• Navigation:
  • Start
  • »
  • »
  • »


During the construction of the camp between July 1936 and July 1937 it is estimated that 50 prisoners were killed through conditions in the camp, hard physical labour, tortured to death by SS or murdered by SS.  Twenty six of the dead were buried in a plot at the rear of the municipal cemetary in Oranienburg. They were not cremated in any local civil crematoria.

Prior to Sachsenhausen building its own crematorium dead prisoners were either buried as above or more commonly cremated in the municipal crematoria of Berlin with a preference for Baumschulenweg and also to the crematorium in Furstenburg/ Havel. Bodies were transported to the municipal crematoria by the SS in lorries. One of the lorries was involved in an accident and bodies were publicly spilled onto the road. Also as the war started the prisoner and body count of the camp started to rise so the camp commandant implemented plans to build Sachsenhausens own crematorium.

In early 1940 (April according to Lagerarbeitsgemeinshaft Sachsenhausen) , Sachsenhausen built its first crematorium a single muffle Kori oven set up behind the entrance to the industrial yard on the Western side of the prisoner compound. At the same time a pathology building was constructed in the prisoner compound barely 200 yards from the crematorium. The pathology building had a mortuary in the basement. The crematorium was housed in a small shed and was in operation until 1942.

In August 1941 the SS had a shed in the industrial yard converted for execution of Soviet prisoners of war. Execution was by short range shot to the back of the neck. Directly next to the shed the SS set up four mobile Kori ovens fueled by oil, to burn the bodies from these executions. After the organised shooting of Soviet prisoners of war temporarily halted in November 1941 the mobile crematoria were transferred to Station Z which had just been completed. Once this was completed the original crematorium was demolished.

Station Z planned since 1938 was a purpose built (between December 1941 (20 January 1942 according to Wolff)and May 1942) crematorium encompassing gas chamber (built in March 1943) and mortuary.  It was situated in the industrial yard. It originally used the mobile Koris but in 1943 as oil became too scarce and expensive 4 single muffle Kori permanent ovens were installed fuelled by coke. The mobile Koris were put into storage and were found by the Soviet army upon liberating the camp.

Close by Station Z was the execution trench. This had been used since the opening of the camp as an execution site. Originally a sand pit it was enlarged into a trench where the sides were covered with wood to muffle the sounds of the gunfire. At the opposite end the prisoners had to build an underground  brick mortuary. This was used to store the bodies from the execution trench until they could be cremated. Coffins existed in this mortuary for transferring the bodies to the crematorium.  


Morsch,Gunther From Sachsenhausen to Sachsenburg, Metropol 2007. 

Morsch, Gunther Murder and Mass Murder in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp 1936-1945. Metropol 2005.

Lagerarbeitsgemeinschaft Sachsenhausen. Sachsenhausen. VEB 1974

Wolff, Georg. Sachsenhausen 3/ Kalendarium der Geschichte KZ Sachsenhausen Oranienburg 1987

sachsenhausen1.jpg Kori permanent single muffle ovens in Sachsenhausen.


See also: