Dachau concentration camp was the first Nazi concentration camp opened in Germany, located on the grounds of an abandoned munitions factory near the medieval town of Dachau, about 16 km northwest of Munich in the state of Bavaria, which is located in southern Germany.
Opened 22 March 1933 it was the first regular concentration camp established by the coalition government of the National Socialist Party and the German Nationalist People's Party, described the camp as "the first concentration camp for political prisoners."
After liberation, the camp was used by the US Army as an internment camp. It was also the site of the Dachau Trials, a site chosen for its symbolism. In 1948 the Bavarian government established housing for refugees on the site, and this remained for many years. The Kaserne quarters and other buildings used by the guards and trainee guards served as an American military post for many years. It had its own elementary school: Dachau American Elementary School, a part of the Department of Defense dependent school system.
Ontop of the city, you'll find a nice castle with a nice view to Munich. After checking the castle you can rest in
the park or at the
coffee shop with tasteful cakes within the castle or adjacent to the park.
The castle is opened April-September: 9 am-6 pm and October-March: 10 am-4 pm
Well, I'm not entirely sure if this is off the beaten path, but since it literally is a path, I thought I would put it here. When I first entered this forest road (it's near the gas chambers, in the back of the camp) I thought what a beautiful little road this was. As I travelled further in, I noticed a plaque that said that this path, this beautiful path, was also the place where many prisoners were executed by the Nazis. I found it deeply ironic that a place I found so peaceful and quiet (and away from the busier tourist areas of the camp) was also the place of untold horrors for so many people. Though there are no buildings or anything back here, I found it to be one of the most chilling places in the camp.
Coming from the catle at left, there's "Café Bäckerei Konditorei Teufelhart" which is of a rather large size. That's a neat place to drink, eat and surf in the Internet. In the evenings of weekends, there are concerts going on.
mon, tue 7.30 - 23.00
wed, thu 7.30 - 01.00
fri, sat 7.30 - 02.00
Sun 7.30 - 18.00
This picture shows the level of security that the camp had. The first barrier is a manmade ditch that was filled with water, followed by a barbed wire fence, then an open area, followed by a 10 foot wall, topped with barbed wire. If any prisoner got between the ditch and wall, he was shot immediately. Many prisoners in order to escape the life of the camp would purposely throw themselves into the forbidden barrier just to be shot and end their misery.
These are the administration buildings were the Nazis planned the work day and extermination of the prisoners. In the back of this building, a 40 minute film is shown depicting life in the camp. It is a must see for an accurate portrayal of what the prisoners went through. Dachau was the first concentration camp of the Nazis, and all other camps were patterned after this one for the mass extermination of people.
There are two replicas of the housing facilities that the prisoners slept and ate it. The buildings were only supposed to hold about 50 per room, but as the war progressed, it turned into 200 per room. In the mornings, the prisoners were called out for roll call, which meant standing in lines in the open area in front of these two buildings. Everyone had to be there, dead or alive. Then they were left standing there for at least 1 hour, in cold or heat. When roll call was finished, then the work assignments were handed out for that day.
I've never imagined Dachau as a city, anyway Dachau is a quite big city, as I discovered crossing it by bus and by this map, with many residentials and commercial neighbourhoods.