Sachsenhausen. 65th Anniversary of Liberation.

Discussion in 'The Holocaust' started by Smudger Jnr, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    On Sunday myself and other members of the Royal British Legion, Berlin Branch, visited Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp to commemorate the 65th Anniversary of Liberation by the Soviet troops.

    It was a large affair, much larger than last year in view of the fact that it was commemorating the liberation after 65 years.

    The weather was a sunny day without clouds and the event started at 1400 hrs with a speech by Prof. Dr G√ľnter Morsch, who is in charge of the Brandenburg Memorials, including Sachsenhausen.

    Our standard bearer together with two French Colleagues formed up and slow marched to the French Coal Miners Memorial where a short history of the events was spoken in French.

    We then ajourned to the British Memorial stone commemorating those commando's and other servicemen who were executed at Sachsenhausen.

    I place a wreath and spoke the exhaltation, before we reassembled and walked to the next French memorial, near to the old prison block.

    After a short service we then marched to Station "Z", the camps execution place, which is now also a Large Memorial Hall.

    The Standard Bearers were formed up at the front of the memorial building in the direct sunlight for 2 hours and deserved a medal for their services.

    In fact one of the French Standard Bearers had to leave his post for half an hour as he felt unwell.

    It was many speeches with a large choir singing in between the speeches.

    After a very long time had passed by the laying of wreaths started, which took about 30 minutes to the large volume.

    It was an honour to lay a Legion wreath at the ceremony, which concluded about 1730 hrs.

    I have attached the details from two pamphlets, which provides details of the itinery, which I hope you find interesting.

    Last years service details and photographs.


    Attached Files:

    Za Rodinu and Buteman like this.
  2. ww2ni

    ww2ni Senior Member

    Thanks for leaving these details.

    I visited here with my son 2 years ago and it was something we will never forget.
  3. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Thanks for posting this Tom. No doubt a very moving and sobering experience to be there.:poppy:

    Regards - Rob
  4. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek

    Thanks for posting, Tom.
  5. Susan Smethurst

    Susan Smethurst Senior but too talkative

    I was very moved by the account and photos. May I ask an immensely ignorant question as to how the memorial statue is described. It is very powerful.
  6. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    The Memorial statue is situated immediately behind where the flowers and wreaths lay.

    Last year the service was held facing the statues, but Yesterday the sheer numbers present precluded using the limited space inside.

    There is no inscription that I saw regarding the statue, just the inscription in bronze letters on the wall which you can see on one of the Memorial sheets I scanned.

    There may be a mention on the official website of the Camp, but I cannot recall reading about it.

  7. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    TCS -
    well done that there man - as susan says - very powerful burying a dead comrade....

  8. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    I think it may represent either the Sonder Commando, inmates that took the remains of the dead after execution or as you pointed out comrades carrying their dead friend.

    I will have to try and find out for sure.

  9. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

  10. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Long winded dissertation - when she might have said that she doesn't know either !
  11. Jakob Kjaersgaard

    Jakob Kjaersgaard Senior Member

    Thank for sharing this Tom. I visited Sachsenhausen last year. I will never forget visiting this place, just thinking about it still gives me goosebumps.

  12. Lucy Stag

    Lucy Stag Senior Member

    Thanks for this. Sachenhausen is on my list of places to visit. I'm sorry Mr. James wasn't with us long enough to attend this ceremony.
  13. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    Thanks for post. I visited the site back in 1990, it was a very humbling experience. I remember the camp being described as "small scale" in comparison with the others, being responsible for "only" 30,000 deaths. Tragic.

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