1933 – 1934 Oranienburg concentration camp

A concentration camp in the middle of town

"The building was amply sized, with a gate at the front and back and divided from the outside world by anti-tank barriers. It was surrounded by Oranienburg's houses which meant that the camp was actually located in the middle of town."

Henry Marx, a young journalist from Berlin was describing a peculiarity of the concentration camp in Oranienburg, whilst being held prisoner there for two weeks in 1934. The Oranienburg SA regiment 208 had turned an unused brewery into a concentration camp on the 21 March 1933. Shortly afterwards it was officially recognised by the state. It was situated on a favoured arterial road into Berlin, opposite the court building, a busy public house and between small businesses and a residential estate.

The empty brewery was first turned into a primitive camp to hold up to 700 prisoners, with 14 SA personnel. This was doubled in the summer of 1933. During the same time the number of SA guards increased from 50 to 170, with the help of camp personnel - acting as special police - and regular police officers. The state not only officially recognised the camp, it also ran it financially and administratively. The town's officials and the district's representatives held the power to order a person's imprisonment.

More informations:

1933 – 1934 Oranienburg concentration camp
A concentration camp in the middle of town
A concentration camp for Berlin’s regime opponents
Everyday life
Propaganda
The closure of the camp