This is a real life account, recorded in the Polish Documentary Institute
The Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp was built in
the summer of 1936 by concentration camp prisoners from the Emsland camps. It
was the first new camp to be established after Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler
was appointed Chief of the German Police in 1936. The design of the grounds was
conceived by the SS architects as the ideal concentration camp setting, giving
architectural expression to the SS worldview, and symbolically subjugating the
prisoners to the absolute power of the SS. As a model for other camps, and in
view of its location just outside the Reich capital, Sachsenhausen acquired a
special role in the National Socialist concentration camp system. This was
reinforced in 1938 when the Concentration Camp Inspection Office, the
administrative headquarters for all concentration camps within the German sphere
of influence, was transferred from Berlin to Oranienburg.
More than 200,000 people were imprisoned in the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp between 1936 and 1945. At first the prisoners were mostly political opponents of the Nazi regime. However, increasing numbers of members of groups defined by the National Socialists as racially or biologically inferior were later included. By 1939 large numbers of citizens from the occupied European states arrived. Tens of thousands of people died of starvation, disease, forced labor and mistreatment, or were victims of the systematic extermination operations of the SS. Thousands of other prisoners died during the death marches following the evacuation of the camp at the end of April 1945. Approximately 3,000 sick prisoners, along with the doctors and nurses who had stayed behind in the camp, were liberated by the Russian and Polish troops of the Red Army.
present Mr. (Name removed)
profession: secondary school pupil
religion: Roman Catholic
names of the parents: Stanisław and Anna
last place of domicile in Poland: Warszawa, Pl. Kazimierza 7
current residence : Lund, Danska Skolan
punishment horse and the whip.
I used to wheel out, or the four of us together used to carry out, the punishment horse and the whip, and this is why I know what these devices looked like. The horse was a thick wooden board /10 - 15 cm thick/, resting on four iron legs. These then rested on rails. The victim had to lie on the board, he had his head strapped at the neck with a belt, with arms hanging down and strapped with belts at the shoulders. Also the legs were placed at the bottom in a closed drawer (Ed - Stocks). After closing the legs in a drawer (Ed - Stocks), it was pulled forward on the rails and secured. In this way the victim was completely immobilized with his buttocks protruding considerably. The horse and the victim on the horse are represented on the sketches drawn below.
|The whip||The horse seen from above||The position of the victim on the horse|
The whip was made of leather, 1.30 m long, filled tightly with
some hard material. The end of the whip, which was thinner than
the rest, was filled with pieces of some heavy metal, probably lead,
and this for about 40 cm in length. You could feel this metal with
your fingers, which I also, personally, checked. This whip was used
to hit the buttocks of the prisoner stretched on the horse. These
lashes were very painful. As a result of several of these lashes,
blood clots formed under the skin on the buttocks.
I saw on my friend who received 15 lashes, very swollen buttocks,
and between the skin and the flesh, black and purple clusters of
blood, which you could feel with your fingers. I know that for a
period of four weeks he went to the Revier [hospital block] every day
for dressings and during that time he could not sit at all and he
slept on the bed on his stomach or on the side. I don't know what
happened to him after the four weeks had elapsed because he was
sent away then with a punishment transport to Berlin to work at
pulling down destroyed houses.
In March 1945, when I was ill in the Revier /Revier No. 2/, I helped a nurse, Bruno Smól, to change a dressing on a Dutchman who, of
the 50 lashes on the horse to which he had been sentenced, had received only 43 lashes because he lost consciousness and his buttocks
became disfigured. While I was applying his dressings, I saw his lacerated skin, the buttocks completely misshapen, and his (testicle) sack
torn to pieces. I know that this Dutchman had an operation on his buttocks later on due to phlegmon [a deep abscess] which was a
complication following this beating.
I have given this account to the best of my knowledge, according to my conscience, and in accordance with what I personally saw and
Read, signed and accepted (Name removed)
[Notes of the Assistant of the Institute: Bożysław Kurowski]
According to the circumstances known to me after a stay in Sachsenhausen,
I have no reservations in relation to this account.
Stamp of the Polish Documentary Institute
To return to Flogging & whipping click HERE