The Laboratory of Totalitarianism


"Sachsenhausen now is a place to pay respects, to reflect, and to bear witness..."

Despite the passage of time, the Tower A entrance to the Sachsenhausen Camp Memorial – emblazoned with its infamous “Arbeit Macht Frei” lettering – still stands as a threshold to another domain. Missing are the sights, sounds, and smells of casual brutality. Instead of the cramped suffocating architecture of totalitarianism, a vast open field graced with rows of stone markers – where barracks houses once stood – exists in its place. 

Sachsenhausen Memorial Tour - Entrance Gate
Sachsenhausen Memorial Tour - Perimeter Fence

"To observe the preservation of memory as a vital tool against the tyranny of forgetting..."

Constructed by the Nazis, inherited by the Soviet authorities, and transformed into a memorial by the East German government – Sachsenhausen now is a place to pay respects, to reflect, and to bear witness.

To observe the preservation of memory as a vital tool against the tyranny of forgetting.

Tour Description

Berlin Experiences - Sachsenhausen Tours - View of Obelisk

Most people, when asked about Nazi camps, would point East – to the extermination camps that gained notoriety through the Holocaust: to Auschwitz, Treblinka, Majdanek etc.

The truth is, however, that these camps came relatively late in the history of the Third ReichTheir predecessors, the concentration camps, such as Sachsenhausen, were constructed within Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

Devised as a so-called ‘protective custody camp’ to house political prisoners, Sachsenhausen grew to become an SS training centre, a prison to many notable figures, and the site of numerous bizarre developments in Nazi research and military strategy.

Constructed by the Nazis, inherited by the Soviet forces, and eventually opened as a memorial by the East German government; Sachsenhausen is a startling example of how different regimes chose to use the same land for purposes of punishment and propaganda.

Writer Hannah Arendt referred to the concentration camp as the ‘true central institution of totalitarian organizational power’ – designed for the systematised dehumanisation and destruction of human personality. A thought-provoking and often uncomfortable journey – Sachsenhausen stands as a warning from the past and a recommended excursion from Berlin to all interested in learning more about the conditions where gratuitous cruelty flourished and experiments to cultivate inhumanity succeeded – – the ‘theory and practice of hell’.

Tour Sites

– the Tower A entrance
– the infamous “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate
– the Appelplatz roll call area
– the Jewish barracks
– the special SS/Gestapo prison
– the isolation barracks
– the former kitchen barrack
– the execution yard
– the industrial yard/foundations of Station Z
– the crematorium site
– the NKVD/KGB camp
– the pathology building
– the hospital building
– the site of the camp brothel

The length of this tour means that a short snack/coffee break (not included in the tour price) can be integrated into the route – or, if requested, a longer meal break– at the detriment of the route and a number of the sites mentioned above. 

Due to the location of the Sachsenhausen Camp Memorial, it is necessary to take public transport unless using private transportation. The town of Oranienburg is about 45 minutes from Berlin on the Regional train line.

Included in all our tour offers for Sachsenhausen is a percentage donation to the memorial trust responsible for preserving this historically significant site.


Our tours can start whenever and wherever is best for you. Whether you're an early bird or late sleeper. Whether you prefer to start at your accomodation or elsewhere.


Our tours offers include VAT, booking & guide fees, transportation and driver fees (where applicable), and mandatory German tour insurances.


We accept major credit card payments through our secure online Stripe/Paypal gateway. Direct bank transfer is also possible.

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All reservations can be cancelled via email up to one month before the first tour date - subject to a 25% cancellation fee.

- Choose Your Sachsenhausen Tour Option -

All of our private tours are custom tailored to our clients needs and wishes and can include Berlin sights decided in advance or spontaneously organised on the day of the tour.

If you have any specific requests for your tour, regarding sights and content, do not hesitate to ask – you can email us at or feel free to contact us via the contact box at the bottom of this page for a personalised offer.

From 70€ per hour

private guided walking tour

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private guided van tour

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From 190€ per hour


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Our Sachsenhausen Tour Blog Posts

Read some of the blog posts we have written that are relevant to our Sachsenhausen tours:

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Pamphlet

The Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp In The DDR

The liberation of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in April 1945 would finally put an end to nine years of Nazi atrocities commited here – but usher in a further five years of Soviet vengeance; as the site was promptly transformed into an NKVD detention centre. At the behest of the East German government, this ensanguined location would eventually open as a place of remembrance in 1961. Today, the Sachsenhausen site continues is similarly maintained as a memorial – just 35km north of the German capital. A place of education and learning – of coming to terms with the past and overcoming it.

Read More »
Berlin Experiences - Stolpersteine In Berlin

Stolpersteine: Personalising The Void

In our latest blog post, Berlin Experiences co-founder Olivia discusses how one of Berlin’s most important memorial projects succeeds in making the personal tragedies of the Holocaust more relatable.

Read More »

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