Dachau - Concentration Camp, Munich

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  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Dachau

    by yooperprof Updated Jan 16, 2004

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    I don't know if it's changed, but when I was there in the mid 1980s, there wasn't a whole lot on the site of the lager. One hut had been reconstructed in order to give a sense of the size of the barracks - but no attempt was made to simulate what they must have looked like during the lifetime of the camp (1933-1945). There were interpretive photographs inside the barracks, as well as scattered throughout the grounds. The crematory still stood and served as a small museum. On the gray April afternoon my mother and I were there, we were just about the only visitors, adding to the sense of desolation which we felt.

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    An accessible day trip into the human condition

    by Wildono Written Apr 1, 2007

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    Let's be honest with ourselves. Travel is largely about field sociology, and increasing our self-awareness. In these efforts, sometimes a trip to the darker side of human nature is called for. And Las Vegas is not the answer to every one of these callings. Group behavior and "group think" has become ever more powerful a feature of the Age of Communication - TV, radio, the Internet, etc. However, until more is known about Gitmo, some thirty years from now if and when documents are declassified, you can learn more about the nature of humans to define themselves by defining other humans at the Concentration Camp in Dachau, Germany. Plan for four hours of total time in transit and touring.

    KZ Dachau is more accessible to public transit than ever before, with frequent S2 train service between Dachau and München, and more frequent bus service from the Dachau Bahnhof now direct to the KZ visitor center.

    Given the numerous changes over the years, mostly to the detriment of historical integrity, recent renovations to the KZ itself have made for more display space for archived official records, detention facilities and items confiscated from those persecuted by the Nazis.

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  • MLW20's Profile Photo

    Never Forget.

    by MLW20 Written Apr 30, 2007

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    A visit to Dachau is a must on a trip to Munich. Dachau was the first Nazi concentration camp. You can learn a lot about how people were treated and forced to live/try to survive in a concentration camp.

    The camp consists of a museum, bunker, restored barracks, crematorium and memorial shrines to the various ethnic/religious groups sent here. A video is also shown in the museum's theater about what it was like during the Nazi regime.

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  • Peterodl's Profile Photo

    Dachau

    by Peterodl Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    A little outside Munich is Dachau, the prototype Nazi concentration camp.
    Of the 200,000 prisoners held here, there are 30,000 documented prisoner deaths during the camp operation with a few thousand more after liberation.
    The camp memorial is a striking and sobering place to visit.
    The original train tracks and platform that the prisoners arrived on have been located and are now the main entrance to visitors as they were to the prisoners of the camp.
    The Administration Building information museum has been redesigned in 2003 to provide a more comprehensive experience to the visitor of what it was like to be a prisoner of the camp and guides the visitor from arrival and processing all the way through the camp history.
    The Barrick X site is where the ovens are located near the SS shooting wall. You can visit the gas chambers disguised as showers and the oven buildings.
    There is a reconstructed barrick building across the main plaza from the Administration Building which provides a glimpse of what living conditions were like for the prisoners.

    Dachau is a very sobering and emotional place to visit but should be a must to see for everyone.

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  • azz8206's Profile Photo

    A visit to Dachau

    by azz8206 Written Dec 4, 2007

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    Work makes you free
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    I highly recommend touring Dachau with a walking tour guide, especially because of how knowledgable they are. My tour guide was a English fellow named Geoffrey. If I recollect the tour company is called Munich walks and it meets in front of the clock at the marienplatz in the morning. If I remember correctly the price is 18 euros per person and that covers the train ride over there and back. Also there isn't a charge to get into the camp. The tour takes approxiametely 4 hrs if not a little more

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  • culgharper's Profile Photo

    Dachau Concentration Camp

    by culgharper Written Sep 9, 2007

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    Entrance to Dachau Concentration Camp
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    After checking in our hotel following our 14 hour flight, we took the subway S-Bahn to Dachau Concentration Camp. This was the only place we went where we got lost though it could have been because we had been up for many hours and we were tired . The directions we were given got us in the general area but not to the Camp and we had to walk quite a bit and eventually caught a bus, which fortunately are everywhere. I was quite surprised to find it in the middle of town, somehow i expected it to be out in the middle of nowhere. Dachau is one of the earliest concentration camps set up in Germany in 1933. The camp is surrounded by barbed wire and there are still guard towers standing. Everyone should see it. It was cold, eerie and the museum was very sad. You could spend a lot of time there looking at photos and reading. The only tip I have is to get good directions on this one....it was hard to find.

