The Giants visited the memorial at the Sachenhausen concentration camp that’s located 45 minutes by train outside of Berlin. The area ticket for mass transit that cover ABC works for the S Bahn and bus to the site.
The Giants booked a private tour through Sachenhausen and the guide met them for the journey to the camp at the station closest to their hotel. What a nice perk to take the trains and bus as a group so the stress of transfers and “being on time” was taken out of the experience.
Samara, the guide, was friendly, properly tolerant of the nervousness shown by Giant children, and informative. Those that were apprehensive about the visit were helped to see the parts that worked well for them. Samara first moved to Germany from the states to finish her dissertation on ________ (insert lots of words not normally used by Giants that include info about history and psychology). She knows her stuff. The other guides at the camp also seemed engaged with their groups.
Unexpected was that the Sachenhausen concentration camp was used right after WWII by the communist leaders of USSR as a prison for political enemies for the next five years. Those enemies mostly were NAZI leaders of the former Germany. After being used as this camp it was turned into a memorial by the GDR (East German government) to highlight how the NAZI’s were bad actors – showing the communist Germans as good, strong, and how the communist that spoke out against the Nazis were mistreated at the camp. The intended hope seems to be to show how the new government of East Germany was good for the people. For this memorial to have existed as a required field trip for local GDR school children is not something visitors expect to hear.
The Giants enjoyed the visit as much as one can enjoy visiting a site of such tragedy and injustice. No pictures included in this post intentionally as few were taken and none seem to show the property in the correct light. Also, no rating given for the camp. The Giants recommend visiting the site and using a guide.
The Giants were able to gain an even greater appreciation for the freedoms of a democratic republic by visiting Sachenhausen concentration camp on Independence Day for the United States.