Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 2 of Germany: Part 1

On our second day in Germany, we spend the first part of the day visiting the site of Dachau the first Nazi concentration camp.

The guard house at the main entrance to the site.  This is where prisoners were walked into the main courtyard after walking from the train station.

The gate at the entrance had the German phrase meaning "Work Will Make You Free" which the prisoners saw when entering the concentration camp.

The main building which housed the showers, kitchen, work centers, etc.  It is now a very well put together museum.

One of the memorials at the site.

A sculpture made in remembrance of all those who lost their lives at the camp (the dates it operated underneath).

The poplar trees planted along this main road were planted by the prisoners.  At the end of the road you can see the Catholic memorial chapel.

The alter in the Catholic chapel.
I didn't want to put all of the pictures that I took in this post, but it was a very humbling experience.  The museum was very interesting and had a lot of personal experiences.  When Matt, my brother & I were there for over 3 hours we spent less than 20 minutes in any amount of conversation... there are no words.

For me one of the most touching sections of the museum was the temporary exhibit on women in the concentration camp.  While it was also one of the most heartbreaking things to see, it tells the story of the pregnant women whom lived at the camp.  There were only 7 women who were allowed to keep their babies, and only towards the end of the camp's operation.  The way those women banded together to do things to support each other, such as breastfeeding the babies because some of the other mothers were so malnourished they could not produce.  It showed how well the prisoners tried to take care of one another in spite such a terrible situation.


  1. Thank you for sharing, I'm glad you had a nice time! My husband Joe went to Germany for Oktoberfest with his friends 3 years ago and when he got home, he was sharing the pamphlets from the Dachau work camp with all of us and Joe's mother was really touched and mentioned that that was where her mother and father were placed with their 2 children. Joe's mother was born a year after they were released and then came to the US with her parents and siblings when she was 4. Joe's Babcia (grandma in Polish) is deceased but it would have been remarkable to listen to her perpective of life in Dachau.

    Thank you for sharing these pics!

  2. Oh Lisa! I had no idea Joe's grandparents survived the Holocaust. That is such a beautiful story of survival... I can not imagine what it must have been like.

    I have many more pictures if you are ever interested in looking at them.