Dachau was the first of the Nazi concentration camps, created in 1933 to imprison political opponents, later also adding Jews, prisoners from the occupied countries and everyone that the regime deemed inferior.
The camp was liberated on April 29th 1945 by American troops. Through the course of its existence, more than 188,000 people were incarcerated in the camp, and more than 28,000 people died.
A memorial was created on site in the mid ’60s.
Upon entering the camp, prisoners were led to the “maintenance building”, where new inmates were registered.
On the roof there was an inscription painted, that read “There is one path to freedom. Its milestones are: obedience, honesty, cleanliness, sobriety, diligence, orderliness, self-sacrifice, truthfulness, love of the fatherland”.
Prisoners had to assemble in front of the maintenance building every morning and evening for roll call.
The maintenance building today houses the main exhibition of the camp memorial.
Behind the maintenance building lies the “bunker”, the prison of the camp.
The camp consisted of two sections; the camp area and the crematoria area. The camp area had 32 barracks. Today just two reconstructed barracks stand. The rest are marked on the ground.
As the first crematorium had a small capacity, a second, bigger one was built. That one also included a gas chamber.
“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”.
Also read Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp.