Visiting a World War II Site

Dachau Travel Blog

 › entry 3 of 9 › view all entries
entrance to Dachau

I would get ready, and looking outside, it was snowing. I had enough of snow, after having to shovel a lot of it, back home, and getting sore as a result. I left later than planned, hoping it would stop. But with checkout time approaching, I could not wait any longer. Plus that was valuable sightseeing time wasting away. I could not and should not snow let stop me.

After taking care of that, and leaving my backpack in storage, I would go to the train station, and try using the machine to buy a ticket. But it was not accepting my credit card, so I had to use cash, to buy an all-day ticket, for a train that would take me to Dachau, a town just outside of Munich.

translates into "work makes you free"
The ride would take about 40 minutes. Then I had to transfer to a bus, taking me to the World War II site, that the town is well-known for.

I walked to the gate entrance of Dachau Concentration Camp. On the gate, it would say "arbeit macht frei", translating into "work makes you free", giving false hope to people being held there. I entered through it, and I was in an actual concentration camp. Sometimes, I could not believe it myself!

I went inside to see the museum, which used to be the camp administration building. More about the museum and other parts of the camp in the review here.

After seeing the museum, I went back out, and it had stopped snowing. And a little later, the sun would come out. The camp was blanketed with snow.
Never Again
I walked around the square, where roll call was taken. The prisoners had to remain standing, until every single one was accounted for. And it would have been done in all kinds of weather, including snow. I can't imagine how long they would stand, even with my feet hurting.

Behind the museum, I would visit the bunker, where special prisoners were being held captive. They would include failed assassins and political opponents of Adolf Hitler. Then went to the square, where roll call was taken each day.

In the middle of the camp, was the International Monument, consisting of different parts. One of them was the sculpture that looked like a barb wire of bodies, representing the prisoners who died from starvation and disease. And another being the different colors of triangles. The triangles represented the cloth patches that each prisoner had to wear, with each color indicating what type of prisoner.
International Monument - colored triangles
Like yellow for Jews, purple for Jehovah's Witnesses, and red for political prisoners. Most often, Jews had to wear yellow and another color.

There was the crematorium, where the bodies were burned, and the gas chamber, where dead bodies are stored before being cremated. Only 1 set of barracks remain, and the rest of the camp has the foundations of the barracks. Inside the barracks, a bunch of wooden bunk beds along with a set of toilets. At one end of the camp, are the various religious memorials.

Now, I have been to Holocaust memorials in the US, and the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, but neither compare to visiting a site where it actually happened. Just scary and sad, to stand where it really happened.

I would take the bus, then the train back to Munich.

cotton_foam says:
Very descriptive, Walter! Ed wants to visit this place...
Posted on: Dec 17, 2015
WalterC says:
Not exactly a fun or easy place to visit, but I always feel like I should visit, as a tribute to the people who died during the Holocaust.
Posted on: Dec 11, 2015
Cho says:
The atrocities committed by the Nazis are beyond description. I was in Germany several times but could never bring myself to visit the old death camps. Like the sign on the Memorial says, "Never again."
Posted on: Dec 11, 2015
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
entrance to Dachau
entrance to Dachau
translates into work makes you fr…
translates into "work makes you f…
Never Again
Never Again
International Monument - colored t…
International Monument - colored …
museum building
museum building
memorial wall
memorial wall
camp grounds
camp grounds
International Monument - sculpture…
International Monument - sculptur…
Dachau tower and square
Dachau tower and square
hallway of bunker
hallway of bunker
bunker - inside a cell
bunker - inside a cell
museum (left) & bunker (right)
museum (left) & bunker (right)
foundations of other barracks
foundations of other barracks
crematorium
crematorium
crematorium
crematorium
door to gas chamber
door to gas chamber
death chamber
death chamber
part of Catholic memorial
part of Catholic memorial
Jewish memorial
Jewish memorial
inside barracks
inside barracks
prisoner toilets
prisoner toilets
Dachau Sights & Attractions review
Must visit, to never forget!
Dachau Concentration Camp is named after the town that it is located in, just outside of Munich. Getting to it, there is a local bus that does drop yo… read entire review
Dachau
photo by: spocklogic