A Concentration of Holocaust Horrors

Sachsenhausen 67

The winner of this year’s Academy Award for Best Foreign Film was the Hungarian drama Son of Saul. In the movie, a concentration camp inmate receives special treatment from the Nazi guards because he assists with post-execution clean-up. To be more specific, he separates the corpses from their gold fillings, eyeglasses, and wedding rings.

I haven’t seen the film so I cannot say for certain which camp the story was set in, but the premise seems in line with tales I have been told at all three “death camps” that I have had the opportunity to visit. In 2000, I toured Auschwitz-Birkenau, in southern Poland. In 2009, I visited Dachau, in Bavaria. Finally, in 2012, I explored Sachsenhausen, in the former East Germany. Three different places, three sobering experiences.

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