sweeping changes made to the historical substance by East German architects and planners, as well as key aspects of the political instrumentalisation of antifascism.

10. Entrance to the Prisoners’ Camp "Tower A"

Organisation of the Concentration Camp – 1936-1945
(in preparation)

15. Barrack 38

Jewish Prisoners in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp 1936-1945

Barracks 38 and 39 were part of the 'Small Camp'. It was there that the SS incarcerated Sachsenhausen’s Jewish prisoners from November 1938 to October 1942. An anti-Semitic firebomb attack in 1992 destroyed parts of both barracks. The new Museum Barrack 38 tells the story of Jewish prisoners in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, with the aid of prisoner's biographies.

Further information

16. Barrack 39

The 'Everyday Life' of Prisoners in Sachsenhausen 1936-1945

In Barrack 39, the 'everyday life' of prisoners in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp is presented thematically in a multi-media environment. Twenty different prisoners each relate their personal experiences under the headings: ‘Roads to Sachsenhausen’, ‘Prison Society’, ‘Work’, ‘Time and Space’, ‘Violence, Dying and Death’ and ‘Living with the Memory’.

Further information

17. Prison

The Prison within the Concentration Camp 1936-1945

Put up by inmates in 1936, this three-wing block of cells was used as a prison by the Gestapo and the camp authorities. It was a place veiled in secrecy, a place of torment and murder. It held those punished by the SS for infringements of camp discipline as well as prominent figures arrested by the Gestapo. The exhibition is housed in five original cells of the one remaining wing of the cell block.

Further information

22. Prisoners’ Kitchen

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp 1936-1945. Events and Developments

Located in what was once the prisoners' kitchen, the exhibition focuses on key events in the history of Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, illustrating changes and continuities and examining phases and breaks. On the walls of the cellar, in which potatoes were peeled, remarkable paintings from the eras of the concentration camp and the Soviet Special Camp can still be seen. A twenty-minute film, shown in a separate room, relates what happened in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp to broader historical developments between 1933 and 1945.

24. Camp Wall near "Station Z"

Murder and Mass Murder in the Concentration Camp 1936-1945

The exhibition deals with the history of the site, as well as the concentration camp's various facilities for killing people. In concentrates on separate planned acts of murder and mass murder, including the shooting of more than 10,000 Soviet prisoners-of-war in the autumn of 1941.

29. Tower E

The Town and the Camp – 1936-1945

At the northern end of the camp triangle is Tower E. It houses a small exhibition about various aspects of the relationship between Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and the surrounding area: the town of Oranienburg and the parish of Sachsenhausen.

Further information

31. Soviet Special Camp Museum

The Soviet Special Camp No. 7 / No. 1 in Sachsenhausen 1945-1950

Between 1945 and 1950, the Soviet secret services held a total of around 60,000 people in the core area of the former concentration camp. The museum, which is housed in a new purpose-built exhibition space and two remaining original barracks, documents the history of the Special Camp and the fate of its inmates, at least 12,000 of whom died from hunger and disease.

Further information

34. Infirmary Barracks

Medical Care and Crime in the Concentration Camp 1936-1945

The original barracks R I and R II of the infirmary date from when the concentration camp was set up. The "Medical Care and Crime" exhibition examines various aspects of the subject, from medical care to medical experiments on prisoners and the murder of patients. A section is devoted to the men and women who, after the attempt to kill Hitler on 20th July 1944, were brought to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. The role played by Sachsenhausen as a showcase to impress visiting groups from within Germany and abroad is also highlighted.

Further information

37. T-Building

System of Terror: the Concentration Camps Inspectorate

Only a few hundred metres away from today's memorial site, there stands the building that, between 1938 and 1945, housed the administrative headquarters of the entire concentration camp system. The men who sat behind desks in the Inspectorate played a significant part in planning and perpetrating crimes against humanity. It was they who determined conditions of imprisonment, coordinated forced labour and organised mass murder. The exhibition is in a room which has remained largely unaltered since it served as the bureau for the head of the entire concentration camp system.