In 1965, 20 years after the end of the war, the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site was established on the site of the former concentration camp. As well as the authentic sites of the atrocities themselves, this museum, archive and library remind its more than 600,000 annual visitors of the victims of Nazi terror.
Dachau Concentration CampIn 1933, the year in which Hitler declared himself Chancellor, Heinrich Himmler gave orders for the camp in Dachau to be built – making it Germany’s first concentration camp. The main person responsible for organising the camp, which served as a blueprint for all later concentration camps, was Commandant Theodor Eicke, who described the camp as a “school of violence” for members of the SS.
In the beginning, it was mainly political prisoners who were interned in Dachau Concentration Camp, but with the introduction of the Nuremberg Laws on Racial Discrimination in 1935 the net widened to include groups such as migrants, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses and, from 1938, Sinti and Roma people and prisoners of war. Between 1933 and 1945 over 200,000 prisoners from 34 countries were captured by the Nazis and held in Dachau Concentration Camp.
On 29th April 1945 the camp was finally liberated by the US army.
Establishing the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial SiteAfter the war, the site of the concentration camp was initially used by the Allies as a prison and a reception centre for homeless refugees. In 1965, an initiative suggested by former prisoners ten years earlier in the “Comité International de Dachau” finally came to fruition in the form of a memorial site. Funding was provided by the Free State of Bavaria.
Visitors can see a permanent exhibition in the museum, the bunker (once a prison in the former farm building), a reconstructed prison barrack and the crematorium. The Catholic Chapel of Agony, the evangelical Church of Reconciliation, a Jewish memorial site and the “International Cenotaph” erected on the former muster ground in 1968 by the sculptor Nandor Glid all serve as remembrance.
For opening times and admission prices please visit the original website.