The double character of the Soviet special camp, its use to secure the power of the occupying troops as well as its role in Stalin's system of terror, lead a variety of prisoners to be held there. Some of the prisoners were real or perceived opponents of the Soviet system, many of whom had already been persecuted by the National Socialist regime. Max Emmendörfer is a good example. He was imprisoned in Sachsenhausen in 1936/37 as a Communist. In 1942 as a soldier on the eastern front, he deserted to join the red army and the Nationalkomitee Freies Deutschland. After he returned to Berlin, he was arrested as an alleged Gestapo spy and was once again imprisoned in Sachsenhausen. In 1947 he was transported to the Soviet Union, until 1956 when he was able to return to the GDR. Other prisoners were denounced or arbitrarily arrested. In 1946, 38 young people from Greußen, a small town in Thüringen, were imprisoned after being denounced by a person seeking revenge. They were accused of belonging to the Werwölfe and convicted by a military tribunal. They were not even released after the denouncer was found guilty of perjury. Only 14 of the young people survived their imprisonment.
Some of the prisoners were famous people or artists which had worked on the propaganda or the war politics of the NS regime. One of them Heinrich George, was a popular actor and director of the Schiller Theatre in Berlin, he died in the camp in 1946. A pioneer of animated film, Hans Fischerkösen, who had produced training films for the armed forces was also interned in Sachsenhausen from 1945 until 1948.
A large number of minor functionaries of the NSDAP and its structures and
other members of the NS terror system were held in Sachsenhausen. Guards from
Ravensbrück concentration camp and Sachsenhausen's administration were also held
in special camp No.7 / No.1 The first director of the Gestapo's special
commission in Sachsenhausen, Carl August Rikowski, died in the camp in 1949.
Other prisoners had taken part in mass murders, such as the professor of
medicine, Hans Heinze, who as director of the Brandenburg-Görden Psychiatric
Institute (Psychiatrischen Landesanstalt), between 1938 and 1945, was directly
involved in the planning and carrying out of the euthanasia of children, a NS
euphemism for murder.
The Soviet special camp
No.7 / No. 1 1945 - 1950
Introduction to the history of the Soviet special camp No. 7 and No. 1
Construction of special camp No.7 / No.1
The camp's many uses
The prisoners are released: the camp is closed
The internees and the convicted
Life and death in the camp
A break in the silence
The museum 'Soviet special camp'