Sunday, 28 March 2010

Checkpoint charlie, and a German Concentration Camp

It was a bright and early morning when we arrived at Checkpoint Charlie, on the second day of our Berlin experience.
Checkpoint Charlie "Checkpoint C" was the name given by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Germany and West Germany during the Cold War.

The Soviet Union prompted the erection of the Berlin Wall in 1961 to stem the flow of Eastern Bloc emigration westward through what had become a "loophole" in the Soviet border system, preventing escape over the city sector border from East Berlin to West Berlin. Checkpoint Charlie became a symbol of the Cold War, representing the separation of east and west, and—for some East Germans—a gateway to freedom. Soviet and American tanks briefly faced off at the location during the Berlin Crisis of 1961.
After the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc and the reunification of Germany, the building at Checkpoint Charlie became a tourist attraction. It is now located in the Allied Museum in the Dahlem neighborhood of Berlin.
Off to a German concentration camp!
Distracted by the vending machine yet again!
We bought Chicken-candy! Whee~
Hey look! When you bite the chicky in the ass, it shits chocolate in your mouth! :P
JC slurping up Cherry juice! Look closely, he hasn't shaved for two days! The weather was getting warmer, and consequently we were getting more dehydrated by the minute >< thirsty!

Alighting at the Oranienburg train station where the concentration camp was.
But first, a visit to the public toilet: City Toilet. Three euros for a one time use! JY and I squeezed into it together while JC was left outside filming the entire ordeal >< lol... he didn't get to use the loo... By the way, no change is given, so it's best if you could pay the exact amount... which we didn't (T-T)
On our way to the concentration camp, we came across a shop selling guns and weapons... 0-0 coolz...
Almost there... it's just a twenty minute walk from the train station!
Someone's backyard! The garden was adorable!
And we arrived...
Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg was a Nazi concentration camp in Oranienburg, Germany, used primarily for political prisoners from 1936 to the end of the Third Reich in May, 1945.
After World War II, when Oranienburg was in the Soviet Occupation Zone, the structure was used as an NKVD special camp until 1950 (See NKVD special camp Nr. 7). The remaining buildings and grounds are now open to the public as a museum.
Sachsenhausen was intended to set a standard for other concentration camps, both in its design and the treatment of prisoners. The camp perimeter is, approximately, an equilateral triangle with a semi circular roll call area centered on the main entrance gate in the side running northeast to southwest. Barrack huts lay beyond the roll call area, radiating from the gate. The layout was intended to allow the machine gun post in the entrance gate to dominate the camp but in practice it was necessary to add additional watchtowers to the perimeter. The standard barrack layout was to have a central washing area and a separate room with toilet bowls and a right and left wing for overcrowded sleeping rooms.
Executions took place at Sachsenhausen, especially of Soviet Prisoners of War. During the earlier stages of the camp’s existence the executions were done in a trench, either by shooting or by hanging. A large task force of prisoners were used from the camp to work in nearby brickworks to meet Albert Speer's vision of rebuilding Berlin.
Sachsenhausen was originally not intended as an extermination camp—instead, the systematic murder was conducted in camps to the east. In 1942 large numbers of Jewish inmates were relocated to Auschwitz. However the construction of a gas chamber and ovens by the camp commandant Anton Kaindl in March 1943, facilitated the means to kill larger numbers of prisoners. The chamber used liquid Cyclon B which was placed in small glass bottles into the ventilation system next to the door. The bottle was broken with a spike and the gas mixed with the air and was forced into the chamber.

No comments: