Sachsenburg


About ten kilometres northeast of Chemnitz, SA established in May 1933 one of the first concentration camps in an abandoned textile factory. The camp was guarded by a guard command from the SA but was replaced in August 1934 by the SS who, after the purges within the SA in June 1934, took over the role of the SA. Between 1933 and 1937, some 1,400 critics of the regime were imprisoned in the camp, forced to work in various jobs. In July 1937, the camp was dismantled and the prisoners were sent to the new Buchenwald concentration camp outside Weimar. There are eleven confirmed deaths during the camp’s existence but the documentation is inadequate.

Current status: Demolished with monument (2012).

Address: An der Zschopau, 09669 Frankenberg/Sachsen.

Get there: Car.

My comment:

An interesting detail, but an important one, is that Sachsenburg was the first camp to use coloured triangles as an identification mark on the prisoners’ clothes. The color of the triangle identified which category of prisoner it was. Red for political offenders, green for professional offenders, pink for sex offenders (including homosexuals), purple for bible offenders and black for anti-social offenders. Then there were different combinations of the colors that could also be supplemented with both letters and numbers to clarify the prisoner’s nationality and crime.

Follow up in books: Kogon, Eugen: The Theory and Practice of Hell: The German Concentration Camps and the System Behind Them (2006).