Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site

While we were in Munich, Germany we visited the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site.

Dachau Concentration Camp opened in 1933 to hold political prisoners. Dachau had as many as 100 sub camps, and grew to become a collection of mostly forced labor work camps. Dachau was also home to medical experimentation involving hypothermia and high altitude, killing many prisoners.  These and many other atrocities continued until the camp was liberated on April 29, 1945.

This is outside the information center/cafe/bookstore. It's such a tranquil place right before you walk down a quiet tree lined path to see the horrors of world history.

If you didn't know what was on the other side of these trees, this place would be such a lovely park.

I know you can't really read the text on this site map, but just look at the picture to get a sense of how large the camp is. 

This is the entrance to the prisoner camp, the building housed SS staff.

Closer view of the gate, looking in to the camp.

The long building on the left is the Maintenance Building, which now houses the museum and exhibits, the building on the right is the Bunker, the former camp prison

This is an office inside the bunker, it had some crazy fancy floors and architecture.

This is one view of the hall inside the bunker.

A door to a prison cell, these cells were for individual prisoners.

Inside the cell.

This entry way is beautiful, it feels so wrong to have some of this lovely work in such an awful place.

This wall is between the maintenance building and the bunker, it was used to firing squad executions and some hangings were done in this area I believe. I didn't take a picture of the sign so I'm not 100% sure.

The words on this gate mean, "work sets you free"and they were on the entrance gate to the camp.

This is the international memorial, you can kind of see more of it in the picture below.

Each piece of the memorial is symbolic, read about it here.

This is part of a barracks, the prisoners slept practically on top of each other in these three level bunks.

This was a gathering room in the barracks.

A room of sinks.

A room of toilets.

 This is another guard house along the perimeter of the camp. The concrete foundations on either side of this path show were more barracks stood when the camp was occupied.

Along one side of the camp, there are now religious memorials that pay tribute to the lives lost at Dachau.

This is the Jewish Memorial, built in 1967

This is the Catholic Mortal Agony of Christ Chapel, built in 1960

This is the Carmelite Convent, Karmel Heilig Blut Dachau, founded by Mother Theresa in 1964

This is the Protestant Church of Reconciliation Memorial, built 1967

This is the Russian Orthodox Chapel, built 1995. This chapel was having some work done, so we couldn't go inside.

This is the newer crematorium at the camp.

This gives a floor plan of the building.

Cremation ovens

This is the original crematorium, that quickly became too small with the ever increasing number of dead bodies.

This area of the property also has the main site of remembrance and cemetery at the camp. There are 32,000 recorded deaths from Dachau, but thousands were unaccounted for.

Not all of history is pretty, but all of it is important. It's important to remember the lives ended or altered, families torn apart, and the trail of horror left behind from events like the Holocaust. We have to remember, because history loves a sequel and this isn't a story we want to keep repeating.

Learn about messy history, even when it makes you sick to your stomach, cry, and hurt, because without this knowledge our history could easily become our future.

Need a place to start learning?

The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida
United State Holocaust Memorial Museum

Check out our other stops on our German adventure:
Back to Frankfurt 


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