Sachsenhausen Pathology Lab

Autopsy room in the Pathology Department

There was a total of five infirmary (hospital) barracks in the Nazi Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

According to a camp brochure:

The infirmary barracks were used for presentation to high ranking visitors, foreign delegations and journalists. At the same time, medical experiments on prisoners, murders and selection for mass executions took place here.

Two of these barracks have been preserved in the camp Memorial Site. Nearby is the small building used by the Pathology Department. This is where autopsies were done to determine cause of death or to see the results of the medical experiments on the subjects who died. The photograph above shows the autopsy room with the tile-covered tables where the autopsies was performed.

Photo of the chief camp doctor hangs in the pathology building

Heinz Baumkötter, whose photograph hangs in the Pathology Lab, was prosecuted as a war criminal by a Soviet Union Military Tribunal in October 1947; he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. In 1956, he was released by the Soviets, but was then put on trial again in a West Germany court, and convicted of murder.

There are many similarities between the Sachsenhausen concentration camp and the Nazi camp at Buchenwald near Weimar. Both had a basement room called the Leichenkeller where corpses were stored before they were cremated. Both had a chute which was used to shove the bodies down into the basement.

The first photograph below shows the Leichenkeller or Corpse Cellar in the basement of the Pathology Department at Sachsenhausen. The second photograph shows the slide, down which the corpses were pushed into the cellar.

Corpse Cellar in basement of Pathology building

Corpses were pushed down this slide into the Corpse Cellar

At Sachsenhausen, there is no claim that the Corpse Celler was used for executions, although the comparable room at Buchenwald is allegedly the place where prisoners were strangled by hanging from meat hooks. General George Patton, who visited the Buchenwald camp, wrote in his memoirs that live prisoners were rolled down into the Corpse Celler where they were murdered by hanging from hooks.

Gas Chamber

Trial of Commandant Anton Kaindl and 15 others

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