Our first stop, right off the plane from the Munich airport, was the Dachau concentration camp. It was an eerie experience, to say the least. The first thing you see when you walk through the gates is a huge gravel yard, where prisoners were forced to stand for hours on end. I forget the exact number of prisoners that the yard would hold – it was multiple thousands. We walked through the museum and watched a very graphic movie about the camp’s history. Although the camp wasn’t built with the intentions of mass slaughter, there were over 30,000 recorded deaths at Dachau.
We continued around the site, walking past the prisoner barracks – only 2 of the original stand today, but the foundations of the others are still there. In the back of the camp, there was an infamous prisoner shower, that fortunately was never put to use. Next to the shower was the crematorium.
Overall, it was a bizarre experience. It’s not fun, but it is something you have to do if you visit Germany. Sure, we were taught about concentration camps in school, but seeing them makes it seem more real. It’s so unbelievable that something as awful as the Holocaust happened, and it’s so easy to distance ourselves from it over here in the US that it almost does seem unreal. But going and hearing the stories makes it seem very real.
I have more pictures of Dachau, but this is what I have done so far.