Saturday, July 16, 2011

our visit to Dachau Concentration Camp

On March 22, 1933, a few weeks after Hitler had been appointed Reich Chancellor, a concentration camp for political prisoners was set up in Dachau. All future concentration camps were modeled after this one. In the 12 years of it's existence over 200,000 persons from all over Europe were imprisoned here and at the other camps. Over 43,000 of them were killed. On April 29, 1945 American Troops liberated the survivors.
From the moment you walk through the gate(1st pic is the sign on the gate) you read that terrible lie " Through Work one will be Free", these prisoners never did anything wrong and the thought that So many Never walked back out that gate gives you a sick feeling in the gut. On the roof of the Maintenance Building(today it is the museum and theater) there are large letters that read "There is one path to freedom. It's milestones are:Obedience, honesty, cleanliness, sobriety, diligence, orderliness, sacrifice, truthfulness, love of the fatherland."There was a popular song in the 30's that went like this" Dear God, make me dumb, that I may not Dachau come." Why would they need to pretend to be dumb to avoid being tossed into Prison????Ignorance is bliss, they say, know nothing and you are safe. This dirt area is where ROLL Call was held each morning and night, making the Prisoners stand motionless for HOURS.
An International Memorial has been set up here for flowers or memorabilia.
Going through the museum and reading the things that occurred here was terrifying, if I ever need to recollect on some horrible experience I have gone through, NOTHING Compares to the fear and torture these Innocent people went through. We have been to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C., but walking on the grounds of this place, you still get a real sense of the evilness that was at  this place for years.

One of the Officers desks
We would look at each other and say nothing, nothing needed to be said. We must though NEVER BE SILENCED AGAIN.
This short film tells the story of this man whose identity was taken from him. he was assigned a number.

This story really RIPS your heartstrings, as SO many Jehovah Witness's were also taken into the camp because of their Religion. Freedom of Religion is something we should be  willing to fight for.
Some of the Prisoner uniforms
Some of the hardware from the buildings.
Stacie and Anja outside one of the barracks or blocks, seventeen total barracks were in this prison. The first two barracks were used for different purposes, the barrack on the right side was used as the sick bay with the death chamber. In blocks 1,3 and 5 the SS conducted horrific medical experiments on the prisoners.
Originally the barracks were made to hold 200 prisoners towards the end of the war, close to 2,000 prisoners were in each one. That is why so many of them fell sick and were malnourished and subsequently died from these afflictions.
Can you imagine sleeping in a barrack meant to hold 200 but actually may have had close to 2,000????
The electrified barb wire fence, if a prisoner stepped on the grass, they were shot and killed by guards in the 7 towers surrounding the Prison.
This is where the other 15 barracks were at. The camp road as this road was called was lined with these Poplar trees planted by the prisoners. During free time this is where prisoners could mingle and talk. During our tour it was a gray and rain was coming down, I think even if it had been a bright sunny day, the mood for us would have been the same. This was Anja's first visit to Dachau, she was just as upset with this as we were. Her Parents have been once and said they could never return, it is so upsetting to them.


Mevely317 said...

OMG ... girlfriend! You're made of stronger stuff than me. I'd have been a "sodden mess" in the first 5 minutes.
All the same, this story and others like it NEED told.
I think we NEED to be shocked at some level, to insure these horrors are never repeated.

Corie said...

It makes me sick to my stomach thinking about how much hate these people had. This brings back all the sadness I felt at the Holocaust museum and reading Corrie Ten Booms book. I can't even imagine what it was like to go through that for those poor people!!!

Chatty Crone said...

So sad.

Debbie said...

We were there on a drizzly day too. I couldn't eat anything that day, I was just too sick to my stomach. Did you see the Barack where they made women "whore themselves" because they were made to by the guards. Did you go into the oven room? That was the worst of it all, the gas chambers and the ovens were enough to give you chills. I stood in the gas chamber all by myself for 5 minutes and I could feel the sadness and fear all around me. I don't think I would visit again. I am just glad that wasn't a place where they took children. Sorry you are going through Hell with someone just as cruel as Hitler was. Evil comes in all shapes and forms. Some people just were born that way. Jealousy can drive someone mad, in your case it has. I feel sorry for this person and the funny thing is they are so obsessed with you that they probably lost their spark in their own life. You are a good person and don't deserve an ounce of cruelty. To the person who is wasting their days away trying to hurt Jamie are laughable.

Char said...

When we lived in Germany, we made this trip many times. I can only imagine what it was like compared to the clean up of today. No one should ever think this evil could not happen again. Your soul will be touched and you will never forget after seeing this, Char