On March 20th, 1933, the SS comander and temporary chief of police in Munich, Heinrich Himmler, announced a first concentration camp to be set up in Bavaria. Among the first detainees arriving on March 22nd, were political prisoners, particularly communists. Later, social democrats and Jews followed. The concentration camp Dachau was regarded as the "model camp" among the SS and became the model for all other concentration camps. Of over 200.000 registered inmates from more than thirty nations, passing through the concentration camp Dachau during tvelve years between 1933 to 1945, 41.500 were killed. On April 29th, 1945 the camp was liberated by US forces.
The Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site was established in 1965 from the initiative of the surviving prisoners who had joined together in 1955 to form the Comité International de Dachau (CID) and fought for the establishment of a memorial site on the grounds of the former concentration camp. In 2003 a new main exhibition was opened at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site. The main exhibition focuses on the fate of the prisoners. The leitmotif is the "path of the prisoners".