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

Denise Oreilly (19 months ago)
Very sad but very informative. Took me almost 5 hours to see the camp and read information. Advertised tours from Munich but it's very easy to get there by U bahn and bus and only costs 3 euros to hire an audio guide. The audio guide is easy to use and far cheaper than joining a group tour.
Kai Forrest (19 months ago)
Amazing memorial. Very educational. Very sad, but worth understand what these beautiful people had to go through. We will never know absolutely how bad everything was, but it’s such a big part of our history. Mostly rebuilt since it was destroyed in 1960s, but they did a great job at showing what it was like.
Mackie McIntosh (19 months ago)
I feel weird rating this place. It is a must see to understand the scale of the atrocities and similar camps that no longer exist. The museum is thorough and well done. It is important to maintain these sites so that we might avoid the same mistakes in the future. For that reason I am sure that is why most of us give it 5 stars.
schan dorf (19 months ago)
Honestly, I wish everyone get to see and experience history. Life is precious when you get to see and think about what other have to go through. And one thing I kept asking myself is why. How can some humans be so cruel and evil. How can evil be so stylish and creative. The journey today made me realize how fortunate I am today. One of the best places I have seen so far. Not just because of the pictures or history, but the light it shine on my soul. Thanks for keeping the place up to date. Thanks for making it free so people can witness history.
Rich Wig (20 months ago)
How can one communicate the horror and the lowness of mankind, of a system which was able to bend human rights toward legitimacy of sadism by those who were in charge? Very well constructed is this communication of facts and sober analysis. The place gets meaning when entering the museum. It is a monument by understanding what happened here. Touching and elevating.
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