Terrence Handscomb
Strasse der Nationen (Street of the Nations)
Video Installation

Strasse der Nationen is a road leading to the Konzentrationslager (Concentration camp) Sachsenhausen in Oranienburg just north of Berlin. Prisoners, many Jews but also including homosexuals, gypsies, Mormons and political prisoners were marched.

Prisoners from the Emsland Camps were ordered by the SS to build the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in Oranienburg in 1936-37. With function and geometry in mind, the design follows an "ideal plan": a triangular ground plan, symmetrical construction, barracks spread out like a fan around the roll call area and special spaces dispersed throughout to achieve the ultimate architectural expression of control and terror.

Sachsenhausen acquired a special role within the concentration camp system because of its proximity to Berlin and to the Gestapo headquarters on the Prinz Albrecht Strasse. A large contingent of SS officers were stationed there. In addition to being a concentration camp, the area served the entire National Socialist domain as a training base for concentration camp commanders and prison guard personnel. In front of the entrance to the camp, residing in the so-called "T-building", was the "Concentration Camp Inspection" which since 1938 was responsible for managing all the concentration camps.

Approximately 200,000 prisoners from almost forty nations were incarcerated at Sachsenhausen. This included people who were persecuted because of their political attitudes or race, including members of the resistance movement, Jews, forced laborers, prisoners of war, homosexuals, so-called "work-shy" people, and "professional criminals", "habitual criminals" or sex offenders. It is estimated that 100,000 prisoners were murdered there. Starting in 1941, mass murder of more than 10,000 unregistered Soviet prisoners of war was committed either by gassing, shooting in the neck, or by leaving typhus untreated.

Terrence Handscomb's homepage


background / what's new / documentation / webworks / contact / links