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    The first Nazi concentration camp

    by etfromnc Updated May 15, 2012

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    World War II era photo

    The term holocaust is an ancient word derived from the Greek language—"holos" (whole) and "kaustos" (burned)—but following the conclusion of World War II the term took on an entirely new meaning. The murder of 6 million Jews in killing centers controlled by Nazi Germany in the name of racial purity revealed the cruel lengths to which humans could go employing modern technologies, systems, and killing tools.
    They did this in many different locations in Germany, Poland, and elsewhere but Dachau was the first concentration camp to open in March of 1933. I am still trying to decide whether it was a good thing that it was closed on the day that I was there. The gates were open so I was able to wander throughout the camp but was not able to enter any of the buildings. It was a cool, misty day and my memories of what I had heard, read, and seen about the "Holocaust" gave me nearly an entire to think, reflect, and pray about what had happened here. I want to go back when all facilities are open but I am glad that I had this day of revery.
    Heinrich Himmler, in his capacity as police president of Munich, officially described the camp as "the first concentration camp for political prisoners." It was located on the grounds of an abandoned munitions factory near the northeastern part of the town of Dachau, about 10 miles northwest of Munich in southern Germany.
    During the first year, the camp held about 4,800 prisoners. Initially the internees consisted primarily of German Communists, Social Democrats, trade unionists, and other political opponents of the Nazi regime. Over time, other groups were also interned at Dachau, such as Jehovah's Witnesses, Roma (Gypsies), homosexuals, as well as "asocials" and repeat criminal offenders. During the early years relatively few Jews were interned in Dachau and then usually because they belonged to one of the above groups or had completed prison sentences after being convicted for violating the Nuremberg Laws of 1935.
    The number of Jewish prisoners at Dachau rose with the increased persecution of Jews and on November 10-11, 1938, in the aftermath of Kristallnacht, more than 10,000 Jewish men were interned there. (Most of men in this group were released after incarceration of a few weeks to a few months, many after proving they had made arrangements to emigrate from Germany.)
    The Dachau camp was a training center for SS concentration camp guards, and the camp's organization and routine became the model for all Nazi concentration camps. The camp was divided into two sections--the camp area and the crematoria area. The camp area consisted of 32 barracks, including one for clergy imprisoned for opposing the Nazi regime and one reserved for medical experiments.
    On April 26, 1945, as American forces approached, there were 67,665 registered prisoners in Dachau and its subcamps; more than half of this number were in the main camp. Of these, 43,350 were categorized as political prisoners, while 22,100 were Jews, with the remainder falling into various other categories. Starting that day, the Germans forced more than 7,000 prisoners, mostly Jews, on a death march from Dachau to Tegernsee far to the south. During the death march, the Germans shot anyone who could no longer continue; many also died of hunger, cold, or exhaustion. On April 29, 1945, my father's 24th birthday, American forces liberated Dachau. As they neared the camp, they found more than 30 railroad cars filled with bodies brought to Dachau, all in an advanced state of decomposition. In early May 1945, American forces liberated the prisoners who had been sent on the death march. (My dad was in Germany at the time and was involved in liberation of one or more concentration camp but he would never give anyone any details.)

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    Sombre Experience, literally

    by seasonedveteran Written Mar 9, 2008

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    After a long night of partying and such in Ostbahnhoff, we do the right thing and drive to the town where this camp is, and tactlessly ask the local german in broken german "where is the concentration camp? ....more specifically, the nazi museum for WWII labour camp???" oh boy. im pushing it. Well, we found it finally.

    Some of my friends had been to the big camp in Warsaw, Poland, so this isnt as big, but very real. It is not for the emotional, because you can see where they slept, work in the yard and assembled and the underground detention cells. the audio guides make it all come to life.

    There is a picture below which really captures the hardship they Jewish people faced here. Not easy to swallow.

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  • Jasoninlondon's Profile Photo

    Dachau

    by Jasoninlondon Written Jun 11, 2004

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    Dachau Concentration Camp

    A very sad place to visit. But very educational and a great way to pay your respects to the dead. You really get a sence of how bad things must of been when walking through this place where so many died during the hollocaust.

