Munich Day 3-Dominic Gastald

Dachau, a wonderful little German town in the middle of nowhere with an extremely dark past that history cannot ignore. Dachau, the first World War II concentration camp in Germany and the standard for the other camps that followed. Our tour today took us to this dark place, a stark reminder of one man’s rise to power and the terror and suffering he inflicted shortly thereafter. Walking through the now peaceful camp, it was difficult to fathom the hell that once occurred here. As we moved from room to room, our guide enlightened us of each place in order the prisoners would go to from when they came through the camp’s gates. First the Maintenance Building, where in a series of rooms, they would disrobe and be given their prison clothes with a piece of cloth identifying if they were a homosexual, political or religious prisoner, etc. In other rooms, they were stripped of there name, and humanity and given identification cards. The regime was attempting to break the will and psyche of the prisoners there. We then went through the jailhouse and then the barracks where inmates were subjugated to inhuman torture and cramped living conditions. Finally, we move to the Crematorium. These housed the infamous “ovens” as well as the gas chambers. I found it foreboding and chilling to hear crows cawing as I stepped foot off the bridge to the land where the Crematorium was housed. It is invaluable that all must learn of this place and others like it and the history of why this place came to be, so it may never be repeated ever again.
~ Inscription on plaque near Maintenance Building

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