Visit to Dachau

14 December 2006

In the metro speaking with somebody I suddenly saw behind his back that the line was to Dachau. This town is close to Munich, about 20 minutes by train to the station. It has normal streets, parks, even an art museum. One street called after Nibelungs, another just Brunhilda street.
The pavement like Brodsky says: "The city that death spread over school map, its pavement shines like scales of carp". I caught the effect in night Munich 2007.
Bus very soon brings to memorial of concentration camp with the same name. In this picture as in many others there is my shadow, but the mind keep thinking about shadows of victims.
The camp was created already in 1933 soon after Nazis caught the power. The idea labor camp with homicide was already implemented in USSR. Nazis found appropriate commandant for the place - man hospitalized for sadism. Third from right. He made a career building camps, but all things were tried here.

Another idea that Hitler took from Bolsheviks was: coalition government with another party, false accusations towards the party with subsequent annihilation. Russian Communists did it with SR party already in 1918. Still another - elections with one candidate.

Coming near the entrance to the camp, now and than.
Gray pictures are exhibits which I copied. Infamous slogan "Work makes free" on the gate. One can enter free (closed on Monday), but soon one feels worried if free exit is still possible.
One can see wire, barrack,  watch tower.
The place was full of youth, teachers brought them here instead of school, so they laugh, play, embrace, except maybe in gas chamber and crematorium.
New prisoners

Platz, cruel Sun



Torture of all kind

Degrading uniform. As if I am trying it
 Hard often
senseless labor
And witness' sketch.
Sadistic detail:
prisoner must count,
on case of error starting again
Chaining to roof
Scarce food

Density and forced
constant floor cleaning




Medical experiments on people

Doctors Union was one of the first professional unions that passed Nazification. Clean and fast. Very difficult to explain how this humanist profession could be used in such a way. "Race theory" is not enough, because they did experiments on the best of their own - clergy opposing Nazism on the basis of Christianity and humanism. Christianity proclaimed abolishment of  nations, and one of Pope letters on the subject was forbidden under Nazi. There was a decision that all results must be destroyed, but in fact it was impossible, some were printed. It seems that atmoshpere prevents any scientific value in any case.

This respectfully looking doctor caused malaria
to > 1000 people. Many of clergy, some German clergy.
Experiments in hypothermia
Prisoner died of low pressure
Of emboli in brain
Karl H. - man to the right on photo below, survived experiment on him 
Sea water instead of drinking water
His fault was being Gipsy



Paths of death

The prisoner was pushed into forbidden zone and shot (left). Others were officially hanged. Some put end to their lives, jumping on wire with high voltage. Other had lethal injection.
The most famous tool of death - gas chamber was used in Dachau experimentally, paving way to Auschwitz and others. The building had openings were containers with "Zyklon B" gas were put. The the trap door was closed and gas freed into ventilation. People saw [false] sprinklers at ceiling, while gas passed through wide opening high in the wall. Drains in floor were real - to clean the place. The gas production for military was developed by Fritz Haber during and after WW1. In spite of it, he was forced to fled in 1933 as a Jew. His first wife and also son committed suicides.

After death

Collection of gold teeth.

Piles of bodies in front of crematorium.
Crematorium then and now. 

 Towards the end, people were just shot and buried in this place behind crematorium.




Struggle and liberation

Prisoners organized

One of few escaped.
Passed to USSR through
Czechoslovakia then to
London. Released book
about Dachau in 1934.

Organized mutual help
by transferring money
from one account to
another. Was caught,
but lived and was MP
in after-war Austria

Song of prisoners by

This German major
refused to select POW
to Dachau. Was not
punished, because there
was no law.

Folke Bernadotte,
had talks with Himmler,
like in Soviet movies
("17 Moments of Spring").
Demanded to stop
executions and saved thus
a lot of people. But he was
later killed by Jewish under-
ground in Palestine, his
proposals were not popular.
His ancestor was set as
Swedish king Charles XIV
after being Napoleon's Marshal.

Another movie -
"Landscape after battle"
by A. Wajda. One Nazi
tried to change dress
and disappear between
prisoners. Caught and
beaten. Some wars were
killed by Americans, but
most were tried.


Liberation was too
late for them

Memorial for Jews.
The site has also a
Russian church and some
other memorials.
Dov Shilansky that passed
Dachau was later speaker
of Knesset. Also
  Viktor Frankl was here.

Memorial for perished

Vision changed after the visit.
Now I paid attention to
human approach to tree -
protective wrapping against