Day 40: Dachau concentration camp memorial
It was a very moving day. It's hard to find the right words to describe what it was like to walk through a place where so many lives were taken. But one thing that is clear is that systematic killing of our own species happened on a mass scale just because they believed in something different.
Arbeit Macht Frei literally translates to Work sets you free and it is formed by iron letters in this gate. Once this door closed behind countless souls, they were worked to the death, committed suicide, or were transported to other concentration camps like Auschwits to be fooled into taking a shower, but a room full of people locked inside would be filled with poisonous gas.
Dachau was the first concentration camp that was the model for all of the others to come. This is the remnants of a railroad that used to bring prisoners here. Prisoners included anyone who opposed them including prisoners of war, gypsies, Christians, other political parties, Russian soldiers, but they treated the polish and the Jews as the most inferior.
The courtyard we were standing in the picture above this one is where they carried out many of their executions.
The workers themselves built this big building. And they were worked to the bone.
"May the example of those that were exterminated here between 1933-1945 because they resisted Nazism help to unite the living for the defense of Peace and Freedom and in respect for their fellow men"
This was a sculpture depicting bodies in barbed wire of the victims who committed suicide.
These are where the barracks were held which they overcrowded up to 2000 per dormitory.
Here is one from the outside.
The trees pictured a over were still here. It is crazy to walk through and hear birds chirping on a blue sky day, when the trees were here and witnessed everything all those years ago.
We went into one of the barracks. It was hard to imagine living in these.
These are where they slept, cramming more people in as the years went on.
Barrack 30. They put the most discriminated towards the back.
It was hard to walk through the crematorium. I was honestly starting to get physically ill. It seemed as though the smell was still there from the years that they stored and burned so many corpses.
They had a prison too for the "special" prisoners, for example a guy who tried to kill Adolf Hitler by bomb.
Some of the actual prison rooms had projectors with quotes from the prisoners.
It took a while before the sick feeling went away. It's hard to imagine that this happened here, on this earth. When you walk onto the concentration camp, it's like your on a different planet. It's difficult to comprehend.
My German friend from college lives in Germany now and she recommended that we check out a inside secret rooftop terrace at a university. It was packed and even the men drank aperol spritz.
We watched the sunset from the top and went to grab dinner. We ended the night by checking out a dance club called milche bar or "milk bar." It was dark, red lit, and a fog machine was going. Our first dance club experience wasn't bad, but we just had a drink or two drinks and headed back to the room.
We check out the Olympic stadium and the BMW museum next.
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