Dachau concentration camp

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Coordinates: 48 ° 16 ′ 13 ″  N , 11 ° 28 ′ 5 ″  E

Dachau Concentration Camp (Germany)
Dachau concentration camp
Dachau concentration camp
Dachau concentration camp in Germany
Watchtower B of the Dachau concentration camp, April 1945
Propaganda photo: Dachau concentration camp, inmates at roll call (June 28, 1938). Photo by Friedrich Bauer
Propaganda photo: Heinrich Himmler (2nd from left) and - next to him - Rudolf Heß (2nd from right) during a warehouse inspection in 1936
Concentration Camp Inmates During Forced Labor (Pushing Loren) (July 20, 1938)

The Dachau concentration camp , full name Concentration Camp Dachau , official abbreviation KL Dachau , existed from March 22, 1933 until it was liberated by soldiers of the 7th US Army on April 29, 1945. The Nazi regime established it just a few weeks after Adolf Hitler came to power . It was the first uninterrupted concentration camp and thus became one of the most famous concentration camps. It was in operation for twelve years, i.e. H. more than twice as long as most later concentration camps .

The site was about 20 kilometers northwest of Munich. Initially, the camp was used to imprison political opponents of National Socialism. Heinrich Himmler , Reichsführer SS and Munich Police President in 1933 , had it built east of the city of Dachau on the site of a former ammunition factory. It served - especially in its early years when the NSDAP wanted to consolidate its power - to imprison and to deter politically dissenters.

After the successful smashing of the SA in 1934, before the Röhm Putsch lie had been spread, Himmler began to plan to enlarge the concentration camp. In 1937, construction work began on the new prisoner area, which was attached to the former ammunition factory. Organization and spatial structure were later a template for new concentration camps in the Reich territory. The Nazi regime presented it as a "model camp" for propaganda purposes, for example by means of embellished photographs.

Dachau was a training location for SS guards and SS leadership personnel who were deployed in extermination camps after the start of the Second World War . The Dachau concentration camp was not an extermination camp; however, so many political murders were not committed in any other concentration camp .

After the Reichspogromnacht , the SS increasingly arrested Jews and other persecuted persons. After the beginning of the Second World War, people from occupied areas of Europe were also imprisoned in the Dachau concentration camp. It developed into the nucleus for new concentration camps and took on several special positions: The camp was the first place in the German Reich where sole jurisdiction was assigned to an SS camp commandant and applicable law was successfully overridden. The SS created a “ state within a state ” in which they imprisoned, suppressed and murdered political opponents.

Of the total of at least 200,000 inmates in Dachau, around 41,500 died. In addition, the SS often deported prisoners to extermination camps .

The Dachau concentration camp memorial has been located on the site since 1965 and is visited by around 800,000 people annually.


Propaganda shot: prisoners released in the course of a "mercy action" at Christmas 1933

As early as the night of the Reichstag fire on February 27, 1933, the National Socialists began to arrest their political opponents. Many members of the Reichstag , members of the state parliament , communists, social democrats, trade unionists, conservatives, liberals and monarchists were arrested.

The prisoners were housed in different locations with different responsibilities - Sturmabteilung (SA), SS, interior ministries, etc. The places are now referred to as "wild" or early concentration camps ; they were mostly improvised detention centers. Dachau was the only one of the early concentration camps that was not dissolved again by the beginning of the Second World War : Heinrich Himmler had it systematically expanded and used it as a model for later concentration camps.


Political terror 1933–1934

SS guards at the end of May 1933

The Dachau camp was built three weeks after the Reichstag fire. On March 13, 1933, Himmler, who had been acting police chief of Munich for a week, initiated the establishment of a political concentration camp near Dachau and announced this a week later, on March 20, 1933, at a press conference in the Munich police headquarters to journalists from Bavarian newspapers . As early as March 22nd, around 150 prisoners were brought from the prisons in Landsberg am Lech , Neudeck and Stadelheim to the grounds of the disused Royal Powder and Munitions Factory in Dachau . The communist Claus Bastian was given prison number one . In the first few days they were guarded by the Bavarian State Police . From April 11th, the police and the SS shared the guarding of the camp, the SS was deployed as auxiliary police. The next day the first murders were committed, of the inmates Rudolf Benario , Ernst Goldmann and Arthur Kahn. Numerous other deaths followed, for example Fritz Dressel , Wilhelm Aron , Sebastian Nefzger .

In May, Hans Beimler ( KPD ) managed to escape; until his imprisonment he was a member of the German Reichstag. Shortly afterwards, he published the brochure Im Mörderlager Dachau abroad . The first commandant was Hilmar Wäckerle , who wrote the first provisional camp regulations in May on Himmler's instructions. It was stated in it that the camp's jurisdiction lay solely with the commandant. He could even sentence prisoners to death if two SS guards appointed by him agreed. At the beginning of June, the SS took over sole guarding. Theodor Eicke became the camp commandant at the end of June . Eicke aimed to completely seal off the camp from outsiders. Even the fire brigade was not allowed to enter the site to check compliance with fire regulations. Karl Wintersberger from the Munich public prosecutor's office was investigating the first three prisoner shootings in Dachau during this time. All proceedings were discontinued after a few months. The Dachau concentration camp had become a lawless area.

