Talk:Sachsenhausen concentration camp

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Value of fake currency[edit]

"This fake currency is considered very valuable by collectors." - actually a Bernhard fiver cost less than a real one from the same period. Jooler 18:09, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Were there gas chambers at Sachsenhausen?[edit]

I just finished merging Sachsenhausen (Oranienburg) into this, and made a few other changes, one of which was to reword "...the mass murders with gas took place in other concentration camps further east" to "It is worth noting that organised mass murder with gas did not happen at Sachsenhausen; instead, this took place in death camps that were further eastwards." However, the Wikitravel guide to Sachsenhausen ([1]) mentions: "In 1942, the additional section known only as Station Z was constructed. Designed for murdering people clinically and quickly, Station Z consisted of a gas chamber, a firing range and a crematorium. While small in comparison with the death factories of places like Auschwitz, on several occasions up to 5000 people in a several days were executed here."

I've visited Sachsenhausen, and I recall that when we were given a tour of Station Z (all that remains are the foundations) that the guide didn't mention gas chambers (the preferred method, I seem to remember, was a shot through the side of the neck). Can anyone clear this up? Thanks.--Doug (talk) 17:48, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes, there was a gas chamber. Here's a picture of the ruins, along with some history. Jpatokal 03:30, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Thank you! I've added your link to the Related links section, and corrected the error I made in the article on the presence of gas chambers. I'm still not completely satisfied with what I've written though - the point I was trying to make is that Sachsenhausen was primarily designed to house political prisoners, etc. and later Russian POWs - and not that it was (originally) designed as a tool of the Holocaust. Doug (talk) 21:08, 29 March 2006 (UTC)


The link above is confusing - scrapbooks - the article and discussion says gassing took place but the link says that the prisoners to be gassed were evacuated to Poland a year before the gas chamber was built. I believe several "historians" - proholocaust - ( a consensus ) have stated that no gassing took place in Germany. Is wikipedia disputing their findings?

Like all other camps in Germany, Sachsenhausen was a concentration camp, not an extermination camp. It's clear that a gas chamber was built, so it was probably used, but certainly never on anything remotely approaching the scale of places like Auschwitz. What "several historians" are you referring to? Jpatokal 05:22, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
there was a gas chamber here, but was never properly used, as the fan they used, to vent the gas, did not function properly. Instead of taking in the fresh air it took in the gas, so worked backwards, so they stopped using it. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 86.137.223.121 (talk) 19:33, 28 March 2007 (UTC).


It would appear that the Germans were too stupid to unscrew the fan and rotate it 180 degrees. I hope there is a better reason as to why there was no gassing, this sounds pretty farfetched ( how could people as dumb as this run anything, the Germans would have been in the dark, not being able to figure out this new thing called electricity.)159.105.80.141 13:46, 3 May 2007 (UTC).

There was no neccesary evidence of gas chambers as Sachsenhausen


As far as I understand after a tour at the site, there was a PROBABLY a gaschamber at the installtion Station z. Arceologists have not found the exeact spot (due to blow up of the installation by the Soviets in the 1950´s) but claims it is probably located in one of the corners of the building. Henrikpaulsson (talk) 21:37, 15 January 2008 (UTC)


I went through Sachsenhausen on the 8th of Feb, 2009 and at Station Z the audioguide played an account of a prisoner who at the time, who recounted being asked to fire up the ovens and prepare the gas chamber late one day. After he finished he was told that he could leave. When he returned the next morning there was a large amount of ash and bags of personal belongings. I did not take note of any names at the time and am thus not in a position to be able to give any authoritative references (which is why I have not added this to the actual article). However there were both a gassing chamber and a set of ovens to dispatch of the corpses at Sachsenhausen. Ruan de Witt (talk) 09:29, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

I thought Wikipedia was supposed to use primary sources, not anecdote repeated by tour guides.78.146.211.182 (talk) 11:34, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Can anyone provide any reliable source for this gas chamber? To the best of my knowledge, literally no historian now thinks there were gas chambers in the old Reich. Even Martin Broszat and Simon Wiesenthal have acknowledged this, as long ago as 1960 and 1976 respectively. The link provided is not to any primary source; indeed it is difficult to make out who this source is at all. They claim to be "affiliated" to a Jewish heritage museum in New York. Apart from that, nothing.

