Project day: the prison building as part of Sachsenhausen memorial and museum

Description of the project:

Even today, little is known about Sachsenhausen concentration camp's prison and a permanent exhibition has only been on display in the building since last year.

At first the prison was open and integrated into the camp, but in 1938 it was divided from the main camp by a wall. The wall was built to hide the cruelties that went on inside the prison but also to conceal the presence of special prisoners from the camp and the outside world.

Some of the prisoners held there were from Sachsenhausen and were being punished for breaking the camp rules, others were Gestapo prisoners from the torture cells in Berlin or special prisoners such as prominent foreign figures, important representatives of the church or people who had attempted to kill Hitler.

Up until today the names of 300 people that were held in the prison are known. Information about their lives and the conditions in which they were held is often only available in a minimal form. The only information we have about some of them is their name. The pupils work together with memorial staff, ask questions they may have, choose themes to work on and decide on the way in which they want to complete their tasks.

The tasks:

  1. Tour and independent work in the permanent exhibition 'Sachsenhausen concentration camp prison'.
  2. Work with material collection to produce short biographies. ('School pupils working for each other.')
  3. Use of documentation on the treatment, punishment and the daily life of prisoners in the prison with respect to the various prisoner groups.
  4. Production of biographical material. Exhibition of this work in the prison buildings.

Future informations:

A typical project day programme