Sunday, May 8, 2016

Dachau, Germany

More views of Dachau Concentration Camp.
Guard tower, concrete fence posts with barbed wire,  a shallow ravine (below, left side of fence), and another concrete fence (below, to the right of barbed wire fence).

The ground covered in rocks is difficult to walk on, making escape unlikely.

Inside one of the thirty barracks that stood on the grounds.  Bunks were three high with fifteen bunks on each level.  When the camp was "not overcrowded" each barracks was designed to house one hundred eighty prisoners.   These modest accommodations were intended to house 5,000 prisoners in the entire camp; after 1942  12,000 prisoners were housed here.

Lockers for individual prisoners and stools stacked atop each.

Community wash basins.

Ten toilets per barracks. Zero privacy.

The area above and below once held the barracks in parallel rows.

Another area of concrete fence and barbed wire which still stands just past the Memorial site.

At the Holocaust Remembrance service last Friday night an Austrian-American woman shared the story of her family's attempts to flee Vienna when she was a girl.  She told about the Judenstempel, a red J the Nazi's stamped onto the passports of all Jews.  Very few countries admitted immigrants with that red Judenstempel.  Many Jewish families were forced to leave behind any material possessions when they escaped.  The resulting poverty also limited where they might take refuge.  The woman and her family went to the closest safe place that would have them, Shanghai.  She said that about 20,000 Jews gathered in Shanghai during the Holocaust.  Eventually, Japan gained control of Shanghai and bowed to German pressure to round up the Jews.  Her family and friends spent time in an internment camp there, but she was adamant that her personal ordeal paled in comparison with that of the people imprisoned in the concentration camps of Germany. Eventually, the Allies prevailed, and she married an American solider.  They came to America where they raised a family, and enjoyed a good life.  It was clear as she spoke that she never took any of her good fortune for granted.  


  1. We were in Germany a few years ago and I chose not to visit any of the concentration camps and now I sort of wish I had, as odd as that sounds...

    1. It doesn't sound at all odd to me. I felt like it would be a depressing experience. It was not on my To Do list, but my son's. But he was right that we should go. It was tremendously moving. Sobering more so than depressing in the end I guess because they added lovely memorials.


Penny for your thoughts.