Had a spare day after a business trip to Munich in July so took the train to Dachau, the Nazi’s first concentration camp located about 10km outside of the city.

It was opened in 1933 by Heinrich Himmler and meant to house political prisoners but quickly became a catch all for everyone the Nazis couldn’t tolerate – Jews, monosexuals, foreigners,  even German and Austrian criminals.

There must have been so much sorrow and sadness played out there but when I visited I found the place impeccably restored but clinical, like so much of Bavaria.

It did not help that it was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, it was cool and cottony clouds floated across the blue sky. I could not help wondering what the inmates must have thought, the irony they savoured, on such a beautiful day when imprisoned in Dachau, a place specially designed to strip them of their dignity.

Dachau
Entrance to Dachau. A railway ended near here to unload the prisoners
Dachau-13
The iron gate into Dachau with the slogan “Work Will Set You Free”. The Nazis excelled in mocking and insulting their prisoners.
Dachau-3
Inside Dachau are pictorial and text displays of the rise of the Nazis and their programme to establish Concentration and Extermination camps after Dachau
Dachau-4
Another irony. While stripping the wall of paint, the restorers found the original paintwork where a “no smoking sign” was prominently painted on the wall. Many of the prisoners would be killed within a short time so this admonition seemed pointless and mocking.
Dachau-5
This is where the prisoners were brought en masse to shower.
Dachau-6
A scale model of Dachau, outside the window is a sculpture that is part of the International Monument
Dachau-8
A sculpture in the Dachau Museum
Dachau-9
A view of the barracks at Dachau
Dachau-10
Another view of the barracks
Dachau-12
The Jewish Monument at Dachau