The Dachau Concentration Camp: My Experience (By Jet Lagged Jaff)

Our friend who goes by JetLaggedJaff recently completed a visit of Europe, and among the spots he visited was the Dachau Concentration Camp. He has graciously shared his visit and thoughts on this extremely harrowing place in which unspeakable atrocities occurred against humanity. We'll let him continue from here...

First of all, would I recommend a place like this for a visit? Absolutely. It may have been frightening, but it was also an experience you would not want to miss when you visit Germany. You can read all about the Holocaust in textbooks, but visiting Dachau will definitely give you a true connection with the prisoners. You will definitely grow as a person and have a deeper understanding and compassion for the people that died.

Entrance to Dachau, which translated means "Work Sets [You] Free". The phrase appears on many concentration camps.
Dachau Concentration camp was the first concentration camp to open in 1933. It was originally intended to hold political prisoners. The concentration camp eventually started holding other types of prisoners, such as Jews, criminals from Germany, Austria, and other occupied territories during the Third Reich. Over the war, the Nazis went from a policy of imprisonment of people they deemed undesirable, to a policy of extermination, and Dachau became a death camp.

Like all of the concentration camps, the conditions were terrible. Very overcrowded, a lot of torture, and lack of food. The main cause of prisoners’ deaths at Dachau were hunger, medical experiments, disease, and murder. A gas chamber was in place but never used, but the crematoriums were used often.

Map of Dachau Concentration Camp (Link and further information)

There were 32,000 documented deaths were recorded at Dachau, until the camp was liberated by US troops in April 1945. It was the longest running concentration camp throughout Nazi history, and was the largest concentration camp until Auschwitz-Birkenau was built.  
Inside the museum, the "March of Death" Sculpture. As the Allies closed in on the camps, prisoners were forced to march, and were usually shot they could travel no longer.
The International Memorial Inscription
The Russian Orthodox Chapel
As soon as I set foot on the grounds of this camp; it was a bone-chilling experience. The very fact that people died on these particular grounds definitely gave me an eerie feeling. It was mind-blowing to see how the prisoners lived, what forms of torture were used on them and to learn about their living conditions.

It really makes you wonder how can someone have so much hatred for a particular race, that they would want them to go through that kind of torture? That was the question that was going through my mind the entire visit. I wouldn’t want this for my absolute worst enemy.

NOTE: As part of this blog, we have made a donation to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, to make sure no part of the Holocaust is forgotten.


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