If no one posts anything more reliable I plan to rewrite this section to acknowledge the camp museum claim, but to add that is not supported by any modern historian.

The entire article should be full of "citation needed". Channelwatcher (talk) 21:57, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

"Subversive" artwork[edit]

Under the heading The Sachsenhausen camp today (was Open to the public), what is meant by "...subversive artwork"? I don't understand the writer's intent; was this a Nazi or Soviet designation, rather than what the artists themselves considered subversive? This requires clarification for NPOV, let alone disambiguation. For now, I've added quotation marks to the term. --Thanks, Deborahjay 04:51, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

References section added[edit]

I've created a References section, adding only the print source for my own editing today. (The citation will be corrected with the volume and page nos. of the Encyclopaedia of the Holocaust English edition when I can check this in the library.) I've asked the editor of the Soviet special camp section to follow suit. -- Deborahjay 05:56, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Deborahjay, in response to your posting to my talk page: Mine was a small edit. I have no references. (Indeed I came to this page from the List of war crimes page looking for some about the Soviet special camp). --Philip Baird Shearer 06:29, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, Philip, for your helpful response. At my first opportunity, I'll review the article's edit history to identify who wrote the pertinent material, and contact them accordingly. --Cheers, Deborahjay 07:39, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Documentation lacking for section on Soviet camp[edit]

I have added requests for documentation for the following and other claims in this section. "By the closing of the camp in the spring of 1950, there had been approximately 60,000 people imprisoned there, at least 12,000 of whom died of malnutrition and disease." I have also removed broken links. Skywriter 22:22, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Inexperienced User and Repeated Reverts[edit]

The above requests for documentation have been deleted by an apparently new and inexperienced user who does not seem to grasp the need for and requirement for documentation. The above request for documentation is reinstated and I ask this new and apparently inexperienced user to please avoid labeling colleagues as "trolls" or "vandals" as this is both off-putting and can quickly lead to troubles.

I will restate what is needed: Documentation of what transpired at the camps under Soviet control and buttressing of the claims of mass fatalities. These are not trivial claims and can not be included in any encyclopedia without documentation. Please cite credible websites, journals or books that originally provide this information. Original research or personal belief does not substitute for documentation.

Thank you. Skywriter 19:04, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Oh yes, becuase there's a "docuemntation needed", I see. But I don't see any documenatation in the article at all, how can it be? I don't see any links or [citation needed]s with the Nazi period atrocities and the numbers of the victims, how it can be? The number of the links for the article is ZERO - not even a single one, but I don't see anyone questioning this. Or should I post [citation needed] everywhere? (of course, I won't) Just GO AWAY. Oh, and you can always visit the museum of the Special Camp 7, if you want. Or the museum of the Special Camp 2 in Buchenwald.[2] --HanzoHattori 14:37, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for taking the time to reply, HanzoHattori. I have read the page to which you refer-- http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/GermanMuseum.html It says the site is "like a poor man's version of the glitzy Buchenwald museum for the Communist victims of the Nazis." Unfortunately, this is not documentation of alleged Soviet atrocities, which I requested. The museum was apparently built by the Soviets in memory of Communist victims of the Nazis. Your use of "Everybody does it" is a not a rational defense for the absence of citations on this issue. I flagged what caught my eye, due to the demands of research I am doing. If you or someone else requires documentation for the rest of the page, please flag it, and the folks who entered it will supply documentation, or the unsupported material will be deleted. That is the Wikiepdia way. I have flagged what I saw as unproven, according to the needs of my current research. You have not proven the claims in that paragraph. Please respect Wikipedia policies of no original research and the affirmative use of clear citations for all that is entered into the encyclopedia. HanzoHattori, "Just GO AWAY" is not an appropriate response to a request for documentation. Disputes are resolved. They do not "Just GO AWAY". Please try again. The request for citation is reinstated. Courteously, Skywriter 17:03, 23 September 2006 (UTC)


