• KV_Sachsenhausen

Welcome to the online anniversary held at Sachsenhausen memorial

#sharingmemory – Our motto for the 76th anniversary of liberation held at Sachsenhausen Memorial

We especially focus on the perspective of the generations born later.  How do the relatives of the victims live with their parents’ and grandparents’ history of persecution?  How do we want to remember the crimes committed at Sachsenhausen now and in the future?  Find the programme here:


Pic. 1 Liberated Sachsenhausen concentration camp, Oranienburg, May/June 1945, Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum / Collection Rene Kerschen, Oranienburg.

Liberation in 1945

Advancing on Berlin, Soviet and Polish troops reached the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Oranienburg on 22 April 1945.  They encountered some 3,000 totally emaciated men and women from all over Europe.

The Soviet soldiers provided them with medicines, food and clothing.  Yet for hundreds of those liberated all help came too late.  They were too weak to survive. 

While a number of Sachsenhausen prisoners saw liberation in the camp abandoned by the SS, thousands of others were still marching along German roads.  The SS commanders had the camp evacuated in the night of 20-21 April, forcing more than 30,000 prisoners on death marches northwest.  The marchers suffered from cold, hunger and pain.  Anyone unable to walk on was shot by the SS on the spot. 

As the end of the war was drawing closer, more and more guards left their posts.  American and Soviet troops liberated the last prisoners from Sachsenhausen in the area between Parchim, Ludwigslust and Schwerin in early May.

Both liberators and those liberated tried to photograph  the moment of liberation. Have a look at the picture gallery to see photos taken between April and June 1945 by Soviet (1) and Polish soldiers (2, 3) as well as liberated prisoners (4).

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    Archive Shotikova, Moscow, photos: Arkadi Samoilovich Shaichet.

    Liberated Sachsenhausen prisoners, Oranienburg, April/May 1945

  • Sachsenhausen
    Józef Piłsudski Central Military Library, Warsaw

    Liberated Sachsenhausen prisoners, Oranienburg, 24 April 1945

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    Józef Piłsudski Central Military Library, Warsaw

    Liberated Sachsenhausen prisoners and Polish military personnel, Oranienburg, 23 April 1945

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    Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum, Oranienburg, photo: Arnold Blitz

    Belgian survivor Reine Borms and Soviet soldiers, Oranienburg, 1945

    My liberation – Survivors speak about their liberation in 1945

    Richard Fagot (*1936)

    “No-one knew where we would go.”

    Mano Höllenreiner (*1933)

    “… when we were on the death march, I wanted to beat it, but didn’t dare to, because there was nowhere to go.”

    Saul Oren-Hornfeld (*1929)

    “In the afternoon, there were no more uniforms in the streets.”

    Zwi Steinitz (*1927)

    “I had never ever imagined that this was how I would go into freedom.”

    Edmund Szybicki (*1927)

    “So now, what to do? I was very hungry.”

    Pierre Gouffault (*1924)

    “… we shared a loaf of bread and a slice of sausage between the five of us; after that we didn’t have anything to eat for the next three or four days …”

    Stanisława Imiołek (*1923)

    “… and suddenly I noticed that we were all alone, no guards anywhere.”

    Previous Online Events

    Commemorative ceremony of the 76th anniversary of liberation of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp

    Documentation of the central commemorative ceremony on the 76th anniversary of the liberation, Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum, Oranienburg.

    Only in German

    Eyewitness talk with Richard Fagot

    In conversation with Dr. Astrid Ley, deputy director of the Sachsenhausen Memorial, Richard Fagot talks about his imprisonment in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, his liberation in 1945 and how he deals with his memories.

    Only in German

    Eyewitness talk with Klaus Reichmuth

    In conversation with Dr Ulrich Prehn from the Centre for Research on Antisemitism at the TU Berlin, Klaus Reichmuth talks about his imprisonment in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp and how he deals with his memories.

    Only in German

    Filmtalk: “Searching for clues between Jever and Sachsenhausen”

    David Rojkowski in conversation with director Michael Telkmann and protagonist Christel Schwarz about the cinematic search for clues to the two Sinti families Schwarz and Laubinger.

    Only in German

    Brandenburg in debate: shared and divided memories

    Panel discussion on the question: What do options for joint remembrance and commemoration of National Socialism, its crimes and victims in Brandenburg look like today?

    Only in German

    Discussion on the radio play: “Deadly Terrain. An acoustic narrative”

    The makers of the radio play will talk about the means of acoustic narration used to convey the history of National Socialism and resistance against it.

    Only in German

    Commemorative ceremony to mark the 76th anniversary of liberation on 16 April 2021 in Below Forest

    Minister Manja Schüle, French Ambassador Anne-Marie Descôtes, the director of the foundation and other invited guests commemorate the death march and its victims.

