Dachau Concentration Camp

Dachau, Germany

On March 22, 1933, a few weeks after Adolf Hitler had been appointed Reich Chancellor, a concentration camp for political prisoners was set up in Dachau. This camp served as a model for all later concentration camps and as a 'school of violence' for the SS men under whose command it stood. In the twelve years of its existence over 200.000 persons from all over Europe were imprisoned here and in the numerous subsidary camps. 41.500 were murdered. On April 29 1945, American troops liberated the survivors.

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.

The camp administration was located in the gatehouse at the main entrance. The camp area had a group of support buildings, containing the kitchen, laundry, showers, and workshops, as well as a prison block (Bunker). The courtyard between the prison and the central kitchen was used for the summary execution of prisoners. An electrified barbed-wire fence, a ditch, and a wall with seven guard towers surrounded the camp.

In 1942, the crematorium area was constructed next to the main camp. It included the old crematorium and the new crematorium (Barrack X) with a gas chamber. There is no credible evidence that the gas chamber in Barrack X was used to murder human beings. Instead, prisoners underwent 'selection'; those who were judged too sick or weak to continue working were sent to the Hartheim 'euthanasia' killing center near Linz, Austria. Several thousand Dachau prisoners were murdered at Hartheim. Further, the SS used the firing range and the gallows in the crematoria area as killing sites for prisoners.

The Memorial Site on the grounds of the former concentration camp was established in 1965 on the initiative of and in accordance with the plans of the surviving prisoners who had joined together to form the Comité International de Dachau. The Bavarian state government provided financial support. Between 1996 and 2003 a new exhibition on the history of the Dachau concentration camp was created, following the leitmotif of the 'Path of the Prisoners'.

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Details

Founded: 1933
Category:
Historical period: Nazi Germany (Germany)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

C T (4 months ago)
This is my forth time here. Despite history remains the same, each experience it's unique. Very different from books, documentaries, films the experience it's surreal. You can just imagine what they went through.
Mirka Mendez (5 months ago)
Well preserved concentration camp. Free to visit. The museum inside the main building is very complete, lots of information and artifacts. Very worth it to go through it in detail to understand the history fully. All descriptions in English and German. Audio guides are available with additional languages at the visitor center. Guides are sitting at locations around the camp and they'll tell you about them. Great experience visiting this memorial. Parking is 3 euros
Luca Cangiano (5 months ago)
If you are in Munich, this is definitely worth a visit. It takes a 2-3h to have a full tour and I totally suggest to get a guide: it's cheap and improves the whole experience a lot. Just check their schedule on the website
Ana Grey (6 months ago)
An informative and thoughtful reminder of the cruel actions so many years ago. A must visit to understand German history. I saw some families with children in strollers. Please inform yourself about this place before you take toddlers and young children there. It is really not a happy place. Wheelchair accessible.
satyarajasekhar manne (Brown gaming) (6 months ago)
History is well understood when visiting this site. One should never forget what happened and what are the consequences of it. This memorial teacher the perseverance of many and pays tribute to the lost souls due to an oppressive regime. Worth visiting and worth knowing
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