Abandoned SS Brotfabrik – Oranienburg, Germany - Atlas Obscura
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Oranienburg, Germany

Abandoned SS Brotfabrik

A crumbling bakery where forced laborers from the nearby concentration camp toiled to feed their fellow prisoners and Nazi soldiers. 

From 1941 until the end of World War II, this now-abandoned building served as a brotfabrik, or bread factory, for the Nazi regime. 

Around 80 prisoners from the nearby Sachsenhausen concentration camp were forced to work the factory, where they made and distributed bread to feed their fellow victims at the Sachsenhausen camp, SS units around Berlin, and eventually even neighboring concentration camps.

The brotfabrik was built by prisoners about a mile and a half outside the concentration camp, near SS-run brick and stone factories. The forced laborers started off baking 10,000 loaves of bread a day, then production was ramped up to 40,000 loaves a day after shift-work was introduced and two new ovens installed. 

The Red Army took over the factory after the war, keeping production going to feed sick and weak survivors of the liberated camp. Between 1948 and 1991 it operated as a normal bakery, until it was abandoned after the reunification of Germany. In 1994, a fire destroyed parts of the deserted interior, which has sat empty in a state of decay ever since, as if crumbling under the weight of its dark history.

Know Before You Go

Take the S-Bahn or a regional train to Oranienburg, turn right out of the station, right again onto Bernauer Straße and follow that along, past the woods and a fine abandoned house on the right hand side until you come to a bridge. That’ll be the canal right under you there. Go over the bridge, take your first left, and the bakery isn’t far up on the right hand side.