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Sachsenhausen near Berlin on a Monday

I will be in Berlin the last week of June with my daughter (age 13). The only day we can visit Sachsenhausen easily is on a Monday when I know the museums are closed. My daughter has just started learning about the Holocaust and is interested in going. When thinking about this visit I had already decided not to do a tour and instead to learn about it on my own and then decide how and how much to share with her. Obviously she has an idea, but she is a very sensitive kid and I am uncomfortable with her seeing video footage, etc. that would just be too much for her.

Having said all that, can anyone tell me if it would be ok to go on a Monday or is it advisable to go only when the museum portion is open? Is there enough to see with the museum portion closed?

Posted by
18390 posts

According to their website (click on Visitor Service), the Memorial is open daily.

Also true of Dachau.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks for the reply. I know the memorial is open daily I was just looking to see if anyone has been and could say if there is enough to see with the museum portion being closed on Mon.

Posted by
8188 posts

I have been there twice. Even with the museum part closed, the grounds are immense. Have a look at their website to see the buildings, barracks, test track for shoes, and so on. Just walking around will give you a sense of the horror of this place. You ought to be able to avoid any videos.

Another meaningful spot to you might want to visit is Track 17, where the deportations took place out of sight of most of the population. All along the track, in chronological order are the dates of the deportations, and how many people were on each one. I found this to be a very moving memorial and it is rather quiet out there. No hordes of tourists.
http://www.deutschebahn.com/en/group/history/topics/platform17_memorial.html

Posted by
31530 posts

kala,

Although I realize it may not fit with your schedule this time, my suggestion would be to visit Sachsenhausen when the Museum is open, as it will prove more of a "complete" view of the history. However I should mention that while some of the displays are not too graphic, others might be upsetting for your daughter. You know better than anyone what she can tolerate.

If you decide to visit the camp, be sure to research the three different periods of history of the camp:

  1. The Orienenburg "wild camps" in the '30s (you'll pass some of the industrial buildings that were used to house inmates on your walk from the station)
  2. The WW-II period
  3. The Soviet use of the camp after the war

A few other interesting facts about the camp is that it was the site of the largest counterfeiting operation in history (Operation Bernhard) and as I recall a couple of the escapees from The Great Escape spent some time there after they were re-captured (I believe they also built a tunnel in Sachsenhausen).

When I visited there a couple of years ago, I did it as a day tour with the Original Berlin Walks.

Posted by
16883 posts

The other camp memorials I've visited would give a good impression and teachable opportunities without the museum exhibits, but going into the buildings has always been the most memorable part.

Posted by
8188 posts

I was going to suggest Ravensbruck as I found it very moving, but they are closed on Monday.