If you ever have the chance to visit Munich, you should never miss this place. Located about 16 KM away from the city center, Dachau Concentration Camp was the first Nazi Concentration Camp in Germany, opened in 1933. During its 12 years of operations before the American troop liberated the survivors, more than 200,000 people from the European region were brought to this camp. Many were Jews, homosexuals, criminals and political opponents. In this entry, I will be sharing a glimpse of this camp.
1, The Entrance
The gate at the entrance of the camp. "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work will make you free).
2. Prisoner cells
3. Prisoners Bunk
These prisoner cells in my pictures are fairly common and have a "luxurious" amount of space. There are also another type called the standing cell. In the standing cell, the prisoner could only sit or stand in total darkness.
Initially, the camp was capable to hold up to 5000 people. Over the years, it had went through expansion. Blocks of buildings were constructed to increase its capacity. After a whole day of physical and mental torture, the prisoners had to squeeze within these wooden bed slots.
Blocks of buildings were demolished after its closure, leaving the first 2 blocks for exhibition.
4. Physical tortures
Those in the pictures were not the harshest torture. When I read about how they used the prisoners for medical experiments, it gave me shivers down my spine. One of which was about a human experiment on air pressure tolerance.
5. Heavily guarded borders
The camp was surrounded by barbed wired fence with several guard towers. Any prisoner who entered a defined zone near the borders were shot down from the guard towers. Those prisoners who intentionally entered the zone did not try to escape. They did it to end their life and sufferings.
6. Gas Chamber
This gas chamber was equipped with fake shower spouts to disguise as a shower room. Prisoners were "showered" with poison gas for about 15 to 20 minutes to suffocate to death.
The crematorium is located at the far end of the camp. Cremation often took place to cover the evidence of many deaths. Each crematory was used to burn up to 4 bodies at a time.
8. Mass graves
These mass graves in the camp are graves of ashes. Bodies that were not burnt were brought to a hill nearby the camp. There were people doing some prayer when I was walking around the mass graves. Stalks of flower could be found lying on the graves.
Even though the pictures may appear to a little terrifying, the current atmosphere over there now is actually quite calm and peaceful. As I read the stories and toured around the camp, I felt very fortunate to be living in the present and mournful for the hardship and the ill treatment that these prisoners had experienced.
You may also like to read:
1. My Visual Journey: Italy Part I [Milan/Florence/Pisa]
2. Dachau Concentration Camp
3. My Visual Journey: Berlin
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