The feeble breeze floated quietly ….past the main entrance (Arbeit Macht Frei)….past the many guard towers….past the barrack huts….past the execution trench….past the mass graves….Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg
was a Nazi concentration camp in Oranienburg, Germany, used primarily for political prisoners from 1936 to the end of the Third Reich in May 1945. After World War II, when Oranienburg was in the Soviet Occupation Zone, the structure was used as an NKVD special camp until 1950.
After a long work day, I traveled to the nearby Sachsenhausen concentration camp for a quick Kite Aerial Photography (KAP) session. I set up my bright yellow 10 foot BKT Rokkaku for a long line launch in an effort to find a bit more wind above the camp. The big Rokkaku sail space combined with light weight Skyshark tubes was a willing flyer…… A few of minutes of nursing the kite higher in the 3 to 4 mph wind was rewarded with near 5 mph wind about 100 feet above the camp.
The auto Kite Aerial Photography rig fitted with my Sony A6000 and GoPro Hero3+ with minutes later and the kite was slowly lifted into the bright sky above the Sachsenhausen Germany concentration camp.
Silence upon silence ..the wind moved….but made no sound. My steps made loud crunching noise as my shoes pressed into the gravel walkways. The Sachsenhausen concentration camp was empty…..or maybe it was out of quiet respect for the 10s of thousand souls who call this place home……
The big Rokkaku slowly climbed into the sky lifting the auto KAP rig higher. The pan and tilt servos …. Were only partially working….
The quiet stillness of the camp was suddenly broken by the thump thump thump sound growing rapidly louder by the second….. 30 seconds later a helicopter appeared on the northern horizon, circled the camp entrance and landed. Apparently there was some sort of ceremony going on with a government speaker beyond my site near the camp entrance.
I abandon my plan to walk the KAP session up to the camp entrance and instead moved away from the entrance. A short time later the helicopter lifted off and disappeared over the northern horizon. The kite and auto KAP rig stayed in the air the whole time.
As the sun was beginning to set and older gentleman road up on a bike. We had a tough time communicating….German / English…. But the kite line communication was working just fine as a big smile popped out on his face when I handed him the kite line. We stood together in silence just watching the kite fly.
A few minutes passed and then the older gentlemen resumed his bike ride checking the locks on each entrance….turns out he was the camp guard….and the camp facility was closed….all gates locked….just the two of us left with a kite in the air. A bit of sign language and a shaking of the keys got the point across… It was time to go. Not wanting to hold up the guard….we walk to the side entrance with the kite up in the air and after a bit of navigating around a few tall trees I was successful in getting through the gates. The guard smiled and waved as he locked the gates behind me.
I proceed to recover the KAP rig and kite as the sun was setting over Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
Enjoy a few KAP pictures taken from the quiet skies above the Sachsenhausen concentration camp….and additional KAP shots in this flickr album