Dachau MemorialThe Model for Nazi Concentration Camps
Opened in 1933 primarily for political prisoners, Dachau was converted into a concentration camp as the war progressed, where some 41,000 prisoners were murdered. Those that survived were put through a living nightmare in this ‘school of violence’ for its SS operators. The permanent exhibition, opened in 2003, follows the ‘path of the prisoners’ from their arrival through to death or liberation by Allied troops. First-hand accounts and drawings made by the prisoners, along with their biographies, provide a disturbing insight into existence at Dachau. The open-air exhibition at the SS shooting range, while commemorating the victims, also offers detailed information on the historical background to the crimes committed there. The ‘plantation’ can also be visited, this was the herb garden where prisoners were brutally set to work growing and tending – with horrible irony - medicinal plants and herbs. A very potent memorial is that to the ‘death marches,’ sculpted by Hubertus von Pilgrim, commemorating all those who died when the camp was evacuated as Allied liberation approached.
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