For example, members of the state parliament such as Alois Hundhammer ( BVP ) or members of the Reichstag such as Ernst Heilmann ( SPD ) were imprisoned. The numerous examples of imprisoned politicians or activists had an intimidating effect on the public. Many things had NSDAP already using political police realized and Justice: weaken the influence of trade unions, political parties banned or dissolved, state and local gleichgeschaltet abolished democracy. Radio and film were controlled. By controlling or taking over all existing associations and restricting the freedom of speech , ideological control over communication among the people was obtained. Forming a new opposition proved difficult. At that time there were more than a hundred, mostly small, concentration camps in the Reich in which opposition members were held in " protective custody ". Hardly anyone overlooked who was imprisoned. It was at the discretion of ambitious local Nazis to arrest or release someone. Soon there was friction in questions of the area of ​​responsibility and power struggles. SA-Gruppenführer Schmid was at that time special commissioner of the highest SA leadership in the government of Upper Bavaria. On July 1, 1933, he wrote a fire letter to the Bavarian Prime Minister Siebert :

“The authority of the state is in danger through the unjustified interference of political functionaries in the machinery of normal administration. Every NSBO man, NSBO ​​local group leader, NSBO ​​district leader (...) every political base leader, local group leader, political district leader issues orders that intervene in the lower authority of the ministries, i.e. the authority of the district governments, district offices, down to the smallest gendarmerie station. Everyone arrests everyone (...), everyone threatens everyone with Dachau (...) Right down to the smallest gendarmerie station, the best and most reliable officers have experienced instability that is bound to have devastating and state-destroying effects. "

Prisoners eating (May 1933), propaganda recording by Friedrich Bauer
With the compulsory posting , which later also applied in other concentration camps, the SS received permission to shoot prisoners without warning.
Propaganda shot: a group of around 50 prisoners about to be released at the camp gate (December 1933)

On July 16, 1933, one of the propagandistic reports on the camp appeared in the magazine Münchner Illustrierte Presse . It was subtitled early roll call in the education camp and showed neatly and neatly dressed inmates as the cover picture (see illustration). A pastor from the Dachau parish has appeared regularly since July and held a service on Sundays; an average of 20 people took part. The inmates were still wearing their own clothes at that time. The camp catering consisted of, for example, substitute coffee, bread, and stew on weekdays; On Sundays, for example, there was soup and a piece of roast pork with potato salad. The prisoners received up to 30 RM per month from their own money or from money sent by them, from which they could buy bread, butter, sausage or fruit in the canteen at higher prices. A warehouse library was built in the autumn; it contained books by Karl May and Hitler's Mein Kampf . The SS used these initial living conditions to counteract the so-called atrocity propaganda abroad ; The living conditions of the camp also changed within the twelve years.

On October 1, Eicke presented the second camp regulations , which were much stricter than the previous one. He also introduced the mandatory post , in which blank firing was prohibited. The Dachau camp became a “state within a state”: a place that was delimited from the outside with its own laws and the threat of the death penalty. A release ban was placed on October 20 and lasted two months. In November 1933, camp inmates could take part in the Reichstag election . In a Christmas amnesty , 400 prisoners were released on December 9th, which was a low number compared to the average due to the previous release ban. Another amnesty took place on the anniversary of the National Socialist takeover in Bavaria.

The Dachau camp was planned from the beginning with a capacity of 5000 people, which made clear the extent of the planned political persecution; a method that was later transferred to other groups and radicalized. In 1933, 4,821 people were arrested, around half were released, so that at the end of the year 2,425 were still in prison. The released prisoners reported on the concentration camp. The camp slowly developed into a term that spread horror among the population and prevented many dissenters from expressing themselves in public. Long before the war broke out, the saying: "Dear God, make me mute so that I don't go to Dachau!"

48 concentration camps closed

By January 1934, SS leader Himmler had succeeded in increasing his influence. He was the commander of the political police in almost all German countries. SA leader Ernst Röhm was considered the second most powerful man in the state at the time. The SA controlled many of the early concentration camps. Above all, Göring and Frick wanted to end the power and arbitrary rule of the SA and its subsidiary SS. The “protective custody” should be restricted and the “wild” concentration camps should be closed. 34 concentration camps were evacuated - partly through armed police operations - by October 1933; the prisoners were transferred or released. By May 9, 1934, another 14 “wild” camps were closed. For the time being, only a few camps remained in the German Reich , Dachau was one of these few.

Disempowerment of the SA

SS troops

Himmler's SS, which competed with the SA, achieved the assassination of Röhm and the disempowerment of the SA by the end of June 1934. In order to be able to present an official occasion and not to turn the people against them, the rumor of an alleged impending putsch by the SA chief Röhm ( Röhm putsch ) was spread. In the Dachau camp, the prisoners were able to observe preparations for the executions as early as June 29th: a large part of the SS left the camp and a unit of the Reichswehr took their place . The SS troops returned and executed 17 people in the camp on July 1 and 2: Members of the huge SA party army and opponents of the regime who had nothing to do with the SA: For example, Fritz Gerlich , Bernhard Stempfle , Gustav von Kahr , who died in 1923 when the State Commissioner General had put down the Hitler putsch , as well as five prisoners from the Dachau concentration camp who had been sitting in the bunker. The camp commandant Eicke, a former SA member, shot Röhm in the nearby Stadelheim prison . Six days later, Himmler appointed him inspector of all concentration camps ( ICL ). His successor as commandant was Heinrich Deubel from December 10th .

