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

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Marijn Pessers (8 months ago)
Impressive experience. I already knew about the things that happened there but to hear it again and be in the place where it happened is hard to describe. However, being there and hearing about it is not understanding. Picturing all the movie scenes about the camps I saw I can’t place an emotion on it. Disbelief in what men is capable of and being overwhelmed, not knowing how to understand the gravity of the events while still fully understanding the enormity of them... it is a MUST see place. Definitely book a guided tour, look for English tours in advance. The tour was excellent. 6 out of 5 stars. And it is all cheap too. And that is good because money should never be a reason to skip this place when you are in the neighborhood.
gavin Paterson (8 months ago)
a very somber place. hard to fully believe what happened here in he past. I think we should all visit such places to remind ourselves what horror mankind is capable of.
Laura Cuofano (9 months ago)
Absolutely worth visiting when in Münich. I would advise buying the audio guide, as it is very clear and also has witnesses from that time telling about their experience and describing how it was. It's very interesting and very well organized. There is a bus stop very close to the memorial, so you can get there very easily from the train station in Dachau. Free entrance, you only need to pay for the audio guide or the tour guide.
Kishan Patel (9 months ago)
Great historical site to visit and learn about the concentration camp history and prisoner’s life in the Camp. Spent about 3hrs with the audio guide. Highly recommended to visit. The bistro/ cafe at this site has good sandwiches.
Fede Fede (10 months ago)
Impressive and very informative, make sure to go with enough time and go either with a tour guide or audio guide. We purchased the official exhibition book (contains all exposition materials) due to lack of time to read all material in exposition, we read the book completely back at hotel. This is a visit that cannot be missed if in Munich
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