Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Bischof Guenter

Second Advisor

Kuss Mark

Third Advisor

Ostrum Nicholas



Totalitarian use of the concentration camp to subjugate and control its citizens was exemplified on a massive scale with the world’s most oppressive twentieth century regimes, Nazi Germany, and the USSR. While evolved from very different political origins, concentration camps were the primary instrument within each nation’s security services resulting in human misery and death on a massive scale. One camp, Sachsenhausen, near Berlin was especially prominent, designed and constructed in 1936 as a model camp with the IKL eventually housed adjacent to it. In May 1945 the Soviets invaded Germany, and within months Sachsenhausen was utilized by the Soviet NKVD and became the most prominent camp in the SOZ. This thesis demonstrates how Sachsenhausen was utilized by both regimes, undoubtedly differing in their politics, but demonstrating the concentration camps as their tool of choice. Any differences in camp administration were significantly outweighed by the human suffering and death experienced there.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.