After the SA was overthrown, Göring later managed to rise to the rank of second man in the state by accumulating offices. Himmler was given the opportunity to decouple his SS from the SA and build it up as a large organization. Even those early, "wild" SA concentration camps were feared by the people. Gradually the government began to set up “systematically” camps in which supposedly order prevailed and which were presented, among other things, as “education camps”. The SS, which initially only controlled the Dachau camp and was still subordinate to the SA, was able to establish new concentration camps in the following years, such as Sachsenhausen (1936), Neuengamme (1938), Mauthausen (1938) and Auschwitz (1940).


From around 1935 onwards, the government increasingly brought in people who had been released from prisons. In addition to these prisoners, a few Sinti and Roma , Jews , Jehovah's Witnesses and homosexuals were arrested; larger numbers did not arrive until 1936. In September, the Nuremberg Race Laws created a legal basis for the persecution and imprisonment of Jewish citizens.

Transitional period 1936–1938

Propaganda photo: Himmler visits the Dachau concentration camp, 1936

The years 1936 to 1938 represented a period of transition. The first blow of political terror slowly subsided. The regime had consolidated and was now preparing for war. In the concentration camps it had successfully found an “instrument of terror”. A second phase of imprisonment began in the camp after the beginning of World War II and intensified in 1942 and 1943.


Propaganda Photo and Propaganda Campaign: BDM Leaders Visiting the Camp (1936)
Propaganda photo: construction work (1936)

In March 1936, camp inmates were allowed to vote again in the Reichstag election . Hans Loritz was promoted to camp commandant on April 1st. While the prisoner's clothing previously indicated the reason for their imprisonment by means of colored dots and stripes, a new identification system for prisoner groups was introduced under Loritz , as was the striped prisoner clothing .

In February the 1936 Winter Olympics took place not far from Munich and the Summer Games in Berlin in August. The regime presented the Olympic Games as a festival of peoples ; they became a great propaganda success for the "Third Reich". In 1936, the Bavarian Political Police issued guidelines for the imposition of “protective custody” in connection with the many tourists who were expected because of the Olympic Games, with regard to “ pests of the people ”. So-called "beggars, vagrants, gypsies, work-shy, idlers, prostitutes, habitual drinkers, ruffians, traffic offenders, troublemakers, psychopaths, mentally ill" were affected. In 1936 Frick issued the circular to combat the "gypsy plague".

In Switzerland Julius Zerfaß published the book Dachau - Eine Chronik under the protective pseudonym Walter Hornung.

Up until the beginning of the war, the local press in Munich reported several times about the concentration camp, mostly with a scornful undertone about political inmates and with warnings about the “dangerous Bolsheviks ” (cf. World Bolshevism ). At the end of the year, the Illustrierte Beobachter published a propaganda report on the Dachau camp.


At the beginning of the year, construction work began on the larger planned new prisoner compound . New barracks were built. The new area measured 583 meters × 278 meters and was partially connected to the old warehouse, the former ammunition factory. A roll call area, wooden barracks, a bunker with 136 cells for solitary confinement, an outbuilding with a kitchen and other buildings were built. The new prisoner quarters corresponded to the status of imperial barracks at the time. On the east side of the camp, the soil was cultivated in order to create a medicinal herb plantation (project of the German Research Institute for Nutrition and Food ). The site was rebuilt and expanded until 1938. In 1937 38 people died in the camp.


Propaganda photo: After the November pogrom, a column of Jews is brought to so-called protective custody in the concentration camp, Baden-Baden, November 1938

On April 1, 1938, three weeks after the Anschluss of Austria , the first 151 Austrians came to Dachau with the so-called Prominententransport . They were primarily media-effective opponents of various political directions. In the same year the Dachau song was written . Another wave of arrests took place in June with the “Arbeitsscheu Reich” campaign , which affected people with “anti-social” behavior. Foreign journalists and representatives of international humanitarian organizations were invited to visit the camp as early as 1933. On August 19, Guillaume Favre, a member of the International Committee of the Red Cross , wrote in a letter to Himmler: “Therefore I would just like to emphasize here that everything I saw and heard, also with regard to the living conditions, the The material and hygienic facilities of the camp, as well as the treatment, nutrition and work of the inmates, made a very favorable impression on me. ”In October the first Sudeten German inmates arrived. The anti-Semitism had increased significantly, and in the wake of Kristallnacht were 10,911 Jews, including 3,700 from Vienna , brought into the camp.

In a telex sent during the night of the pogrom, SS-Gruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich instructed the StaPo: “to arrest as many Jews - especially wealthy ones - in all districts as can be accommodated in the existing cells”.

Propaganda: prisoner postcards were checked for content by the SS

These Jewish prisoners were gradually released until May 1939. Threats put them and their families under pressure to initiate their emigration immediately and to Aryanise their property . In several cases, individual National Socialists succeeded in squeezing the so-called “ Action Jews ” houses, businesses or assets far below their value. At Christmas, several prisoners were flogged publicly on the roll call square next to the Christmas tree.


On the night of January 24th, the painter Louis Nochig managed to escape. As a flat-rate penalty, the SS ordered the entire camp staff to stand in the freezing cold of night, resulting in deaths.

On January 25, 1939, in a letter from the Berlin Foreign Office, the aim of the German “Jewish policy” was described and detailed information on ways and means of emigration and the whereabouts of the possessions was pointed out. On the anniversary of the Anschluss of Austria, some Austrian prisoners were amnestied. A month later there was a "jubilation amnesty" on Hitler's 50th birthday. In the second half of 1939 the Jewish bloc was punished several times for isolation.

