Dachau Concentration Camp

12:11:00 PM Unknown 1 Comments

Today I took the girls to the concentation camp memorial site in Dachau just 20 minutes from my house. To say the place is sobering is an understatement. As Eden was with us, we were given a PG rated tour, but our guide did an excellant job giving us the history behind this place.  It is incredibly worth while and so close to Munich, I would say it's a must see.  

The Details
Address: Pater-Roth-Str. 2A 85221 Dachau, Germany  +49 0 8131 66 99 70
Transportation: From Hauptbahnhof take the S2 to Dachau then transfer to regional bus #726 which will drop you off right in front of the memorial site.
Hours:  Daily 9am-5pm                                                                                                                             Tour: 3e 11am/1pm daily
Time: 2.5 hours

Dachau was the premier concentration camp and right next door to it was an SS training camp which housed as many as 10,000 boys at a time. Typically these were 17 year boys from uneducated, poor families with little future. They were given a military career, a steady income and a chance to make something of their lives.  These young men were indoctrinated; taught to believe they were superior, taught to hate, torture and kill. At the end of their training they would be taken to the concentration camp for a final examination of sorts to exhibit what they had learned.

I am standing behind the first set of inmate houses. In front of me are the foundations for 15 more sets of houses. This place is huge and they packed prisoners in like sardines.

A marker notes where each barracks stood.

Wash basins

This is the gas chamber. That cut out in the wall is where the gas was put in from a door on the outside of the building. With the aid of fans, 15-20 minutes is all it took to kill 150 men.

The crematorium...this place was working around the clock to dispose of human waste. Ironically, it was run by inmates who were not allowed interaction with other inmates. Once you began working here you stayed until your own demise. Notice the hefty timber rafters. Inmates were hung here.

I am fasinated with doors. I love photographing them usually for their bright colors or ornate designs. I had to photograph this door not for its beauty, but its history. I imagine the people who came in and out of this door and the horror they witnessed everyday.

It is estimated that 200,000 people were killed/died at this camp. Often it was the conditions of the camps that killed the inmates.

Initially, Dachau was a prison camp for political rivals, wealthy families and clergy who opposed the Third Reich. Many of these prisoners were allowed to leave the camp and fled to other countries for safety. This is reflected in the beds. At first the beds were of normal width and length, and there was even a divider between each bunk, but as the camp evolved into a camp for jews and other outcasts the conditions worstened.

The bunks become shorter

The bunks are shorter still and now there are no partitions to maximize the number of prisoners who can fit into the space.

Eden took this photo. It represents the colors assigned to prisoners and the chain represents the solidarity of the people bound by a common foe.

This is the Jewish memorial chapel. From this vantage it looks like a dark cave.

Once inside it is very light--The Menorah atop the building represents the eternal lite of God.

This says, "Remember"

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