Dedicated in April 1961, the memorial at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp was the third “National Memorial” opened in the GDR; it was preceded by the Buchenwald (1958) and Ravensbrück (1959) memorials. These three memorials, all of which had been designed by architects Ludwig Deiters, Horst Kutzat, and Kurt Tausendschön, were overseen by the Ministry of Culture. According to a GDR statute, “the struggle of the German working class” and “the role of the Communist Party as the strongest and leading force in the fight against the Nazi regime” were to stand at the center of the historical narrative advanced by these memorials; at the same time, the supposed “revival of fascism” in West Germany and the GDR’s “historic role” were to be highlighted as well. This photograph shows honorary guests being led by Walter Ulbricht (front row, 5th from left) after the opening ceremony.

Official Opening of the Memorial at the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp (April 22, 1961)

  • Gerhard Kiesling


Source: Official opening of the Sachsenhausen Memorial. Guests of honor being led by Walter Ulbricht (1st row, 5th from left) after the ceremony. Date: April 22, 1961. Photo: Gerhard Kiesling.
bpk-Bildagentur, image number 30027803. For rights inquiries, please contact Art Resource at requests@artres.com (North America) or bpk-Bildagentur at kontakt@bpk-bildagentur.de (for all other countries).

© bpk / Gerhard Kiesling