Number one on the must view list of Berlin, in my opinion, is Sachsenhausen. A concentration camp which once held 200,000 people captive during the Second World War, Sachsenhausen is a sobering view into the lives of many innocent people who were imprisoned here. The concept on which the memorial is based, where you learn about the camp’s history in the very place it happened, has an emotive effect. Standing at the entrance gate, surrounded by mass graves and a barb-wire tipped wall, the atmosphere is certainly ominous. The remaining infirmary, morgue and barracks are still intact, and document the sadistic experiments and the inspiring but heart-breaking stories of the people who were held here.
Audio guides are available, and are highly recommended if you want to make the most of this experience. There is a lot of information which can be found throughout the various exhibits, but the audio guide gives you a greater understanding of what it was really like to be here, with additional information and excerpts from the prisoners. Guided tours are also recommended, although these have to be booked in advance. A trip to Sachsenhausen is a worthwhile, albeit harrowing, journey to make just outside Berlin.
Tip: Buses from Oranienberg station to Sachsenhausen only run hourly, so make sure to time your train to fit this, otherwise it is a 20-minute walk. On weekends the buses run a lot less often. Visit www.citymapper.com/berlin/bus/bus-804 for bus times.
Address: Memorial and Museum Sachsenhausen, Straβe der Nationen 22, D-16515, Oranienberg.
Transport: S-Bahn: S1 Oranienberg.
Opening Hours: 15th March – 14th October, daily 8.30am – 6pm. 15th October – 14th March, daily 8.30am – 4.30pm for the main memorial buildings. Opening times vary seasonally for other buildings and services.
Admission: Free. Audio-guides: €3.
Guided tours: €15 for groups up to 15 people and €25 for groups up to 30. A surcharge of €25 is applied to tours provided in a foreign language.