I took my time to visit a former Nazi concentration camp/prison yard close to Potsdam.
Located in Oranienburg, several miles from Potsdam, this was a concentration camp used by the Nazis from 1936 till 1945. After World War II, it was used by the as a Internment camp when that area of Germany was occupied by the Soviets.
“Criminals” held and executed there during the Nazi regime in Germany include Soviets Prisoners of War, Communists (red triangles) homosexuals (pink triangles), Jehovah’s Witnesses (purple triangles) and Jews (yellow triangles). Thousands of people died at the camp, due to pneumonia, malnutrition, exhaustion, diseases etc. In fact, prisoners were used for experiments, including testing mustard gas and D-IX (a cocktail of meth, cocaine and oxycodone that was to enhance endurance and stamina of Nazi soldiers).
Operation Bernhard, a Nazi economic warfare during the WWII where talented inmate artisans were forced to carry out currency counterfeiting under the supervision of the Nazis took place in this former concentration camp. The Nazis force inmates to print British Pounds and US dollars, with the motive of undermining their the british and american economies. The Nazis introduced fake British £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes into circulation in 1943 and the Bank of England never found out. There were plans to drop the british pounds over London by plane at that time. The 2007 movie, The Counterfeiters, is based on Operation Bernhard. Over 1 billion pounds in counterfeit banknotes were recovered here.
Smiling for pictures at Sachsenhausen was tough for me, having seen what humans are capable of doing to one another.