Catholic "Agony Christ Chapel"
Russian Orthodox Church "Resurrection of Our Lord"
"Skeletons in barbed wire" Monument of the Hungarian Nandor Glid, a Jew who lost most of his relatives in the Auschwitz concentration camp .
Jewish memorial

Start of war September 1939

Propaganda photo: SS guards and prisoners, June 1938

After the beginning of the Second World War, the SS filled the camp with prisoners from the occupied countries. Originally, the concentration camps were places of harassment and deterrence for influential opponents of the regime. The armaments industry was now increasingly dependent on the prisoners' cheap labor (see graphic on unemployment) to wage war. In factories owned by the SS, for example the Deutsche Erd- und Steinwerke ( DEST ) or the German Equipment Works ( DAW ), inmates were used, as well as in quarries, brickworks, gravel pits and various other professions and businesses. They were allocated by the government and used in the company cheaply and profitably. Prisoners were also used to build the Reichsautobahn . For local reasons, external camps and flexible work details were necessary.

Between September 27, 1939 and February 18, 1940, the prisoners were transferred to other camps. In Dachau, 7,000 members of the SS skull and crossbones were trained. The prisoners were resettled: 2138 to Buchenwald , 1600 to Mauthausen , 981 to Flossenbürg . Only one work detail of around 100 prisoners remained in the camp.


Camp fence and watchtower (photo from 1991, memorial)

At New Year 1940, the DAW took control of the concentration camp's workshops, such as locksmith's shop, carpentry shop and saddlery. Transports with Polish prisoners arrived at the end of April and beginning of May. The film The Great Dictator , which was an allusion to the Reich German concentration camps and Hitler, was shown abroad that year . Towards the end of the year, the priests and pastors from all camps in the Dachau camp began to be brought together; their block of flats there was called the pastor's block . While extermination camps such as Chelmno , Auschwitz , Belzec , Sobibor , Treblinka and Majdanek were set up in the occupied territories of Poland , the use of violence also increased in the Dachau concentration camp.


In January 1941, an improvised chapel was set up for the clergy in Block 26 by order of Himmler. From January 22nd, the clergy were allowed to worship there every day under the supervision of an SS man. From April 11th, all clergymen received better food rations, financed by the Vatican . The privilege of preferred prisoners led to physical resentment on the part of other prisoners and SS men; it was reversed in September. In that year a prisoner music group was formed under Egon Zill , which had to make music on certain occasions. At the beginning of 1941, an experimental station was set up in the sick department, in which 114 registered tuberculosis sufferers were treated homeopathically . The chief doctor was von Weyherns. He tested biochemical agents on prisoners in February. A special registry office ( Dachau II ) was set up on June 1st to register deaths . Until then, the number of deaths according to the registry office of the city of Dachau was 3486 people.

From October 1941, thousands of Soviet prisoners of war were deported to the camp. The SS shot a total of more than 4,000 Soviet prisoners of war in the courtyard of the bunker and later on the SS training range in Hebertshausen .


Pick-up bus from the NS killing center Hartheim at
Hartheim Castle: The “invalids” were pretended to come to a sanatorium to relax

The Wannsee Conference took place on January 20 , at which mass killings were coordinated. On January 2, the first transport, called "Invalident Transport" in the Nazi camouflage language, to the Nazi killing center in Hartheim began . There the Dachau prisoners were killed by gas as part of Operation 14f13 . Within a year, the SS brought there in 32 transports labeled mentally ill or unfit for work as well as unpleasant concentration camp prisoners, a total of around 3,000 prisoners. These killings in Hartheim Castle were an expansion of the National Socialists' euthanasia program .

On February 22nd, the series of experiments under pressure began in the concentration camp, in which the aviation physicians Georg Weltz , Siegfried Ruff , Hans-Wolfgang Romberg and SS-Hauptsturmführer Sigmund Rascher were involved. The doctors were tasked with determining the reactivity and viability of people at high altitudes, during rapid ascent (at altitudes of up to 20 kilometers and more) and during sudden falls from great heights. An air force vacuum chamber was delivered and set up between Block 5 and the adjacent barracks. The series of experiments ended in the second half of May and cost 70 to 80 of about 200 prisoners the lives.

On February 23, 1942, Claus Schilling began his first experiments to research drugs against the tropical disease malaria . 1100 prisoners were infected and abused as test subjects. Ten fatalities could be clearly proven in the Dachau trials . Schilling carried out these experiments until April 5, 1945. While the medical experiments on the effects of pressure were supposed to benefit the pilots, this research was aimed at the soldiers of the Wehrmacht deployed in the Africa campaign .

In the first years of the war, the infirmary consisted of six barracks, and Josef Heiden was the Kapo in the infirmary . In June, a biochemical test station was set up in Block I. Director was Heinrich Schütz . The test series phlegmon (inflammation) started, carried out in block 1, room 3. By the time it was completed in the spring of 1943, at least 17 prisoners were killed.

On August 15th, attempts at hypothermia began under the direction of the doctors Holzlöhner , Finke and Rascher. They served the purpose of being able to better help airmen in distress at sea. The experiments were officially completed in October 1942. Rascher extended the series of experiments on his own until May 1943. The number of test subjects ranged from 220 to 240 people, of whom 65 to 70 prisoners perished.

On September 1, Martin Weiß became the new commandant. He had been strongly instructed by Pohl to pay more attention to the maintenance of the prisoners' workforce. During his commandant office, the penalty of hanging on stakes was therefore abolished, harassment, beatings and roll calls became less frequent, and inmates were more often allowed into their living quarters. Above all, the weight and number of food shipments were no longer restricted. More parcels arrived, some prisoners were now very well looked after, and a lively bartering began. A differentiation developed among the prisoners. Soviet prisoners could not have any contact with their homeland and received no parcels. Those who received enough parcels could now also get prison functionaries to join a good work detachment.