RE I have just read that the Russians captured the complete concentration records fron Oranieberg. It appears from this article that this was the administrative center for the entire German camp system. Are these records available? One source I stumbled across says an exact accounting of each camp's population, deaths, supplies, personel, etc is there for the entire period - 1930s till nearly the end of WW2. If so this must be a scholar's dream - or nightmare.

copyedits of 9 April 2007[edit]

I am reverting back to restore the edits I made today. The section header 'The camp under the Soviet Stalinists' is unencyclopdic in tone - just 'Soviets' is fine, since 'Stalinist' is perjorative. The first sentence refers to the camp as a 'former protective custody camp', which is Nazi propaganda. The assertion that anti-soviet activities for which some inmates were imprisoned was 'proved' (in scare quotes) by torture is too sweeping - it is true in some cases, no doubt, but some may have been caught red-handed. Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 14:44, 9 April 2007 (UTC)


Death March - April 20, 1945 - where would you go? The Russians were massing outside Berlin on Aril 1, 1945 - there was no "west" to march to for the Germans. The prisoners liberated by the Russians appear to be the whole bunch. Where did the administrative records end up?159.105.80.141 19:21, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

What about the staff??[edit]

I have been to Sachsenhausen gedentstett. And I have searched for information about the staff, esepicially the medical staff, att this camp. Is i possible that this camp was used for education of nurses and doctors? At the Gedenkstett today, it's possible to see photos of staff. But who did what at this horrible place during WWII? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 212.181.205.4 (talk) 06:49, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Split?[edit]

Should the article be split? It would probably be clearer if we have one article about the camp while under Nazi control and article about the camp while under Russian control.--Anewpester (talk) 00:09, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

