Updated: Jul 12, 2018
It is hard for me to really explain my visit to Dachau Concentration Camp (pronounced Da-Cow or Da-How). When I was younger, I used to have a strong fascination for the Holocaust. In my young mind it was hard for me to grasp that people could cast so much evil on other people. I used to read countless books on Anne Frank, concentration camps and the Holocaust in general.
On my visit to Germany in 2015, I knew that I wanted to go visit a concentration camp and really learn about what people went through there and to learn the history behind this camp.
Upon arriving there, I felt this extremely heavy feeling and it almost felt like I was having an out of body experience. I was happy to see that people weren't there taking selfies and that people were pretty quiet and somber walking around the space and learning more about this concentration camp's history.
Here are some facts about Dachau:
1933 - 1945:
1933: Dachau opened for political prisoners
1934: 21 prisoners murdered here
1935: New prisoners were sent to the camp including: Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals and emigrants
1937: Expansion of the camp for an additional 6,000 prisoners
1938: Additional political prisoners as well as 11,000 German and Austrian Jews are sent to the camp
1939: Deportation of hundreds of Sinti and Roma to the camp
1940: Over 13,000 prisoners are sent from Poland
1941: Start of massive shooting of more than 4,000 Soviet prisoners of war
1944: 10,000 Jewish prisoners are killed "through work" in subsidiary camps. At the end of 1944, over 63,000 prisoners are in the Dachau concentration camp and its subsidiary camps: The catastrophic living conditions lead to the outbreak of a typhus epidemic
1945: The camp is liberated by US Army troops
I traveled through this site in silence. Here are some of the things that you see at Dachau:
Jourhouse: The Jourhaus served as the main exit and entrance to the prisoners’ camp and as the main office of the camp SS personnel.
International Memorial: The first prisoners were political opponents of the regime, communists, social democrats, trade unionists, also occasionally members of conservative and liberal political parties. The first Jewish prisoners were also sent to the Dachau concentration camp because of their political opposition.
Maintenance Building: Here the prisoners were forced to assemble mornings and evenings everyday and endure roll call counts which lasted for hours.
Shunt Room: The admission procedure to the Dachau concentration camp was completed in the shunt room; this procedure was brutal and meant for the prisoners the loss of personal rights, liberty and human autonomy.
Prisoner Baths: The baths were the last station of the admission procedure. This is where newly arrived prisoners had their heads shaved, were disinfected, showered and then sent to the barracks dressed in their prisoner clothing.
Courtyard and Bunker:
Roll-call Square: The area was able to hold forty to fifty thousand persons and served mainly as the assembly point for the prisoner roll calls, during which the prisoners were counted every morning and evening, or for carrying out punishments.
Camp Road: Today the former camp road leads from the roll call square to the religious remembrance sites and the crematorium area
Crematorium: The crematoria served to dispose corpses from the concentration camp; mostly the ovens were in operation day and night.
Religious Memorials: There are memorials for The Mortal Agony of Christ Chapel, Carmelite Covenant, Protestant Church of Reconciliation, Jewish Memorial, and Russian Orthodox Chapel.
Have you been to this concentration camp? Have you gone to another one? What was your experience, I would love to know.