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Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

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Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp was the third Nazi concentration camp, established in 1936, initially for prisoners, at first primarily political, from the Berlin area. It was located near Oranienburg, north of Berlin, and sometimes is called Oranienburg or Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg. "The administrative centre of all concentration camps was located in Oranienburg, and Sachsenhausen became a training centre for SS officers (who would often be sent to oversee other camps afterward."[1]

Medical experiments

Nazi medical experiments conducted here include mustard gas and epidemic jaundice.

Counterfeiting

One of the best-known economic warfare attacks on a national currency was based there, targeting Bank of England notes, Operation Bernhard.[2], using skilled prisoners given a choice to forge or die. Some of the notes were found in Lake Toplitz. [3]

Allied Prisoners of War

In 1942 and 1943, Allied prisoners of war were held there, and later executed by gunfire, as investigated in 1946.[4]

A special operations party of the Royal Navy, led by Sublieutenant John Godwin, was imprisoned there after being captured while raiding shipping near Haugesund, north of Stavanger, Norway. At the camp, in violation of the Third Geneva Convention, they were forced to march thirty miles a day, on rough surfaces, to test army boots.

The Nazis decided to kill them on 2 February 1945, but, while being led to the execution site, Godwin managed to take the firing squad leader's pistol and kill him before being himself killed. [5]

References

  1. Sachsenhausen "Oranienburg" Concentration Camp, Holocaust Research Project
  2. German Forgery: Operation Bernhard
  3. Harding, Luke (April 6, 2004), Last dive for Lake Toplitz's Nazi gold
  4. Deputy Theater Chief Judge Advocate's Office, War Crimes Group, U.S. Army (20 September 1946)
  5. M.R.D. Foote (1979), MI9 - Escape and Evasion 1939 - 1945, pp. 154-155