No, it makes things more confusing, and you should not have changed this without waiting for any feedback — I've reverted to the previous version. The name "Sachsenhausen concentration camp" refers to both, they were physically located at the same site, and the current museum at the site covers both, so I see no reason to split the two. Jpatokal (talk) 04:12, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
To the contrary. Mixing together the information about two different entities run by two different governments in one article is far more confusing then two separate articles with a hatnote on top of one directing readers to the other article. --Anewpester (talk) 04:18, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
In the guise of preventing "confusion", your version of the article eliminated all evidence of the Soviet camp at Sachsenhausen, with even the hatnote looking like a disambiguator. This does a major disservice to the reader. You call the camps "two separate entities", but it was still the one same camp with the same buildings, designed for containing prisoners in precisely the same brutal conditions. Like the original article says, the concentration camp (there's only one) operated continuously from 1936 to 1950, with 10 years under the Nazis and 10 years under the Soviets.
Finally, "NKVD special camp Nr. 7" is a highly confusing name, as a camp of this name operated in two different locations (Weesow and Sach.), and the Soviet Sachsenhausen camp was actually known as "Special camp Nr. 1" for most of its existence (and that name, too, was previously applied to a different camp in Muhlberg). Jpatokal (talk) 08:04, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Jpatokal: Maybe you're not being careful with your words or maybe I'm overreacting, but calling my edit a "guise" is sort of a personal attack and doesn't assume good faith. As for the substance of your comments: The intention was to remove all mention of the Soviet camp as to make the distinction clear. The hatnote was just that, a disambiguator.
Russian camps are not generally known as "concentration camps." Also, "precisely the same brutal conditions" is not correct because there's no evidence that the Russians utilized the gas chambers. Nor is their comparable evidence of "mass killings". --Anewpester (talk) 14:18, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, you are overreacting by construing any of that as a personal attack. Simply put, I continue to contend that in your drive for "clarity" you are making the article worse.
According to the Internment article itself, Soviet gulags and NKVD "special camps" were concentration camps. According to NKVD special camps, approximately 33% of their detainees died during 5 years, which isn't much of an improvement on the Nazis' Sachsenhausen record of 100,000 deaths out of 200,000 (50%) in 10 years.
But how equivalent the two are is actually mostly irrelevant. Since the focus of the article is on the camp (that is, the physical structure and what happened in it), it's logical to keep it in one article. There's plenty of precedent: see eg. Changi Prison, which covers three wildly different regimes -- British, Japanese and Singaporean -- all in one coherent article. Jpatokal (talk) 16:38, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
  • I strongly agree with Jpatokal (talk) that there is no need to create a separate fork – this article is about the facility. Its entire history and development certainly should be in one, cohesive article. The Lead makes clear to the average reader that before and during WWII it was a Nazi-run camp and then Soviet thereafter: what's "confusing" about that? Article length is less than 19kb, so length is hardly an issue, either.  JGHowes  talk 18:19, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
I would agree in general that a facility should stay as one article despite going through multiple controls. However, this should only apply when the controlling entities treated the facility for the same purpose. The Nazi regime can in no way be compared to the Stalinist regime. Agreed that the latter was as awful as awful can get, but we don't want to go down a road of equalizing the two regimes. The Russians never put a plan in place to eradicate multiple groups and ethnicities. Nor did they reach the Nazis in terms of the dead. This distinction is manifest in this actual facility. The Russians never used the gas chamber, the deaths under their control were less then under German control (and they were the avengers), and there was no systematic mass killings. Finally, when one hears the term "concentration camp" one thinks of camps under the Nazi regime, not any other regime. --Anewpester (talk) 20:52, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
You do have a point about the article's implication that the Nazi extermination/"concentration camp" and the later Soviet operation are equated alike, especially in the first sentence. I think the best solution is better wording of this article. Consider, for example, the article about Plötzensee Prison: it covers both the Nazi era and then its postwar use under the FRG. Certainly, the horrific deeds of the Nazis at Plötzensee, such as the decapitation of 17-year old Helmuth Hübener, stand totally apart from the postwar period, yet the same article covers both. As a suggestion, I propose rewording the Lead along the lines of the following:  JGHowes  talk 01:01, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

"Sachsenhausen was a Nazi concentration camp in Oranienburg, Germany, used primarily for political prisoners from 1936 to the end of the Third Reich in May, 1945. After World War II, when Oranienburg was in the Soviet zone of occupation, it was used as NKVD special camp number 7 until 1950 for the incarceration of political prisoners. The remaining buildings and grounds are now open to the public as a museum".