After Himmler's order of October 5, 1942, to make the concentration camps in Germany free of Jews , the SS deported all of Dachau's Jewish prisoners to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

At the end of November, typhus and typhus broke out. Lice-borne typhus spread into an epidemic. Posters with the title A Louse - Your Death were hung in the barracks.

A film screening took place for the first time in Block 4 at Christmas, and around eight more followed. Selected feature films and propaganda reports on German war successes were shown. The government wanted to counter the hopes of political opponents and resistance fighters in the camp with war propaganda. The situation in the Stalingrad pocket suggested that the war might not be won. A few weeks later Goebbels publicly called for total war .


On January 1, 1943, a quarantine was ordered for the entire camp due to the typhus epidemic, and it remained in effect until March 15. During the quarantine, the prisoners lived in the prisoner area, SS people did not enter it. The prisoners were allowed to rest, they were allowed to play music occasionally, and poems were written. The camp library had grown as books were arriving in parcels. The cultural activities survived the quarantine period to a limited extent. On the other side of the absurd existence of the camp, executions for sabotage increased, with around 800 to 1,000 fatalities. On August 4, 16 prisoners were beaten to deter the assembled camp inmates. In addition, the test series by Rascher and Schilling ran. In October Eduard Weiter became the new and last commandant of the concentration camp.


Notification of the Dead (1944)

In 1944 the first concentration camps in the east were evacuated because of the advancing front. Western camps were filling up with evacuated prisoners. On February 22nd, 31 Soviet officers were shot by the SS in the courtyard of the crematorium.

A camp brothel was put into operation on May 11th, and six women from the Ravensbrück concentration camp arrived. It was in connection with Oswald Pohl's regulations to reward exceptional work performed by prisoners and thus to increase them. It was dissolved again towards the end of the year. On July 6, the death transport from the Compiègne camp arrived in Dachau; 984 of the 2521 prisoners were already dead.

On the same day, inmate Sepp Eberl managed to listen to the news of the Allied landing in Normandy on a radio in the SS offices. In the summer Wilhelm Beiglböck made attempts to use seawater as drinking water. His test subjects were 44 imprisoned Sinti . From autumn the camps were completely overcrowded: the rooms planned for 52 people now had to be shared by 300 to 500 people. On September 4 and 6, another 92 Soviet officers were shot in the courtyard of the crematorium. These shootings took place as an act of deterring inmates without secrecy. In November another typhus epidemic, brought into the camp by an evacuation transport, broke out. Death rates increased from 403 in October to 997 in November and 1915 in December. On December 17th, the deacon Karl Leisner was secretly ordained a priest in the camp chapel by the French Bishop Gabriel Piguet .

In September 1944, the church musician and composer Father Gregor Schwake composed the Dachau Mass as a prisoner in the Dachau concentration camp.


Prisoner clothing, April 30, 1945

From the beginning of the year until April evacuation transports arrived from camps that had already been cleared. In order to be able to continue using their labor, the prisoners were sent on long and loss-making transports to the west of the empire. Camp personnel also arrived, in January 1945, for example, the SS doctor Hans Münch , who was later acquitted . The overcrowding of the camp accelerated the typhus epidemic: the mortality rate in January was 2,903 and rose in the following months. The crematorium was decommissioned, and mass burials began on February 12 at the Leitenberg cemetery . A number of doctors and nurses also succumbed to the epidemic. During this time, Father Engelmar Unzeit died of typhus. Hundreds of German clergymen were released towards the end of March; 170 remained imprisoned.

On April 4, Danish and Norwegian inmates were handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as part of the White Bus rescue operation . Prisoners Georg Elser and Charles Delestraint were shot on April 9 and April 19, respectively. At the beginning of April the SS began to burn papers and documents. In mid-April the SS suspended Johan Meansarian and Albert Wernicke. She put the two prison functionaries feared by the inmates in the bunker. On April 14th, Himmler sent a radio message to the headquarters of Dachau and Flossenbürg . He ordered the total evacuation, which was later reduced to the removal of Germans, Soviet citizens, Poles and Jews. With that began the evacuation and death marches . On April 17 and 24, some prisoners, including Niemöller , Piquet and Schuschnigg , were transported to Tyrol.

On April 23, the work details did not leave the camp for the first time. Another evacuation transport took the Reichsbahn via Emmering – Munich – Wolfratshausen –Mittenwald to Seefeld in Tirol . The 2,000 prisoners were released on May 4th. Another evacuation transport took the Reichsbahn on April 25 from Emmering via Munich, Wolfratshausen and Kochel to Seeshaupt on Lake Starnberg. The 3,000 prisoners were released on April 30th. The evacuation transport from April 26th via Emmering – Munich – Wolfratshausen – Penzberg – Staltach with 1759 Jews could also be liberated on April 30th. On the same day, the Americans stopped a march of 6,887 prisoners. It started on April 26th and led via Pasing, Wolfratshausen and Bad Tölz to Tegernsee. Many did not experience the liberation, they died of total physical exhaustion or were murdered. Another 1,000 Russian prisoners were rescued from the march by the camp committee through sabotage. On April 27, 2000 prisoners were sent from Emmering on a transport with the Reichsbahn; from Wolfratshausen the prisoners had to march on foot. At night the train arrived with prisoners from Buchenwald , many of whom had starved to death.

