A day in Dachau
Dachau Travel Blog› entry 10 of 14 › view all entries
Dachau today. There are lots of trips available from the city centre but the easiest (and cheapest) way to go to the Concentration Camp Memorial Site is to get the S-bahn to Dachau (20 minutes) and then the local bus for 5 minutes. Get a Munich XXL card for about €6 which will cover the return trip (plus any other travelling in the city for 24 hours). One thing the Munich truly excels in is its public transport it is quick, clean and cheap (well compared to London anyway). I cant think of a place that I have been to with a better transport system.
I arrived at the Concentration Camp (free entry) and hired an audio tour (€3). There is a sort of route to follow around the site and you punch the relevant number into the panel and you get the relevant information on that particular part.
You enter the site through the original entrance gates with the infamous words “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Makes You Free) detailed in the wrought ironwork. From the compound there you can see the prisoner barracks, watch towers, the maintenance building and behind this the bunker which was used for torture and punishment.
Inside the maintenance building there is a museum, giving information on how the Nazis came to power, the development of concentration camps and the history of the Dachau site. The experiences of prisoners are also described, together with their treatment by the Nazis which included human experimentation. Whilst it was interesting to go round this part of the museum, it was nice to get outside and into the fresh air.
Unfortunately many of the buildings are not original, although they have been reconstructed to look like they did in the period 1933-1945.
At the bottom of the pathway between where the rest of the barracks stood (only the foundations remain of the other buildings) are different religious memorials reflecting the Jewish, Russian Orthodox, catholic and protestant people who suffered here.
Outside the main compound there is the crematorium which features four large ovens for dead prisoners to be cremated.. There are also gas chambers although these ones were apparently unused. Again, difficult to look at and nice to get outside into the sunshine.
In total I spent around 3 hours at the camp (and could have spent a lot more) but I was tired and Dachau is not really the sort of place that puts a smile on your face is it? I normally try and think of a witty title for my blogs but this does not seem appropriate as 25,000 people died here. However, I am glad I went to have a look.
The rest of my day was far too boring to blog about and was tucked up in bed by 10:30pm as I have an early start – Bern tomorrow.