While I agree with the basics of what you're saying, I'm not sure that proposed wording is an improvement. Sachsenhausen was not a Nazi extermination camp, "just" a concentration camp, but neither did it not stop being one when the Soviets took over, and the death toll under both regimes was horrific.
Maybe the easiest way out is just to add the figures to the lead and let the reader draw their own conclusions: "About 100,000 of 200,000 prisoners at the Nazi camp were executed or died from disease and malnutrition, while at least 12,000 of 60,000 Soviet prisoners met the same fate." Jpatokal (talk) 01:53, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
The name Sachsenhausen is known as the Nazi name, not the Russian name. I'm not sure what you're saying about letting readers draw their own conclusions." As far as I can see, there are [no] "conclusions" that are pertinent to this discussion. The "conclusion" is misleading as well. It implies that the execution to death ratio under the Nazis was the same as under the Russians.--Anewpester (talk) 02:20, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Wrong again. The museum there is the "Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum", and it covers both the Nazi and Soviet eras in detail.
Re: conclusion, point taken, but AFAIK there's no hard data about the precise causes of death; even the death tolls are only estimates. And at the end of the day, it doesn't make a huge difference whether you shoot someone in the back of the head or intentionally starve them to death -- both are murder. Jpatokal (talk) 04:00, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
The link you provide works against you. As you can see, the museum gives the place two different names and only for the Nazi era is it called the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.--Anewpester (talk) 04:04, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
The website actually gives it six different names (KZ Oranienburg, KZ Sachsenhausen, Special Camp 7, Special Camp 1, Sach. National Memorial, Sach. Memorial and Museum). Would the article be improved by splitting it in six pieces? After all, the current museum is being run by a different regime than the earlier one, right? Jpatokal (talk) 10:23, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
One thing is forsure they don't call the Russian entity the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, so we can't have the Russian entiity go by that name.--Anewpester (talk) 13:08, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
You're welcome to attempt to come up with a better name for the entire article. Jpatokal (talk) 17:08, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
The name of the article is fine, the issue is what information will be included herein. At this time, the article includes information of the camp while it was under Russian control. This misleads readers into assuming that the Russian camp was either officially called the Sachsenhausen concentration camp or was known as the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Neither of which are true. --Anewpester (talk) 17:22, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Two distinct article would be ideal, but I guess this is better then the current state of the article. I would urge you [User:JGHowes] to reconsider your initial protestations in light of the fact that the building was operated by two distinct regimes, had two distinct names, and the operation of the building had distinctly different characteristics under the two regimes. --Anewpester (talk) 01:42, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm actually quite surprised that the split into articles created this brouhaha. Although I initially created a thread at this talkpage, I though the split was most reasonable and doesn't even require a discussion. I just don't see the advantage of putting it one article except for saving kilobtytes. And this is even before the conflation-problems outlined above. --Anewpester (talk) 01:46, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
I still am of the opinion that one, combined article is much better, i.e., covering the 1936–1945 Nazi period, along with the place's subsequent use by the USSR and now as a museum. I've gone ahead and tweaked the Lead paragraph to more clearly delineate the "Nazi concentration camp" from its subsequent periods.  JGHowes  talk 01:21, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Now duplicated instead of split?[edit]

Does the separate NKVD special camp Nr. 7 article serve any purpose? The content is 100% identical to what's contained here, and as was already pointed out, even the name is wrong -- it was Camp Nr. 1 for most of its working life. Jpatokal (talk) 03:13, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

I don't think so, and suggest nominating it at AFD to get a wider consensus.  JGHowes  talk 03:47, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Disturbing sentence[edit]

In 'The Sachsenhausen camp today' section there is the sentence: 'There has been an attempt to burn down the huts occupied by Jewish prisoners'. I find this sentence disturbing because (a) No dates put this extraordinary statement into context and (b) no sources are mentioned. So, where did it come from? RASAM (talk) 23:00, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

It's an actual incident: [3]. I've added the ref and date. Jpatokal (talk) 02:52, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Should Franz Kaufmann be mentioned??[edit]

Franz Kaufmann was taken to and executed at Sachsenhausen...the man is a hero, who saved the lives of many people from almost certain death..can he be mentioned in the list of notable inmates and victims?? Sanju87 (talk) 12:23, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

Zyklon B[edit]

The following sentence about the use of Zyklon B doesn't make any sense:

"The chamber used liquid Zyklon B, which was placed in small glass bottles in the ventilation system next to the door. The bottle was broken with a spike and the gas mixed with the air and was forced into the chamber."

Zyklon B is not liquid; it is a granulate material, which contains hydrogen cyanide. Additionally, how does the "liquid Zyklon B" turn into a "gas" after breaking the bottle container using a spike? I suggest deleting this sentence. It is not supported by any reference and it frankly doesn't make any sense at all.Pilava (talk) 13:29, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Barracks is a Germanism[edit]

The SS did indeed have A BARRACKS (note the singular article with the plural-seeming word) - i.e. a group of military buildings for their own accommodation - but the prisoners were in HUTS. All through the article the German word Baracke (which means hut) has somehow had a magnetic effect leading to this mistranslation. APW (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 08:02, 17 October 2013 (UTC)