64 Years Commemoration ceremony at Sachsenhausen.

Discussion in 'The Holocaust' started by Smudger Jnr, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    On Sunday 19th April 2009 there was a commemoration to the liberation of the Concentration camp, Sachsenhausen, 64 years previously in 1945 by the soviet Army.:poppy:

    The liberation is commemorated every year on the nearest Sunday to the actual Liberation day.

    The Royal British legion together with the French equivilent attend as do about 100 French relatives of those detained inmates.

    This year there was a special assembly of dignatories from most European lands, Israel and the USA.

    The commemorations started at 2:15pm and wreathes were laid and speeches made at several memorials in the grounds of the concentration camp.

    This culminated with a rather grand ceremony with choir, many more speeches and a huge amount of floral tributes.

    There were several camp survivors, including Prof. Dr Tomas Kosta, who survived Auschwitz.

    Those Lords Prayer was spoken in several languages followed by Kaddish.

    Altogether a truly moving experience, which in total lasted over three hours.

    The sun shone on the righteous this day.

    Here are a few photographs that I took of the proceedings.


    Attached Files:

    Heimbrent likes this.
  2. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Thanks for posting that Tom, no doubt a very emotional occasion.

  3. airborne medic

    airborne medic Very Senior Member

    I'd just like to add:

    'Remembering the men of Operation Musketoon murdered at this camp in October 1942
    and commemorated on the stone in one of the magnificent pictures.'
  4. Jakob Kjaersgaard

    Jakob Kjaersgaard Senior Member

    Thank you for sharing this. Great pictures of what indeed must have been an emotional ceremony.

    I will be visiting Sachenhausen in July.

  5. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Airborne Medic,
    Here is a copy of an earlier thread on the subject.

    Originally Posted by spidge [​IMG]
    Operation Freshman: Two pilots of the Gliders were Australians.


    Operation Freshman was an attempt to deliver a small force by glider to destroy the hydro-electric power station at Vermork, in Telemark, Norway, where heavy water was being produced for German atomic research. Two gliders containing men of the Royal Engineers towed by two Halifax bombers, set off on the night of 19-20 November 1942. The mission was a disaster. One Halifax and both gliders crashed in southern Norway. The occupants were either killed in the crash or subsequently executed by the Germans in compliance with Adolf Hitler’s notorious ‘commando order’. The order denied members of enemy ‘special forces’ any protection under the terms of the Geneva Convention and Allied commandos were to be executed as soon as they were captured.

    Two of the glider pilots were Australians attached to 38 Wing RAF: Pilot Officer Norman Arthur Davies, of Melbourne, Victoria, and Pilot Officer Herbert John Fraser, of Bendigo, Victoria. Davies and Fraser are buried in adjoining graves at Stavanger (Eighanes) Churchyard, Norway. The two Australians are commemorated on a memorial at Skitten Airfield, near Wick in Caithness, Scotland.

    On a visit to Sachsenhausen Concentration camp this summer, I wandered in the prison block.
    It was originally a Tee shape with three wings, but now there is only one left standing and was used by the gestapo and SS to house special prisoners.

    I was surprised to see two of the cells had memorials to British soldiers.

    Unfortunately there was no information as to Name etc, just that a Brirish officer was detained for many days in the small cell shackled to a large block of concrete set in the centre of the cell floor.
    He was later executed. Perhaps I believe a member of SOE or the like?

    The other cell mentioned commandos captured in Norway, again executed, but no name references.

    Does any member have knowledge of these brave souls?

    I intend to revisit and perhaps carry out some research in the camps archives as I feel this story requires airing.

    I have just located the photographs that I took inside the cellblock.

    The words are clearly visible when you zoom in, unfortunately entry into the cell was not allowed, hence the distance shots.

    The British officer was held in the cell for half a year shackled to the concrete!

    I cannot hope to even imagine what pain and agony this brave soldier :poppy: endured before he was executed.

    It appears that the other cells memorial is for seven marines from MTB's
    and six pilots executed by the SS.

    It was a very sad experience seeing this and really brings home the brutality experiences by the Allied forces.

    Attached Thumbnailshttp://www.ww2talk.com/forum/attachments/war-grave-photographs/9896d1223233067t-war-graves-norway-100_0644-jpg http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/attachments/war-grave-photographs/9897d1223233067t-war-graves-norway-100_0645-jpg

    In relation to the above two posts, after a little searching on the web, I have found the answer to the Commando question.

    The commandos were captured after the successful mission to destroy the power station at Glonnfiord, Norway, in 1942.

    The mission was called 'Operation Musketoon' and was carried out on ther night of 20-21/9/42 by 12 men.

    Capt's Black and Houghton, with 8 other ranks and two Nowegians made the attack and complete surprise was accomplished.

    However as the party withdrew and the charges were exploding they encountered Germans.
    The party split up, one of the British was killed and one of the Norwegians mortally wounded. Both officers were wounded and they along with four others were captured.

    The other Norwegian and three commandos managed to escape to Sweden and eventually make their way back to the UK.

    The prisoners were executed by firing squad at station Z in Sachsenhausen concentration Camp.
    This was a direct result of an order given by Hitler, that all special forces personnel should not be afforded the rights of the Geneva Convention and were to be executed.

    I am saddened by finding this information, but I now know how and why these :poppy: Heroes :poppy: died.

  6. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    There was a Danish man who introduced himself to the group "only" as a Survivor who was detained there for the last 18 months of the war.
    He was 18 at the time of his arrest, which was for producing an underground paper and writing things the German authorities did not like.

    He attends every year! and is a very spritely and young looking 84 year old.
    I managed to take his photo with two of our members but he dashed off before I could obtain his name.

    He is in the light jacket standing right of centre of the picture.


    Attached Files:

  7. pete

    pete Junior Member

    I am new to this site. May I bring to your readers attention the men of Operation Checkmate (RN and a Cdo. Sgt ) grouped as 14 (Arctic) Commando who were also detained at Sachsenhausen.
    There is a date of 2nd Nov 1945 on one of the plaques in the cells that i see.
    It is believed that the men of Operation Musketoon (No.2Commando) were executed in 1942.
    The date referred to is the recorded date of death of all but two of the men from Operation Checkmate. The remaining 2 being moved to Belsen where one was executed and the other died of Typhus. I have posted details and photographs of men from both operations, including those who escaped from Musketoon in the Commando Veterans Gallery. The albums can be seen at the following links. If you click on the individuals picture more info is sometimes listed :
    2 Commando

    Operation Checkmate - Haugesund, Norway

    A good book about Operation Checkmate is Godwins Saga by Kenneth Macksey
    It should be remembered that Norwegians also gave their lives to help these men. And finally when you view the men of Checkmate you will see that they were not all British. An Argentinian was their leader - he came to the Uk to fight for the British, a Canadian as well. It truly was a World War.
    von Poop likes this.
  8. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    Welcome to the forum and thank you for the additional information.


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