First of all, would I recommend a place like this for a visit? Absolutely. It may have been frightening, but it was also an experience you would not want to miss when you visit Germany. You can read all about the Holocaust in textbooks, but visiting Dachau will definitely give you that true connection with the prisoners. You will definitely grow as a person and truly have a deeper connection and compassion for the people that died.
Dachau Concentration camp was the first concentration camp to open in 1933. It was originally intended to hold political prisoners. The concentration camp eventually started holding other types of prisoners, such as Jews, criminals from Germany, Austria. It also eventually started holding foreigners from countries that Germany invaded at the time, hence becoming a death camp.
Like all of the concentration camps, the conditions were terrible. Very overcrowded, a lot of torture, lack of food. The main cause of prisoners’ deaths at Dachau were hunger, medical experiments, disease, and murder. A gas chamber was in place but never used, but the crematoriums were used often! 32,000 documented deaths were recorded at Dachau. Dachau was liberated by US troops in April 1945. It was the longest running concentration camp throughout Nazi history. It was originally the largest concentration camp until Auschwitz- Birkenau was built.
As soon as I set foot on the grounds of this camp; I felt like it was a bone-chilling experience. The very fact that people died on these particular grounds definitely gave me that eerie feeling. It was mind-blasting to see how the prisoners lived, what forms of torture were used on them and to learn about their living conditions. Like, how can someone have so much hatred for a particular race that they would want them to go through that kind of torture? That was the question that was going through my mind the entire visit. I wouldn’t want this for my absolute worst enemy.
-Jet Lagged Jaff