Sunday, January 27, 2013

Visiting Dachau Concentration Camp

Seeing as how it's Holocaust Memorial Day, I thought it would be fitting to write about our visit to KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau outside Munich in Germany. As we were driving around Germany, for the most part, and happened to be close to a former concentration camp, it felt as if we owed history to visit and pay our respects.

Dachau was the first concentration camp used by the Nazis. To find out more about the history of the camp, please see the official website. A very brief summary would be that it started out as a camp for political prisoners and was a working camp during the war.

Here's the relevant part of my travel diary entry for 2 October 2012, a.k.a. day 9 of our Eurotrip:

We drove to Dachau and the concentration camp memorial, where we arrived maybe around 11 or 11:30. Walking up to the site, we first came across the visitors centre. There was a cafeteria, toilets and a bookshop. I bought a book about the camp, as a reminder of having been there, and because I wanted to know more about it.

So the visitors centre was the whole thing? Strange. Shouldn't there be some sort of museum to it? I expected there to be more. And there was. Outside, we followed people walking down to the left, and found the camp site, or what's left of it. The gate says "Arbeit macht frei".