The SS Brotfabrik was part of Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, and from 1941 until 1991, it worked as a full-time bakery. And, today, you can visit the place, kind of.
I was there on an early evening after work and took these pictures while the sun was setting. Exploring a place like this alone is always a weird feeling. Every noise hits you as if something is about to happen. Every crack in the floor told me something was about to break down. But nothing happens, and I’m glad for that. Even though the wind and a loose plastic shingle made bizarre noises every time, I had to go somewhere I had never been before.
The History Behind the SS Brotfabrik
The SS Brotfabrik was planned 1938 with other SS-owned companies, like a brick factory and a stone processing factory. Those two companies would help Nazi Germany build what they saw as the future of Berlin: Welthauptstadt Germania. But we all know what happened to these plans.
Don’t think twice about who built those companies. Sachsenhausen is close by, and I don’t think I need to say who was working under inhumane conditions. Around 80 prisoners were used there to bake more than 30 thousand loaves of bread daily. Poles, Latvians, Germans, Dutch, and others were the nationalities working there.
Each day, they had to march from Sachsenhausen’s main camp to the SS bakery.
After the end of the Second World War and the following liberation, the Red Army took care of the place, enabling the bakery to supply the sick and weak survivors from the Sachsenhausen camp.
After 1948, the SS Brotfabrik went to the Konsum-Großbäckerei Oranienburg, which used the place as a bakery until 1991, after the reunification of Germany. In 1994, a fire destroyed parts of the disused interior, and things never looked good. Some twenty have passed since anyone last used the bakery, which may remain like that.
In October 2000, the Verwaltungsgericht Potsdam had plans to turn the building into a monument, together with the former brick factory, but nothing happened. You can see an informative sign in front of the bakery, but that is it.
If you are looking at the pictures and wondering if you should go there, I have to say that I was expecting more from the place.
The main building from the SS Brotfabrik is pretty much empty. You can see some old ovens around this main building, but this is it. The place is just emptiness, and that is it. The other facilities around the SS Brotfabrik are in different states.
One was in pieces and had a ceiling that looked like it burned down not long ago. Another building that looked like a garage had debris and some weird sand. Nothing special.
So, if you want to go there, see the pictures and think for a while. Oranienburg is not that close, and the place is not great. Sorry, but I had to say that.
It is not that hard to find the former SS Brotfabrik, but I can say that getting in is not that easy. Take the train to Oranienburg and walk on Bernauer Straße until you see the Lehnitzsee bridge. When crossing the bridge, a sign on the right side will tell the story of the area in German.
You are close by, and the map below will help you more. And if you want more Urban exploration tips, take a look here.
Felipe Tofani took all the pictures here, and you can see more on Flickr.
Exploring the Abandoned SS Brotfabrik in Oranienburg
Lehnitzschleuse, 16515 Oranienburg