On Sunday morning, I went to Dachau Concentration Camp. I had learned about this in the Holocaust class I took in high school, as well as many other camps, but nothing is as real as seeing it in person. My friends went the day before so they could go to the Cathedral that Pope Benedict was bishop at, but you can’t do everything.
I found out that Dachau was the first Nazi Concentration Camp in Germany. Opened and operated by the SS and Himmler, it was designed to hold 6,000 prisoners, but held up to 32,000 at its peak. There were 32 Barracks, now marked by outlines. For anyone familiar with Adolf Eichmann (or if you’ve ever read Eichmann in Jerusalem), he was a member of the SS that dealt with figuring out transportation and deportation of the Jews, and he worked at Dachau. Upon going on trial in Jerusalem, he claimed that he had nothing to do with the camp and didn’t know what was going on, because he was merely following orders.
Like any concentration camp, what happened here was unreal.
The following are a handful of pictures that I took while touring the camp.
Below: Floor plan of the Prison Chamber
Below: Where the barracks once stood.
Above picture describes the below. After walking through this room, we found ourselves in the gas chamber. The last picture is taken from outside the crematorium, where gas was inserted into the chamber.