Exceedingly bright and cloudless summer day spent at Dachau,
Germany’s longest running Jewish concentration camp
Here we are at the gate, where 60,000 Jews entered but never left.
(admittedly, we look a tad too happy for the solemnity, but it’s a tourist thing)
To be honest it could be a lovely walk in the park if not for the bloody/bloodless (depending on how you look at it) massacre behind its historical existence.
Learning about World War II and Nazi’s brutal killing of the Jews from history textbooks never actually hit home, until stepping personally into the place where actual events unfolded. Certain images on the info-boards were truly shocking.
If you’d care to read it, I’ve taken down most of the facts and images.
Dachau is HUGE, but for 64,000 prisoners? How could this be enough?
We walked in a loop, first into the administrative buildings of the Nazis’, then the prisoner bunks and fields where they slogged and toiled their lives away, then to the furnace where they disappeared from this earth.
Administrative windows where the prison guards looked upon their slaves
Walls of the administrative buildings, now decorated with historical timelines
Looking out through the same bars everyday
The death toll against the war progression
An erected memorial in commemoration of the suffering
(again, the tourist pose is in no disrespect)
Back outdoors after the insightful indoors tour and a short clip of the horror involving bodies, a shocking documentary, footage of Hitler’s declarations, and more bodies in differing stages of death.
Never again, but do people actually learn?
Again, am amazed by the vast spaces.
Interestingly, their bunk beds are amazingly clean. Perhaps these people never slept. Or they were sleeping wide awake.
Spaces where more buildings used to be but were torn down to hide gruesome facts of the massacre
Newly erected Church in the ’70s by the courtyard
Quiet sanctuary to remember the dead
We walked deeper into the camp site, and were met with the sign that said Crematorium
Place where bodies were disposed of and incinerated by the thousands
In this room, they were first isolated and kept, awaiting death by poison gases.
The actual incineration of the dead
Cold chamber where the un-incinerated bodies were piled up and kept
Way out into the disinfection chambers
There was another crematorium in the building right next to
This one is extremely dusty. Some of the air you breathe in might even contain traces of the dead (okay I sound too creepy now)
We then took the long arduous walk back from the crematorium to the open gates – a long long walk that made us lament how we felt almost like the prisoners themselves, except that they probably never made it home like we did.
T’was a long post, and such was the long afternoon we spent learning about mistakes that should never be repeated.
Seriously, if only people would lose the idea that any group of people could ever dominate another – physically and/or ideologically.
I’m not displaying the class act of Miss Universes by wishing for world peace, but I do hope catastrophically stupid people could drop their psychotic ideologies and just let the rest of us live in peace.
Cliche as this sounds, the world would be a better place.
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