    Only in German

    Living with memories – The survivors and the 2nd and 3rd

    Danielle Chaimovitz talking to Astrid Ley

    Danielle Chaimovitz, granddaughter of survivor Hirsz Litmanowicz, talks to Astrid Ley about the importance of education, tolerance and solidarity.

    Emmanuelle Cassan speaking about her book “Sous les ormes de Grabow” [Under the elms of Grabow]

    Efforts to investigate the disappearance of her grandfather prompted Cassan to write a book about the death march and liberation.

    Michel and Valérie Claverie speaking about their book “Traces/Spuren”

    His father survived the death march. The son goes out on his own memorial march and writes a book about it.

    Joanna Dubielecka

    Joanna Dubielecka is the granddaughter of survivor Władysława Górska. She speaks about the important role of her grandmother in her own life.

    Artistic interventions


    Memorial concert with the Moka Efti Orchestra

    Marking the 76th anniversary of liberating the inmates of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, the Moka Efti Orchestra will give a very special concert. 


    “Tödliches Terrain. Eine akustische Erzählung” [Deadly terrain. An acoustic story] (radio play, 2020)

    The history of National Socialism is the object of the radio play, while acoustic narration itself is an experiment.


    TRANSITIONS: threshold to hell (audio-visual installation, 2021)

    The audio-visual intervention “TRANSITIONS: threshold to hell” provides a new perspective of the entrance to the concentration camp.


    Tape Art in the Memorial (2021)

    Sabine Kelka, an artist from Berlin, uses the 76th anniversary of liberation for an intervention with coloured tape on the site of the Memorial.

    Tell us more – Volunteers at the memorials in interviews with …

    Tell us more: Alexander Van der Bellen and Adrian Erhart

    Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen in an interview with Adrian Erhart, Austrian Holocaust Memorial Service volunteer at the Sachsenhausen Memorial.

    Tell us more: Kevin Kühnert and Franziska Vogt

    Social Democratic Party politician Kevin Kühnert in an interview with Franziska Vogt, Austrian Holocaust Memorial Service volunteer at the Sachsenhausen Memorial.

    Tell us more: Dr. Susanne Wasum-Rainer and Mira Schneider

    Germany’s ambassador to Israel in an interview with Mira Schneider, doing her Voluntary Social Year at the Sachsenhausen Memorial.

    Messages of greetings of our partners

    Gedenkdienst [Austrian Holocaust Memorial Service]

    Austria’s Gedenkdienst sends mainly young volunteers to one-year placements at the Sachsenhausen Memorial.

    Kreisjugendring Oberhavel e. V. [Oberhavel local youth council]

    Kreisjugendring e.V. organizes activities for children and young people in the Oberhavel district where it has been cooperating as a partner with the Memorial over many years.

    Aktionsbündnis Brandenburg [Brandenburg Coalition for Action]

    Coalition for Action is a network advocating action against violence, rightwing extremism and racism.

    Vereinigung Junger Freiwilliger e. V. [Union of Young Volunteers]

    VJF organizes international work camps in Germany and cooperates with the work and study camps held at the Memorial.

    Landesvereinigung Kulturelle Jugendbildung in Berlin e. V. [State Association for Cultural Youth Education Berlin]

    LKJ is the sponsor of Brandenburg’s Voluntary Social Year in Culture.  Every year, one volunteer is given the opportunity to do cultural work at the Sachsenhausen Memorial.

    Carmen e. V.

    Carmen e.V., an international sports and cultural association for young Roma, and the Memorial work on a joint project in the context of “Young People Remember – Young Interventions”.

    ImPuls e. V.

    The coordinators of ImPuls e.V. work with young people in Oranienburg and take part in the Memorial’s “Young Interventions” project.

    Zentrum für verfolgte Künste [Centre for Persecuted Arts in the Solingen Art Museum]

    The Centre for Persecuted Arts in the Solingen Art Museum and the Memorial have been working for a number of years on making the Memorial’s art collection visible.

    Amaro Foro e. V.

    Amaro Foro e.V. is a transcultural organization for young Roma and non-Roma.  The organization is a regular visitor to the Memorial in the context of workshops.

    Förderverein der Gedenkstätte und des Museums Sachsenhausen e. V. [The Friends of Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum]

    The Friends of the Memorial brings together members from all over Europe to support the work of the Memorial.

    Landesjugendring Brandenburg e. V. [Brandenburg State Youth Council]

    Zeitwerk, the LJR’s counselling centre, is the coordinator of überLAGERt, a project in which young people search for clues to the Nazi past in their locality. 

    Message of greeting from Ivan Panjuchno