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Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany tourist attractions, Tourist attractions in Germany, Tourist attractions near me in Germany
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Few tourist attractions near me are more sobering than the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site.  This was the first Nazi concentration camp, opened on March 22nd, 1933, located in Southern Germany.  Adolf Hitler had just been appointed chancellor, and under his orders, the former munitions factory was turned into a work camp for political prisoners.


Soon, it was expanded to include all those who did not fit Hitler’s idea of the perfect citizen of new Germany – Jews, Romani, foreign nationals, homosexuals, and intellectuals.  Prisoners were regularly beaten, starved, or shot.  Dachau soon became the main authority, overseeing over 120 other sub-camps.  The gas chambers were fully operational, however were never used on a mass scale.



The camp was finally liberated on April 29th,1945.  In the time that it was open, there were approximately 32,000 documented deaths from sickness, malnutrition, or execution.  It’s estimated that thousands of more deaths were undocumented.


Ironically, after the liberation, the camp was used to hold Nazi soldiers as they awaited trial for their crimes.  It was operational until the 1960s as a military base.


In 1965, a memorial was erected by surviving prisoners to honor the memory of those who lost their lives at Dachau, and serve as a reminder of the harsh treatments imposed on select groups.  The memorial museum includes written accounts from the survivors, video interviews, and pictures of the operations.  You can avoid the concentration camp areas, however, you can also visit the crematorium area where executions took place.


Entry into the memorial is free, though a guided tour is available for €90 per group, or you can follow the audio tour for €4.


It is suggested that visitors to Dachau should prepare themselves emotionally prior to entry.  This includes understanding what happened at Dachau, and even viewing photos ahead of time so that there is an expectation ahead of time of what will be seen.  Visiting Dachau can be uncomfortable, but the facts are presented accurately and it is a very informative memorial.

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