7 In Germany/ Travel

The Concentration Camp At Dachau- “Never Again”

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Visiting the Concentration Camp at Dachau was legitimately the most sobering and emotional experience I’ve ever had.  This camp (the first concentration camp) was created only weeks after Adolf Hitler was appointed Reich Chancellor.  This was a training facility for the SS on as a “school of violence”, and it was the template for other concentration camps.  Over 200,000 prisoners passed through this gate which reads ‘Work Sets You Free’, and over 41,500 of them were killed.  A little over twelve years after the camp was created the prisoners were liberated on April 29, 1945 by American troops.

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The memorial is set up really well, the museum is easy to navigate and filled with loads of information.  I learned so much walking through this museum. If you visit be sure to watch the incredibly informative, but graphic and moving video.

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After going through the museum there is so much to see throughout the grounds if you can emotionally handle it.  You can walk through barracks, the crematorium and more, and inside of them are very graphic and upsetting descriptions from survivors of the camp.

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“May the example of those who were exterminated here between 1933-1945, because they resisted Nazism, help to unite the living for the defense of peace and freedom and in respect for their fellow men.”

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All of these gravel beds show where barracks once stood.

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The Ashes of Unknown Victims 

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The video described how the prisoners would walk among these poplar trees that they had planted and how it was the one thing they did for themselves.

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There are a lot of facts that I could give about the camp, the memorial and the history of concentration camps in general, but I think one of the most important parts of this experience is being actively aware of what blindly following people can lead to.  There is no way that I can ever legitimately understand what these people went through, but I know that it is so important to me that people don’t forget the things that happened here, and do everything they can to stop injustices inflicted on others because of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or any other reason. 

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    http://theenglishprofessoratlarge.com
    June 5, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Poignant, touching, and powerful recollection. It was not only the Jews that were killed, but the gypsies, the democrats, the communists, and anyone the Nazis did not like. It is a lesson in hate that we must never forget.

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      June 12, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      Thank you very much. And you’re right, I should have mentioned that the Jews weren’t the only victims. It was such a moving and humbling experience and something I would encourage anyone in the area to do. It’s so much different than watching a documentary. Being there, where these crazy crimes against humanity took place… it’s very sobering.

  • Reply
    The Natural Traveller
    June 6, 2014 at 3:58 am

    Nice write up…I felt much the same way visiting the Nurnberg Nazi Doku Zentrum where the rise of Naziism was detailed…

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      June 12, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Thank you, and I bet that that was an incredibly sobering, but interesting place to visit.

  • Reply
    whitanthony
    October 1, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    I visited Dachau last summer on a trip through the Rhine Valley and had a similar experience. It really puts life in perspective.

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      October 3, 2014 at 11:34 am

      It truly does. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment!

  • Reply
    «Best Travel Moments of 2014» - For the Love of Wanderlust
    December 29, 2014 at 10:36 am

    […] My mom and I did another of our always-amazing European adventures this year! Our first country was Germany. We visited a few different cities, ate pretzels, drank beer, toured castles and paid homage to the people who were victimized in The Concentration Camp at Dachau.  […]

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