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Concentration Camp Memorial Site

On March 20th, 1933, the SS comander and temporary Police chief in Munich. Heinrich Himmler, announced the establishment of the first concentration camp in Bavaria.  

The camp was set up on the premises of the former "Royal Powder and Ammunition Factory Dachau" which was situated close to the market town of Dachau during WW I.

Among the first detainees arriving on March 22nd, were political prisoners, particularly communists. Later, social democrats and Jews followed.  

Theodor Eicke, second in command at the concentration camp Dachau, who succeeded Hilmar Wäckerle on June 26th, 1933, molded the concentration camp Dachau into the "school of violence". (Hans-Günter Richardi). 

Here he developed the national socialist concentration camps' system and schooled the guards in the pityless  „Dachauer Geist“ (Rudolf Höß), that knew no mercy for the prisoners. Eicke's demand peaked in the sentence: „Tolerance means weakness.“

The concentration camp Dachau was regarded as the "model camp" among the SS“ and became the model for all other concentration camps, after Eicke was appointed to "Inspector of the concentration camps and leader of the SS guards.“ With that he received full authority over all concentration camps.

With the Austrians, who had been detained after the annexation of their home country on March 13, 1938 the first foreign prisoners entered the concentration camp Dachau. Also other German groups of prisoners had been detained in the meantime: Sinti and Roma, welfare receivers defamed as unwilling to work, beggars, homeless, homosexuals and Jehova's whitnesses.

In the course of the Pogrom against the Jewish Population on November 9/10, 1938, 10.911 Jews were commited to the camp. They were followed by prisoners from Czechoslovakia in March 1939 and in the course of WW II came prisoners from Poland, the Sovjet Union, the Netherlands, France and further European countries. Many did not survive. They became victims of the SS terror, died of starvation, perished by cold, were killed in accidents during forced Labor, or succumbed to diseases and epidemics. Of over 206.000 registered inmates from more than thirty nations, passing through the concentration camp Dachau during tvelve years between 1933 to 1945, more than 40.000 died. 

The dead of the concentration camp Dachau are commemorated today by the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, with museum, archive and library, which was opened on May 9, 1965 – marking the twentieth anniversary of the camp's liberation by American troups on April 29, 1945 – as a place of learning. The Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site is under the administration of the Bavarian Ministery of State of Education and Science.



Opening hours:

Alte Römerstraße 75
85221 Dachau

Open daily 9 Am to 5 PM
Closed Dec 24th
free admission

Guided tours for individuals:

Guided group tours:
Tourist-Information Dachau
Ph. +49 (0)8131 - 75287
E-Mail: infobuero@dachau.de

The City of Dachau issued a Guide to Dachau's Contemporary History,  available at the Tourist-Information or by order.

Website: http://www.kz-gedenkstaette-dachau.de
E-Mail: info@kz-gedenkstaette-dachau.de

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