Dachau Travel Blog› entry 11 of 25 › view all entries
We just finished our tour of the Dachau Concentration Camp, which was the original concentration camp or "parent" camp. It was the training ground for the SS, for the SS doctors, for torture, execution, humiliation, and brutality. Upon entereing the gates, individuals who had been successful politicians, businessmen, artists, musicians, authors, professors, loving mothers, fathers, and priceless children found themselves condemned to a life never known to man... one of intense humiliation, fear, pain, discomfort, and loss. Those in control of the camp tried desperately to take everything away from the people including their self-worth by degrading and humiliating them upon arrival... cutting their hair, making their parade around naked, beating them, calling them the scum of the earth and treating them as such.
The motto of the camp, as seen in the majority of the camps is: Work Sets You Free. The men and women worked 12-14 hour days, and only some were given the bare minimal amount of food. They wasted away, which weakened them, and many perished as a result of starvation. I'm amazed by the horror that people experienced on an hourly or daily basis. I read about what happened, however, nothing prepared me for seeing it in person.
One of the memorials in particular brought hope and light.