Dachau Concentration Camp

Dachau Concentration Camp

PLACE

The Dachau Concentration Camp was the first Nazi camp created for political prisoners, Jews, and other so-called undesirables. At first, Dachau housed many prominent prisoners who came from political, artistic, academic, and noble backgrounds. Later, when Hitler began the Final Solution, Dachau became a camp for Jews and other minorities from all over Eastern Europe. Dachau was unique because it was the first. All other camps were modeled after Dachau's organization and cruelty. When the camp was liberated by U.S. troops on April 29, 1945, more than 200,000 prisoners had come through the gates and thousands of those people died under harsh and terrible treatment by SS guards at the Dachau Concentration Camp.

Former prisoner Kupfer-Koberwitz recalls the day of his arrival, November 11, 1940.

    "We entered an anteroom and then a large, long hall. Square pillars held up the ceiling, they were located roughly in the middle of the room. Between them were tables which were so positioned that they divided the room into two halves. Placards hung above the tables, they read from A to K, from K to P, etc. Behind these barriers stood some men with completely shaven heads, wearing striped uniforms and with intelligent faces. Again our personal details were taken. In the background a[n] SS man screamed 'Move forward, faster!' The SS man who had brought us in commanded: 'Get undressed, now, quick! All the clothes and underwear in a pile!' ... We were stark naked. Stand at attention naked, – it seemed like a bad joke ... We were showered under single shower heads fixed to the wall ... On a bench under the clothing hooks our new clothes lay in bundles. I was the last one. There was only one bundle left, a shirt, it didn't reach much pass my navel, a thin pair of underpants..., socks, the heels of which came to the middle of the sole, and the striped uniform! The trousers were too short, they only reached to a hand span over the ankles, and the smock could only be done up at the bottom with great difficulty, across the chest though it was impossible. Its sleeves were far too short and were too tight at the elbows. I'd gotten two different shoes, one fitted, the other was a torture chamber. ... The finale was the striped and peak less circular cap, I could only wear it like a crown, it sat so high on my head, and spitefully it refused to be pulled into a suitable shape."

    Source: http://www.kz-gedenkstaette-dachau.de/publications/materials/audioguide/english_audioguide.pdf


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    Created:
    July 28, 2009
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