39 People, Places & Things…..

NUMBER 7: DACHAU CONCENTRATION CAMP

One of the most unforgiving places that I have visited around the world was in a small town just outside of Munich in Germany.  Sitting within the community housing lies in wait, a camp with a horrific past from pre-world war 2 Germany.  It’s Dachau Concentration Camp and this was the first camp of its kind to open in the world on March 9 1933.

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I took this photo in one of the interrogation huts. A cold and vulgar experience to walk through.

Originally a home to not just Jews but blacks, Muslim people, gypsy’s and homosexuals, Dachau was the original master plan in the German race to make countless work stations. During the later part of the war, some 2,500 Soviet soldiers were shot just two kilometers from the camp site before being taken inside Dachau where they were burnt down to ash.  Before this though some 30,000 documented deaths and countless undocumented deaths took place before American soldiers liberated the camp on April 29 1945.

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A baron and cold day made the visit all the more difficult to comprehend how so many innocent people could be slaughtered.

Visiting Dachau in the dead of winter with very few other visitors about was, in itself a surreal experience.  I listened to survivor stories on my audio guide as I took myself around the camp grounds and huts.  Every turn brought with it more chilling stories and a sense of desperation of the highest order.  The desperation to survive.  Visiting places like Dachau can be emotionally difficult however, it is important to understand our history and try our best to not make the same mistakes again.  It’s why I feel a deep sense of shame when uneducated and ill informed souls talk of closing borders of their countries.

Our greatest living fear is not the people around us.  It is the powers above us in government building and corporations that pose the greatest struggles as we try our best to enjoy this sometimes beautiful planet

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