Culture Travel

June 4, 2021

Travel That Moves You

Dachau…a name synonymous with evil, the very worst of mankind.

Today the Dachau Concentration Memorial Site, where so many suffered and died cruelly, is a respectful memorial to those we must remember. I was eleven when I first visited the camp and it is a childhood memory that has stayed with me these many years. I have visited several times with friends and family and it is still an overwhelming experience, but an important one.

Dachau was the first of the Nazi’s Concentration Camps and was established on March 10, 1933, five weeks after Adolf Hitler came to power. Located on the grounds of an abandoned munitions factory northeast of the medieval town of Dachau, 10 miles northwest of Munich in the state of Bavaria, in southern Germany. It initially housed political prisoners, but over the years it included Jews and those deemed unfit for society including gypsies, homosexuals, artists, intellectuals, and those who were physically or mentally handicap.

31,951 people died here

To fully understand the holocaust it is important to visit sites such as these. Dachau offers a museum that takes you through the rise of Hitler, the establishment of camps across Europe, the conditions of the prisoners and finally its liberation by U.S. Seventh Army’s 45th Infantry Division on April 29, 1945.

As you tour the museum and grounds there are so many emotions that are felt from disbelief, to anger, to overwhelming sadness. There is little talk among the visitors which brings a quiet peace. Somber faces read the history and then one can walk through the grounds where the foundations of the barracks stood, visit the chapels erected in memory, the gas chamber (built, but never used), the oven room and the roll call area.

It is a moving experience that I hope one can learn many lessons from. In the end, while it may be difficult, I hope that those whose lives were taken are honored and remembered by everyone that visits.

Visitor Information

The Dachau Concentration Camp is open everyday of the year (closed 24 December) from 9am – 5pm. Reservations are not necessary and there is no entry fee.

The Dachau Concentration Camp is open everyday of the year (closed 24 December) from 9am – 5pm. Reservations are not necessary and there is no entry fee.

Traveling from Munich, the easiest way to reach the Memorial Site is by public transport. Take the S2 train from Munich in the direction of Dachau/Petershausen until you reach the Dachau station. The train ride takes approximately 25 minutes from Munich’s Central Station (Hauptbahnhof).

Once you have arrived at the Dachau train station, take bus 726 towards “Saubachsiedlung” to the entrance of the Memorial Site (stop: “KZ-Gedenkstätte”).

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