It’s been a short while since I’ve updated this space. But I’ve been busy trying to apply for jobs (still a work-in-progress) and battling and coming to terms with a sudden skin condition (which I hope will not progress to a chronic situation). I’ve decided to quickly pen down this short post on my thoughts of my visit to the Dachau Concentration Camp, before I lose even more memories of the place. Here’s a photo snippet of my experiences and my thoughts of the place.
We joined an English tour and had a wonderful tour conducted by our lovely and knowledgeable guide, a lady of half Jew, half Nazi descent. She was pretty emotional as she brought as about the area because she has first hand account of the experiences narrated to her by survivors and her grandparents.
“Arbeit Macht Frei” – Work Will Make You Free, is the first thing you’ll notice as you pass through the gates into the camp. It’s such a contradictory phrase that marks the beginning and end of your life. Interesting fact: The B in “ARBEIT” is inverted in the gate at Auschwitz (the concentration camp in Poland) as a sign of rebellion by the maker who constructed the gate.
One of the remaining scaffold that showed the layout of the first building when people entered the camp and were stripped of the belongings, to be replaced with the camp uniform and a badge, signifying the status.
The remnants of the train tracks, which brought prisoners into the camp.
An original painting on the walls in a barrack, which was turned into a museum that is preserved.
“Rauchen verboten” – No Smoking, a sign used to taunt the prisoners as cigarettes were not allowed.
A peep through the door hole into one of the holding rooms in the barracks for prisoners.
The cloudy weather pretty much summarised the dark mood of the tour group as we exited the barrack.
Rows of barracks utilised for medical purposes, along both sides of the camp road. However, most of these barracks were utilised by scientists to perform experimental and brutal research on humans. So many were left to suffer the atrocities. Even after the war ended, one of the scientist wanted to continue his research work on humans (as guinea pigs) by requesting permission to perform experiments on the prisoners. It’s absolutely disgusting.
The no-man’s land separates the camp site from a chance of freedom. Prisoners were often made to pick up the caps which the guards threw into this area, leading to their consequent death as firing was now allowed. It later became a way for many of these prisoners to escape the nightmare by purposefully entering this zone, before the guards caught onto their actions.
The barracks for many of the prisoners of the upper class. It was previously one to a bed before too many people were captured and this place became overcrowded.
This was the waiting room where victims were informed on the supposed “showers” they were supposed to take.
The disrobing room, where victims were to leave their clothes before entering the gas chamber, which was disguised as “showers”. Their clothing would be removed to the disinfection room before the next group would enter.
One of the death chambers.
The dead were cremated here. Death in 4 phases, from the point one stepped into the waiting room.
This was an insightful place to visit. Perhaps, it may not be comparable to Auschwitz, in terms of the atrocities that took place, but Dachau definitely has its own story to tell. Join the tour offered by the museum, then spend the day wandering and learning more about the museum. You’ll not regret it. I came out appreciating the peace and friendliness amongst the different racial and ethnic groups I am constantly exposed to in my country. I better understand the need for certain laws to be in place, though it may see to others as a violation of an individual’s freedom of speech. Till the next post, bye.