One day later, on April 28th, the German Major General Max Ulich withdrew the 212th Volksgrenadier Division from the camp grounds because he wanted to avoid unnecessary losses against the US armed forces . On this day, the Dachau uprising took place in the city , which was led by the former Dachau prisoners Walter Neff and Georg Scherer .

Liberation 1945

Death Train from Buchenwald (April 29, 1945)

The next day, April 29, 1945, the US Army marched in to liberate the main camp. Completely unprepared, she encountered the death train from Buchenwald , which stood next to the prisoner camp on the SS premises and in whose wagons there were about 2,300 bodies. After this shocking impression, there was spontaneous vigilante justice. The US soldiers executed SS men. The war crime that was not necessary to liberate the camp - the Waffen SS men had hardly offered any resistance - later became known as the Dachau massacre .

A day later the troops marched into Munich. Other nearby satellite camps were liberated, for example Viktor Frankl , whose later book … Say Yes to Life anyway, about his experiences in the Dachau and Auschwitz camps, achieved worldwide fame. Transports of inmates who were still in the vicinity of Munich were also released on April 30th.

American administration

Liberated prisoners of the Dachau concentration camp greet US soldiers
View of the camp barracks, a few days after the camp was liberated by the US Army

Initially, Dachau was quarantined due to a US order. Typhus and spotted fever were rampant on the premises. The epidemic and the consequences of malnutrition during the concentration camp detention decimated the number of survivors by around 2000 people. In May 1945, between 100 and 300 dead had to be buried daily in the now liberated Dachau camp. The formation of an international prisoner committee ( CID ) was planned and announced. In the acute emergency, the camp site was used temporarily as accommodation for homeless and sick former prisoners. In July, the US military authorities established the Dachau internment camp on the site .

Towards the end of 1945 the main Dachau trial took place as part of the Dachau trials ; 36 of the 40 accused were sentenced to death by hanging . In May 1946, 28 of the 36 death sentences were carried out in the Landsberg War Crimes Prison . In 121 follow-up proceedings, around 500 defendants faced US military courts in the years that followed. Most of the accused were SS members who had previously worked in the main camp and its satellite camps. Until 1948, the Dachau trials, which among other things concerned the Holocaust , took place on the site . The medical experiments on inmates were also negotiated in the Nuremberg doctor trials and in the milk trial .

Almost three and a half years after the liberation, the US military handed the site over to the Bavarian authorities in September 1948. As early as the winter of 1947/48, Hans Hagn , member of the CSU state parliament, submitted a motion to the Bavarian state parliament to set up a labor camp on the site of the concentration camp as a "place for re-education of anti-social elements". The motion was passed unanimously; The Bavarian Trade Union Federation also demanded that "all anti-social elements be sent to a labor camp". The implementation failed because a new vote in April 1948 voted for the concentration camp to be used as a refugee camp .

In late post-war investigations, for example the court case against Karl Kapp in 1960, prison functionaries were also brought to justice.

Spatial structure

Gas chamber in the crematorium

The early Dachau camp was still in the premises of the former factory in 1933. The newly built camp was built around 1937 and was divided into the following areas:

Prisoner grounds

The first large section of the concentration camp was the prison camp, euphemistically also called protective custody camp . It was surrounded by an inner ditch, behind it an electrically charged barbed wire fence, a patrol path and finally a wall that also served as a privacy screen from the outside. As soon as someone approached the fence, the SS personnel fired from watchtowers without warning. At night the fence was illuminated. There were a total of 34 barracks in two rows, with the camp street in the middle . The Jourhaus formed the entrance to the prisoner's area . The residential barracks were named "Blocks" under Commandant Loritz. Each block of flats had two washing facilities, two toilets and four “rooms”. Each room had a living room and a bedroom. 52 people were to be accommodated per room, which meant 208 prisoners per block of flats. In the last years of the war, up to 1,600 prisoners had to share a block of flats.

The roll call took place on the roll call square at the beginning and end of the day. If someone was missing, roll calls were ordered through the night or half a day. Seven watchtowers surrounded the area; they were usually manned by two SS guards each with two machine guns. The so-called infirmary initially consisted of two barracks, from 1939 it was expanded. In the last years of the war it was 18 barracks in size. The "Lazarett" included a disinfection barrack and a death chamber. There was a work barrack, and another barrack was the canteen , which was also used for propaganda purposes. In the farm buildings , the kitchen and even the infamous "Bad" was. Behind it was the bunker , where camp arrest, camp penalties (for example, increased solitary confinement) and shootings were carried out. Standing bunkers were added from autumn 1944 .

In 1933, prisoners had to erect two Nazi memorials in the camp: In front of the Schlageter monument, passing prisoners had to take off their hats from then on, as did the Wessel monument.

Over the course of the twelve years, different divisions of the apartment blocks were formed: The punishment blocks were surrounded by barbed wire: here were inmates who had been repeatedly detained or who had been imposed more stringent detention. Other blocks were: interbrigadist block , Jewish block , invalid block , celebrity block and pastor's block . From the beginning of the war there was a division according to nationalities (Polish Bloc, Czech Bloc, ...).

SS grounds

The second large part of the camp was the area of ​​the SS; it was a good double the size of the inmate area. Part of it was not officially part of the concentration camp, as it was an SS training camp with barracks and training rooms. However, there were also workshops at the SS training camp in which prisoners had to work. In the area there were also barracks and officers' apartments, a bakery and the administration building. Two crematorium buildings were added later.

