International KZ Liberation Day at Sachsenhausen.

Discussion in 'The Holocaust' started by Smudger Jnr, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Sachsenhausen KZ, Oranienburg.

    Anyone in the Berlin Area on Sunday 21st April 2013 will be able to attend the Memorial services starting at 1400 outside the Museum, which is situated just outside the camp gates.

    There is usually a large group of people who attend and usually a few survivors from the camp when it was liberated.

    A usual, some of our RBL Berlin Branch members, together with Standard and hopefully a Piper, will be present.

    We visit the Special Forces Memorial to lay a wreath followed by the main service and wreath laying ceremony at Station "Z" at 15.30 hrs.

  2. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Tom, good to see that the commemorations are still ongoing. Is it normally well attended?
  3. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    Usually around 200 and sometimes more attending.

    Several coaches from France and other occupied countries attend bringing relatives of those who were KZ prisoners.

  4. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Thanks Tom for the update on the remembrance services.

    As the French declared after Oradour....Souviens-Toi

    Incidentally,what is the situation at Sachsenhausen as regards the use of the site.I am aware that the Russians/GDR authorities used the camp for interning the "usual enemies of the state" ?
  5. Son of POW-Escaper

    Son of POW-Escaper Senior Member

    I was not aware of this event, and very much wish I could be there. I have visited Sachsenhausen, and believe that I may have lost a family member or two there.

    Thanks for the update, Tom.

  6. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    You can contact the Archive department at the site and they will make a search for you if you can provide enough details of the inmate.

  7. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    I now that the Russians used it immediately after the liberation to inprison all those who they deemed NS (anyone with a Party card) plus anyone thought to be against the new regime.

    A good book available on the subject is called,

    Soviet Special Canp No 7 / No1 in Sachsenhausen (1945 - 1950) ISBN 3 -938690 -13 -5

    It has text in both English and German and the book is more of a full catalogue of the exhibition in the Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum.

    Nevertheless, some good accounts of Russian Tribunals and the punishments handed down.

  8. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

  9. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

  10. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Thanks Tom for the information on the camp during the Soviet/GDR era.I will follow up the publication you mention.

    Incidentally,just reading about Speer in his effort to control and coordinate the armaments industry and the construction industry.

    Apparently,all the Nazi leadership were attempting to compete against each other in the development of their homes.Speer speaks of Goering being impressed with Hitler's Berghof as early as 1935 and was determined that Karinhall would exceed it in its splendour.

    Move on to the war years and Goering insisted, for his personal security, that Speer build him air raid shelters at frequent intervals on the side of the road from Berlin to the Karinhall estate.Are these constructions still in place, I wonder? .It appears that Speer had no alternative but to follow the wishes of the inner circle.Further,it appears that Hitler had a laissez faire approach to these developments,being more concerned with his plans for the extravagant developments of a postwar Berlin and Linz and selected German cities,a list, which Hitler extended frequently.
  11. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    I have no knowledge of any shelters built on route from Berlin to Karinhall.

    It is hard work just finding the place now as the small single track road network leading there has all the small direction stones overpainted to make it difficult.

    Not much left of Karinhall, just foundations.

    The Two large buildings at the entrance gate were used for the Luftwaffe guards and the stone work is the same as found in Berlin buildings and both pillars at the entrance still show the Batons of Göring's rank, including the Swastika's that ornamented the Baton.

    The houses are private homes now.

    From an old local that approached me several years ago on my visit, there was a dummy Karinhall several kilometers away next to another lake that was serving as a decoy for Görings actual residence.

  12. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Thanks Tom for your response.

    There is a publication available," The Third Reich,Then and Now" by Tony Le Tissier....I will have a look and see if these shelters are mentioned.

    Not surprised by the decoy Karinhall,both sides used this ploy.

    Here in North Lincolnshire attacks on RAF airfields were thwarted by the construction of near Caenby Corner was manned and was intended to draw attacks to it, rather than Hemswell. So real was the decoy that a visiting RAF Boston landed on the decoy and special arrangements had to be made to fly it out.
  13. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Just arrived home after a long day at the KZ for International Liberation day.

    Started at 2pm and a large crowd was gathered outside the Museum building just outside the KZ Main gate.

    A large French contingent led the way to the first memorial Stone reagrding the Calais Coal Miners, who after downing tools were all transported to Sachsenhausen, where many died.

    Then followed a gathering around the British Memorial stone commemorating the Allied soldiers who were transported there after capture in Norway and later executed.

    I placed an RBL Poppy Cross and spoke the exhaltation, before we moved on to the French Memorial. The 6 French Standards and two from our Branch looked well fluttering in the April breeze.

    We all then walked behind the Standards to Station "Z" where the main ceremony started at 1530. Many long speeches with a choir singing several songs including the Sachsenhausen song, followed by many wreaths laid by various embassadors and privarte organisations.

    Our RBL poppy wreath was dwarfed by the floral tributes, but I believe that it is the thought that counts and not the size.

    I believe there must have been about 200 people attendong the service at Station "Z" on a nice sunny afternoon.

    The service finished at 5,30pm and I managed to get our Standard bearers home safely before arriving home at 7pm.

    Sorry no pictures this year as I left my camera behind!.


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