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German Exchange: Sachsenhausen

A few weeks ago, I shared one of the best visits I made while on my German exchange – the Reichstag. Today I am sharing another one of those important days that taught me so much.

The visit of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

It was a visit organised by our programme – so one afternoon after school, we met up with one of our chaperon from Quebec and headed to the camp. It is very accessible since it is in a direct line from the central station of Friedrichstrasse.


The camp was originally set in Oranienburg in 1933 before being resettled in Sachsenhausen in 1936, where it stayed open until the end of the war in 1945. More than 200,000 people were imprisoned there during WWII. It was never meant as an extermination camp – as it was so close to the capital – but tens of thousands died of exhaustion, disease, malnutrition, as well as executions. However, halfway through the war thousands were transferred to Auschwitz.

It was established as a memorial in the 1960s and the memorial and museum was opened in the early 1990s.

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I won’t say much more about this visit, except that visiting a concentration camp is very touching and almost gruesome. However, I think it was interesting that they scheduled this visit during our stay in Berlin because it is eye-opening and really makes you realise the mistakes of the past that must never happen again.

Ever visited a camp? What did you think?xx

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