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The Würm

Along the western boundary of the Concentration Camp Memorial Site, the tiny river Würm flows quietly, adding to the surreal feelings that are provoked by any visit to the memorial site. It all looks so peaceful here, so nice. Could this really be a place were innocent people were terrorized, tormented, and murdered?

Fence of the Dachau Concentration Camp

The Concentration Camp Memorial Site is surrounded by a mesh fence. In the back you see one of the two fully restored Barracks (more of that later).

Watchtower of the Dachau Concentration Camp

The watchtower of the former Concentration Camp, protected by the mesh fence. Right next to the watchtower, a number of pretty houses have been built, situated directly at the wall of the camp. I guess the people living there got over the thought what has happened in the camp between 1933-1945.

Main Entrance Building of the Dachau Concentration Camp

When approaching the Concentration Camp Memorial Site from the parking lot, you will be lead to the main entrance building, the Jourhaus. It was the only entrnace to the camp. Here the house shines through the trees on a sunny Monday morning in spring. It does not look horrifying at all, which makes the visit to the site even more of an brutal emotional experience.

Train Ramp of the Dachau Concentration Camp

Opposite the Jourhaus another exhibit can be seen - the former train ramp of the camp. Here the prisoners arrived, before they were lead into the camp through the main entrance. Dachau was the first concentration camp, established in March 1933.

Train Ramp of the Dachau Concentration Camp

Another photo of the train ramp with the Jourhaus in the back, and a guided group in the middle. The Dachau camp held only political opponents in the beginning, but with the further rise of the Nazi regime, more and more groups were imprisoned in Dachau. Thousands died from starvation, maltreatment, and disease.

Jourhaus KZ Dachau

The early morning sun illuminates the main entrance to the Dachau Concentration Camp, the Jourhaus, with its steel gates, and the...

Arbeit Macht Frei, Dachau

...ultimately cynical slogan "ARBEIT MACHT FREI" (Work Makes You Free) embedded into the gates. The slogan is said to be developed by Rudolf Hess of the Nazi regime in the belief that self-sacrifice in the form of endless labor results in a kind of spiritual freedom.

Arbeit Macht Frei Jourhaus

Another photo of the cynical slogan, this time with a class approaching the steel gates from behind.

Dachau Memorial Plaque

This memorial plaque has been embedded into the walls of the Jourhaus. It says: "In honor of the 20th Armored Division (Liberators) U.S. 7th Army who participated in the liberation of Dachau Concentration Camp April 29, 1945 and in everlasting memory of the victims of Nazi barbarism, this tablet is dedicated April 28, 1996".

Dachau Camp Main Entrance

A view on the main entrance, from the inside of the camp. Here, a class has gathered in front of the gate, listening to their teacher.

Dachau Concentration Camp Model

Now, before we actually enter the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, please have a look at this model that is presented inside the exhibition, just to give you an impression of the size of the camp. You can also have a look at the satellite photo provided by Google Maps.

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