Visiting a World War II Site
Dachau Travel Blog› entry 3 of 9 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.
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.