Dachau

Munich Travel Blog

 › entry 29 of 41 › view all entries

Before I start this entry, let me take a second to thank everyone who was concerned about my situation. I am so happy to know that so many people care about me. It's not 100% resolved, but  I can continue to travel thanks to my wonderful and loving parents. I love them more than ever right now! Thank you mom and dad!!! Best Parents EVER!

Even in my time of distress, I felt it was extremely important to go see Dachau, the first of many Concentration Camps built by the Nazis during thier regime. Dachau was the only camp to remain open and functional the entire Third Reich. Not to be confused with a death camp, like Aushwitz, Dachau was a work camp. But that does not mean that prisoners were safe from death there.

They were often worked to death. Those that became too weak to go on were sent to a death camp for extermination. At first, Dachau was just a prison for dissenters of the Nazi party, political prisoners who voiced their opposition. When WWII came around, Dachau then became the place where anyone considered "undesirable" was shipped. These "undesireables" included Jews, political opposers, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, common criminals, and even Christian priests that refused to adhere to the Nazis. Over 200,000 prisoners from over 30 different countries were housed at Dachau over the years. The death toll for Dachau reached an estimated 26,000 before the camp was liberated. Many of those deaths occured within the camp's last few years of being open. The reasons for these deaths ranged from suicide to typhus to extermination, although only a small portion of prisoners were actually exterminated within the camp's walls.

It was an extremely powerful experience. I felt an overwhelming sadness as I walked the grounds and realized just what kind of horrors humans are capable of. I feel that it is everyone's duty as human beings to go to a concentration camp if you are ever near one. Education is the best way of preventing history from repeating itself.

After the tour of Dachau, Gordon, Danielle (the to Aussies I went with) and I really needed a pick-me-up. So, where else better to go for a lift in spirits than the world famous Hofbräuhaus! We had a beer and shared some much needed smiles with eachother. Bavarian beer is very strictly regulated as to what can be put in it, and therefore is the purest beer you can drink, with no chemicals added for preservation or anything else. This means that there are virtually no hangovers from drinking Bavarian beer. However, the Bavarian beers we have at home are not brewed in Bavaria, but state side, and those do have all those preseravtives and chemicals in them. Sucks, I know.

After Hofbräuhaus, the three of us bumped into a bunch of people we had met the previous day on a walking tour, who were on a pub crawl. We just tagged along with them for the rest of the night.

janetbassett says:
Justin,
Sorry I haven't chimed in for awhile. I have been dealing with quite a bit of stress lately and a hectic schedule, so I've only been doing what needs to be done to just keep things afloat.

Your experience in Dachau are so deja vous for me. I also went there and it was such a depressing place. I was full of sadness for the many lives that were impacted by their stay there. The Holocaust was a terrible atrocity.

I spent New Year's Eve at the Hofbrauhaus. What a time we had! I couldn't get over how BIG it was with several floors of drinking rooms.

Glad that your mom and dad were able to help out so you could continue your journey. Can't wait to read more. Love, Aunt Janet
Posted on: Apr 26, 2009
jeffgarris says:
Justin, I'm glad that you're able to continue on your amazing journey.
I can't imagine what it would feel like to walk through a place like Dachau. I think that I would feel sadness coupled with feeling lucky that I've had a pretty good life. Like you, I'm sure that I would need a little pick-me-up after that. It looks like you had a great time at Hofbräuhaus.
Posted on: Apr 20, 2009
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