First crematorium

Double muffle furnace of the first crematorium
Forced laborer with tongs and a corpse in front of an incinerator (probably staged photo after the liberation of the concentration camp)

For about seven years, the deceased were taken to a crematorium in Munich for cremation, which made it possible to determine the number of deaths beyond the camp boundary. In 1940 the SS built their own crematorium on their SS premises. It was a very small building with only one room and a so-called double muffle furnace, standing a little apart and covered by trees.

A special prisoner command, which was not allowed to have any contact with other prisoners, now had to carry out the cremations. Only inmates of the "Crematorium Work Command" were allowed to enter this area. The path to the crematorium branched off inside the SS camp. It was therefore strictly separated from the prisoners' area and hardly visible. This was one of the reasons why the SS carried out executions by hanging and shooting at this place .

Barrack X (second crematorium with gas chamber)

Barrack X, also called Block X.
Incineration ovens in the second crematorium in Barrack X
Transport list of 555 prisoners to Auschwitz , called "Invalid Transport" in the Nazi camouflage language

From May 1942 to April 1943 the so-called left the warehouse management compared to the first crematorium build a larger building, barracks X . In addition to two entrance rooms, there were several mortuary rooms. The new crematorium room was equipped with four ovens that were used for cremation from April 1943 to February 1945. After that, the mass burials began at the Leitenberg cemetery. The building also contained four disinfection chambers for prisoners' clothing, which had been in operation since the summer of 1944. In another room, the label “Shower bath” was placed above the entrance. The room was tiled in white, had a peephole and 15 simple shower heads. There were two tin flaps on the outer wall that would have made it possible to pour Zyklon B. American troops identified this room as a gas chamber on April 29, 1945.

Even at the end of the war there was no mass killing by gas in the camp. This is also reported by former prisoners: "When, after the completion [of the gas chamber], the fears that there would be mass killings did not materialize, [...]".

It cannot be proven whether individual persons or a small group were killed by Zyklon B or other gas - for example war gas ; because many documents were destroyed before the end of the war. The surviving letter from SS doctor Rascher to Himmler dated August 9, 1942 provides an indication of experiments with combat gas: “As you know, the same facility is being built in KL Dachau as in Linz. Since the transport of invalids ends anyway in certain chambers [meaning gas chambers], I ask whether the effects of our various combat gases can not be tested in these chambers on the people who are supposed to be used anyway. "Another indication is the statement of prisoner Frantisek Blaha:" The gas chamber was completed in 1944; I was called to Rascher to examine the first victims. Of the eight to nine people who were in the chamber, three were still alive and the others appeared to be dead. "

The historian Barbara Distel judges: "Whether the combat gas testing proposed by Rascher was implemented has not yet been clearly clarified, but according to the statements of former prisoners, such a use cannot be ruled out."

There is evidence that there were no mass killings by gas in Dachau. For gas killings, the SS preferred to deport Dachau prisoners to the Hartheim gas chambers or to Auschwitz.

Concentration camp subcamps

The external camps did not have a uniform appearance. With 169 external detachments, Dachau was the most widely branched camp of the National Socialist regime. The forced labor in the concentration camp satellite camps initially ranged from construction work, such as gravel pits, quarries and road construction (usually for the SS-owned Consolidated German Earth and Stone Works ) or the infrastructure of the Organization Todt , to agricultural work such as cultivation of moors. Handicraft work was also done, mostly in SS handicraft businesses. From 1942, satellite camps were set up in order to build huge underground complexes as part of the so-called U-relocation , with the aim of continuing the armaments production underground in order to protect them from air raids. Upon request, concentration camp prisoners were also used as workers and a. loaned to BMW , Messerschmitt AG , Reichsbahn , Luftschiffbau Zeppelin , Dyckerhoff & Widmann , Agfa and various government agencies. Around 37,000 prisoners were working in the subcamps at the time, the majority of whom consisted of Eastern European prisoners of war who were treated very badly for racial reasons.

Organizational structure

Prisoner Work and Selection

Propaganda photo: inmates doing forced labor (1938)

According to the propaganda, work was primarily a means of political education so that prisoners who were better able to improve could be accepted into the National Socialist society. However, the SS made more and more profit from the prisoner work. Cultivating the surrounding moors was the prisoner's initial task, but this was quickly changed. The establishment of manual workplaces - road construction, bricklayers, carpenters, locksmiths, tailors, shoemakers, saddlers, bakers, butchers - promised more profit and self-sufficiency . Just a few months after the camp opened in 1933, 300 prisoners were already working for the SS. Home furnishings were made, clothes and shoes were made. The camp developed into the economic base of the SS. The Chamber of Crafts wrote a letter on November 28, 1933, expressing their fear that the camp would represent unsustainable competition for other local craftsmen. The political police replied that production in the camp would definitely be up to be continued. Officially, the values ​​obtained were part of the state property, but in reality they were used by Himmler's SS by reducing their dependence on the SA and the Reich Ministry of the Interior. Until 1940 the SS could use the full profit of the prisoner labor. In many cases, forced labor has involved humiliation, abuse, and physical annihilation by harassing inmates or inciting them to death. Later, v. a. in the large sub-camps, this number increased dramatically.

Sick and physically exhausted prisoners were transferred to the disability block, from where they were transported to the killing sites.

Dachau exercise camp

Propaganda photo: Himmler in the SS area of ​​the camp (1938)

Since Dachau was the first self-operated camp of the SS, the systematic expansion of the concentration camp system in the Reich took place from here. The training of the SS personnel took place here; numerous later concentration camp commanders were initially employed as security guards in the Dachau concentration camp.

