Bennyvision logo Friday July 3, 2020
23:42 PM (CDT)
1593837721 epoch

home  albums  europe 2005  images

October 18th, part I - The Nazi concentration camp at Dachau, Germany.


Welcome to the Dachau concentration camp in Dachau, Germany
Dachau was the only concentration camp to last throughout the Nazi reign
The Jourhaus
One of the original train platforms outside the Dachau concentration camp

This was one of the most horrible days I've ever had in my life. Today, we visited the Dachau concentration camp.

Something a lot of people don't realize is that Dachau is the name of a town, in addition to the camp. In fact, the citizens of Dachau actually welcommed the camp at first, because it brought jobs, and the town was in dire need of work.

But what transpired there was a horror, a continuous series of atrocities.

Dachau was one of the first, and it was the only concentration camp to have operated throughout the entire Nazi rule. It was a model of efficiency, and was used as a model for the other camps as they were built.

A section of the original train tracks and platform still exist outside of the camp's fence.


The Jourhaus was the entrance to the camp. It housed some of the camp's administration, and the iron gate stated "ARBEIT MACHT FREI," or "Work will set you free."

The Jourhaus in the Dachau concentration camp
The Jourhaus in the Dachau concentration camp
The Jourhaus in the Dachau concentration camp
Arbeit macht frei

The western road at Dachau
The western road at Dachau, looking north
The western road at Dachau

This is the western edge of the Dachau concentration camp. It was such an incredibly beautiful day.

The third picture, pointed more at the trees than the camp, is so calm and peaceful. It's hard to believe I'm standing on the western edge of a Nazi concentration camp.


The first building we visited was the "bunker." It was the building the Nazis housed the "special" prisoners in - the political prisoners, the Nazi prisoners, Catholic priests, etc.

Prisoners in the bunker had their own cells (or were only two or three to a room), rather than the mass housing we saw later.

The first photograph is of a pillbox (small, concrete firing position) behind the bunker.

The next three pictures are of the bunker courtyard (the bunker is on the right), and the signs warning us of the sights ahead.

A pillbox behind the bunker in the Dachau concentration camp
The bunker is on the right
The sign describing the bunker courtyard
A you-are-here sign in the bunker courtyard

Iron bars over a window on the bunker, in the Dachau concentration camp
Double layers of iron bars over a window on the bunker, in the Dachau concentration camp

The SS were very serious about no one escaping from the bunker through the windows.


The first photograph is of the bunker entrance, today.

The second and third pictures are of the bunker area, circa 1945.

The bunker entrance today, in the Dachau concentration camp
The bunker area back in 1945
The bunker area back in 1945

The map of the bunker in the Dachau concentration camp
A description of the rooms of interest in the bunker
The bunker in the Dachau concentration camp

As you can see, the bunker was a long, narrow building, lined on both sides by rooms and cells. There were several "notorious" prisoners held here, including Johann Georg Elser and ex-members of the SS and Nazi party that had turned against Hitler. Elser attempted to assassinate Hitler in 1939 by planting a bomb at a scheduled speech. He missed Hitler by minutes.

Elser was later murdered at Dachau in 1945, twenty days before American forces liberated the camp on April 29th.


Meet Georg Elser.

Georg Elser
Elser's assassination attempt in 1939
Elser's assassination attempt in 1939
Elser was murdered a mere twenty days before the Americans liberated the Dachau concentration camp

A pole-hanging post south of the bunker
Pole-hanging was used as a torture
A sketch of pole-hanging

Directly south of the bunker were a line of concrete posts. These posts were used for "pole-hanging."

Pole-hanging involved tying or chaining a person's hands behind their back, then hoisting their wrists up, lifting their bodies off the ground.

This was an excrutiating torture, dislocating shoulders, breaking bones, ripping muscle, and separating tendons.


The Gestapo had a specially-built interrogation room, right inside the entrance. Because of the grisly business that went on behind the door, it was built to be a soundproof room.

The soundproof interrogation room in the bunker
The soundproof door
The Gestapo interrogation room in the bunker

Looking through the bars onto the courtyard outside the bunker
Bars above a skylight in the bunker corridor
Looking down the bunker corridor

Every window had strong iron bars on the outside, and most cell windows had two layers.

The last photograph is a shot looking down the long, narrow corridor in the center of the bunker. There were several classes of German-speaking children at Dachau that day, but they weren't laughing or talking as much as normal children do. Even the young ones realized what a horrific place this was.

<-- Oct 17th, part II   Oct 18th, part II -->

Problems, broken links, and/or complaints? Let webbugs know.