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  • d_d's Profile Photo

    Dachau

    by d_d Updated Jul 27, 2003

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    Dachau: The former SS concentration camp

    The Dachau concentration camp is very closed to Munich, and you can easily reach it by public transportation.
    If you have time, visit it: it's very instructive.

    For more info visit my Dachau page:
    http://www.virtualtourist.com/m/46e83/111d7/

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  • mcgrawactor1's Profile Photo

    Visiting Dachau

    by mcgrawactor1 Updated May 27, 2011

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    It may not be the cheeriest thing to do as a tourist in sunny, inviting Munich and environs, but it is a deeply moving experience. One cannot and should not ever forget what happened at Dachua. If you can spare the time on your southern Germany trip, include the sojourn to Dachau. It is sure to be a sobering and meaningful time that should only take a couple of hours with travel time. Sometimes we travel to see fun and exciting sites. Sometimes we travel to discover and learn about life's tradgedies. If you are mature enough, (this place is really not for kids or the faint of heart) do go.

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    Arbeit macht frei (work makes free)

    by heitzenrater Written Jan 15, 2005

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    Arbeit macht frei (work makes free)
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    Dachau was a concentration camp of the Third Reich from 1933-1945. The camp office files showed a total of more than 206,000 prisoners registered in those years, though many prisoners were taken to Dachau without being registered. About 31,000 deaths of prisoners and 6,000 deaths of Russian soldiers were recorded but the number is believed to be much higher. It is difficult to explain the emotions that run through you as you are standing in the middle of the roll call yard.

    The Wirtschaftsgebaude contained the kitchen, the laundry, storage rooms for prisoners' clothing and personal belongings, and the notorious shower baths where the SS would torture prisoners by flogging and hanging then at the stake. In front is a memorial sculpture depicting bodies in the shape of barbed wire. The Wirtschaftsgebaude is now a museum.

    The Jourhaus was the only entrance to the camp. "Arbeit Macht Frei" ("Work Makes One Free") was the slogan the prisoners saw on the gates as they arrived. The building housed the SS guard rooms and the camp administration offices

    One of the barracks was rebuilt according to original specifications. Originally, it was meant to house 208 prisoners but toward the end, about 1600 prisoners lived in one of the barracks.

    The Krematorium was built in 1942. A gas chamber was also installed at Dachau but never used. The prisoners selected for gassing were transported to other concentration camps.

    This statue stands outside of the Krematorium. It is a memorial to those who died at Dachau and also a warning to future generations. I find it ironic that we were visiting Dachau as the atrocities in Kosovo were being revealed. It seems that mankind sure hasn't learned much.

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  • Sjalen's Profile Photo

    Dachau

    by Sjalen Written Nov 12, 2004

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    A suburb to the north, big enough to be served by several commuter trains, Dachau is a nice enough place to visit on its own merit, even if is mostly famous for the concentration camp nearby. We were very tempted to visit but realised that the six-year-old would not be up for it, so we'll wait until she is older...

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  • vichatherly's Profile Photo

    Dachau concentration camp

    by vichatherly Updated Jul 12, 2006

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    Dachau, Arbeit Macht Frei Gate
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    A visit to Dachau concentration camp.

    This doesn't sound the most cheerful of "sightseeing" trips but it is well worth the effort. Go to make sure that we never forget and that it never happens again.

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  • orlikins's Profile Photo

    Dachau concentration camp

    by orlikins Updated Feb 6, 2003

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    Dachau Concentration Camp

    If you're interested in 20th century history, then you really should make your way here. Admission is free. You can visit the exhibitions and the actual crematorium & prisoner's bunks. There is also a prayer center on the site.

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Comments (1)

  • SherieS's Profile Photo
    Feb 1, 2014 at 8:11 PM

    i was 7 yrs old and my family visited Dachau at that tim in the early seventies it was still as it was during the war. although many have stated it wrong that our parents took us at such a young age, i have never forgotten it. we toured the entire faclity the gas chambers still stood and the bunkers and barracks. it was something i am greatful i was able to do. During history classes i was able to take pictures, brochures and my own memoreis. i think this has also helped me to be more tolerent and understanding in my life. we are all human and should be treated that way no matter of race or relegion. i thank my dad and mom for this lesson!!

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