Dachau complex

Museums and Galleries

Camp Dachau is a terrible reminder of the horrors of fascism. Today there is a memorial there, which attracts 800 thousand tourists annually. They come to see live the concrete wall behind the metal wire that separated the life of the old Bavarian town with the beautiful Dachau castle from the inhuman abuse of the prisoners, and to honor the memory of the prisoners.


The only entrance to the prison area (original building)

Dachau history

The Dachau concentration camp was the first such institution created in Nazi Germany. It opened in 1933, 2 months after the Nazis came to power. Initially, his goal was to correct the Germans, who, with their asocial behavior, negatively affect the Aryan race. Alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes and political opponents were brought there:

  • communists;
  • opposition priests.

After several months of torture and correctional labor, they could be released.

According to legend, a concentration camp in Dachau was organized by Hitler as revenge on the residents of the city for refusing to support him in the 1933 elections. It was located on the site of a former ammunition factory on an area of ​​230 hectares. During the construction, the direction of the winds was specially taken into account so that the smoke from the crematorium furnaces often obscured the city that was rebellious to the Fuhrer.

Then prisoners of war began to enter there:

  • Jews;
  • Austrians;
  • Slovaks.

The prisoners were transported on trains in cattle cars, and many died on the way.


Memorial art exposition

Experiments on humans

During the war, the Nazis practiced medical experiments: they tested the effect of new drugs on prisoners, observed the effect of environmental factors on the body. Pseudo-doctors killed 70 thousand victims. They mocked the victims by placing them in a pressure chamber, removing their skin alive.

Hitler had a goal of creating a super warrior. For this, the capabilities of the human body were studied. In particular, there was a special group of teenagers who were experimented on in order to determine how a person's height can change.

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The prisoners were specially infected with deadly diseases in order to test treatments. Tuberculosis patients were kept in a special box. Diseases were allowed to develop to an emergency, and then antidotes were used. Infected with malaria and other tropical diseases.


Crematorium buildings

Torture

Torture and executions were also widespread. Soviet soldiers were used as human targets to train SS recruits in shooting. The offenders were hung up by their hands, tied behind their backs, as a result of which they lost their mobility.

On an excursion to Dachau, you can also see the gas chamber, although it was not used as widely as in Auschwitz. The room was disguised as a shower room. The victims were forced to undress and sent to the shower, where lethal gas was released instead of water. The effect of various poisons was checked by subsequent autopsy of the corpses. Freezing was also carried out alive.


Group portrait of former political prisoners. Still taken by Colonel Alexander Zabin (USA), who visited Dachau in mid-May 1945.

Exemption

A terrible practice was carried out for all 12 years of the existence of the Nazi concentration camp. By April 1945, it was ordered that no one came out alive.

In April 1945, a group of several thousand prisoners was sent on a death march to the mountains. Of these, two were able to escape and met with American troops approaching Munich. After their story, the Americans turned in the direction of the camp and freed the survivors. 600 soldiers of the SS and Wehrmacht troops were shot on the same day.


Prisoner barrack

Exposition in the Dachau camp

Dachau's panoramas reflect all the terrible details of the military past. There are two crematoria on the territory - an old one and a new one, built after the first one stopped coping with the flow of corpses. In the new one, there were 4 ovens, in which two bodies were laid at the same time.

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Of the 34 barracks, none have come down to us since those times, but two were specially rebuilt for the memorial. The furnishings have been restored in them: bunks for prisoners, a sanitary room, and a restroom. Initially, they were designed for two hundred prisoners, but at the height of the war, each housed up to 2000 prisoners of war. From the rest of the buildings, only the foundations remained, near each of which there is a plate with the inscription that it was there:

  • residential barrack;
  • medical box;
  • kitchen.

Another must-see in Dachau is the museum, which houses prisoners' personal belongings and photographs.

A monument to the perished Jews and a monument to an ordinary person have been erected. There is a temple in which believers of any denomination can pray for those killed.


Camp entrance

Complex visiting mode

Entrance to the complex is free. You need to pay 3,5 EUR for an audio guide, which is also available in Russian. It recounts the history of the concentration camp in detail, including interviews of surviving captives.

There are no groups in the museum, so if you want to see the exposition with a guide, you need to book an excursion to Dachau from Munich.

Dachau opening hours are from 9.00 to 17.00. Monday is a day off.

It is not difficult to find the memorial by car following the signs to Dachau. The road from the center of Munich will take about half an hour. The complex has ample free parking.

You can come by train S2, and from the railway station go straight to the ticket office on the free bus # 726.

A visit to the museum will leave a heavy impression, but this is the only way to touch the terrible pages of the history of the Second World War. The reviews of tourists about this place contain not only the difficult reflections to which it leads, but also words of gratitude to those who keep these difficult details of Nazi atrocities for the edification of future generations.

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INFO-MANIAC