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Published: August 29th 2017
Barbed Wire Fence at Dachau
Notice the grass strip inside the fence. If you stepped onto that grass strip, you would be dead by machine gun fire with seconds. No one escaped from Dachau.
Geo: 48.1391, 11.5802
We started the day off by taking an electric tram into Munich to meet up with a guide for a tour of Dachau Concentration Camp.
Dachau is around ten minutes from Munich by train and was set up in 1933, originally to house and "re-educate" enemies of the state ie: anyone who opposed the Nazi Party. It became the model camp for all Concentration Camps, and was the training ground for troops of the SS. The camp was only closed when the allies liberated the camp in April 1945.
Dachau Camp, as were all of the camps, was a hell on earth. The prisoners first lost their identity after coming through the gate. They then had to sign over all their worldly goods to the Nazis. Their families were often held in other parts of the camp, so they didn't dare disobey. Dachau had it all. Medical experiments, torture, beatings, gas chambers, mass executions etc. In the inner part of the camp were the gas chambers which no one came out of alive. Even the prisoners who herded their fellow inmates into the “showers” were themselves changed over every few weeks and sent to the “showers” to prevent word
Coal Fired Ovens in Dachau
Used for disposal of dead bodies from the "showers" and for those prisoners who were shot, hanged or died in medical experiments.
leaking out as to what was happening in the inner compound of the camp. Zylon B gas was pumped into the "showers" (cyanide) to kill the prisoners.
I thought I would feel the presence of evil and sadness as we moved through Dachau, but I found it difficult to reconcile the peaceful nature of the camp with the visual structures still standing that caused such terror for the inmates. The tour was structured as a lesson of history that we need to learn from. The guide was extremely knowledgeable about Dachau and the history of the Nazis, and conveyed this very well.
After leaving Dachau, we went for a self guided walking tour of Munich, and we covered a lot of ground. We first visited the Glockenspiel in the Town Hall. The large figures move around three times daily, to the sound of bells. We then visited the Englisch Garten, and spent a good deal of time watching surfers surf a "never ending wave" in a swollen river in the garten. We then visited St Peters Church, which is the most ornate Church interior we have seen in Europe.
We then had dinner and caught a tram out to see Schloss
In the tower of the Town Hall. In action three times daily.
Nymphenberg, a massive palace and gardens located just a few blocks from where we are staying. After taking some photos, we headed for our Hotel, stopping off for a Gelato.
Off to Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles tomorrow.
Jim and Kim
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