On the adjoining site of the Dachau SS training camp , which was put into operation in 1935 and had a separate entrance, both the staff building and the accommodations of the guards were housed in the form of SS barracks. The Dachau SS Unterführerschule , whose staff was housed in the headquarters of the SS Totenkopfverband, was also located on the premises of the training camp . There the junior officers of the "camp SS" were brought in and trained. The General SS also had its own “Führerschule” there and the later administration cadre was trained in the neighboring administration school until autumn 1942.

In the Dachau training camp, the later Dachau guards were brutalized by strictly following Eicke's instructions (“Dachau School”) and instructing the SS men to actively use violence against the local “enemies of the state” in the form of the prisoners to act brutally against them (“tolerance means weakness”). The recruits learned how to use flogging and torture every day while they were serving as security guards in a concentration camp. With what they learned there, the guards were then deployed in other Nazi camps.

Medical experiments

Since the SS also trained medics to perform operations on injured soldiers in times of war, operations were carried out several times in the infirmary for exercise purposes. In addition, numerous SS doctors from Dachau carried out various tests on prisoners, for example the TBC test series, liver punctures, Rascher carried out tests at altitude and hypothermia, and Schilling infected prisoners with malaria.

Storage order

The whipping rack on which the whipping was carried out

In almost all early camps, camp regulations were created that were derived from the current regulations of police and judicial prisons. In the Dachau camp this was completely different. Here, in the first camp regulations, Commander Wäckerle assigned full jurisdiction to the camp commandant's office, which brought him legal sole power and was thus the most far-reaching change. Half a year later, on October 1, 1933, the second version was tightened by Commandant Eicke, and corporal punishment was another innovation. The camp regulations became valid for all SS concentration camps from 1934. The ICL established the hierarchy of SS personnel . The ICL later also provided uniform guidelines for the procedure of the so-called criminal proceedings in the SS concentration camps. In the duty to post , Himmler had it written down that prisoners must be shot immediately without a call and without warning gunshots. In the case of the numerous unnatural deaths, the attempt to explain was that prisoners had been shot while attempting to escape.

Function prisoners

The “divide and rule” method was used by a graded prisoner self-administration in the camp. The SS appointed prisoners to be overseers of duties. As soon as they did not do their job to the satisfaction, they lost their status again. Then they had to fear reactions from other inmates. The SS forced prison functionaries to subject other prisoners to strict regulations, for example with regard to order and cleanliness in barracks and clothing. Small offenses were severely punished. One of the most feared prison functionaries was Johan Meansarian; he was shot by US soldiers after the camp was liberated. In the twelve years of its existence, Dachau was a consistently political camp. The positions that could be filled by prisoners remained in the hands of political prisoners; they had been imprisoned for the longest time since the beginning of the Nazi era .

Warehouse terminology

The SS used the abbreviation KL in internal correspondence; This abbreviation was also used in newspaper reports at the time. According to contemporary witness Eugen Kogon , the SS preferred to use the harder and more threatening sounding abbreviation “KZ”. Since all concentration camps were under the control of the SS, the unusual abbreviation was remembered.

According to the official definition of the Nazi regime, concentration camps were only those under the orders of the SS. The SS ruled here arbitrarily and without any legal restrictions. Other places of detention that were not in the area of ​​responsibility of the SS were called labor education camps in National Socialist terminology .


Himmler and the NSDAP operated a calculated propaganda with the “ model camp Dachau ” in order to counteract the “atrocity propaganda from abroad” (→ Potemkin village ). The SS also later carried out propaganda with the “model campTheresienstadt : prominent Jewish prisoners were forced to participate in propaganda films and then deported to extermination camps.

The victims

Inmate groups

Identification for prisoners; Training material for SS guards

The SS officer Loritz systematized the identification system of the prisoner groups . They were small triangles made of fabric, so-called angles, that were sewn onto the prisoner's uniform. The main groups differed in the color of the triangles.

In addition, each detainee was given a number sewn on their clothes. The first series of prisoner numbers ran from No. 1 to 37,575 from March 22, 1933 to March 31, 1940. The second series was No. 1 to 161,896, starting from April 1, 1940 to April 28, 1945.


A total of around 200,000 prisoners were imprisoned in Dachau, including numerous well-known personalities such as mayors, local politicians and members of the Reichstag from all parties. Many publishers of newspapers and magazines were on the list of prisoners, as were well-known - and thus influential - writers and nobles. Other professions that were influential in the media were also affected: musicians, composers and lawyers. Another special position of the camp was that from the end of 1940 all clergymen of various denominations who had already been imprisoned in other concentration camps were brought to Dachau and imprisoned in the local priestly block.


Gate in the Dachau concentration camp with the inscription Arbeit macht frei

The surviving documents from the registry offices and the Bad Arolsen special registry office established after the end of the war provide written evidence of 32,009 deaths. However, it must be noted that the camp's own registry office only documented deaths until April 20, 1945. The SS destroyed many files and did not document all deaths and murders, for example the SS executed Soviet prisoners of war. Shortly before the liberation, the prisoners' marches out of the camp resulted in numerous deaths, which were also not officially registered. Today's historical research assumes around 41,500 fatalities.

Guards and command post


The SS death's head associations were responsible for guarding all later concentration camps. These specially created SS units were trained in the Dachau concentration camp (see also the article SS-Unterführerschule Dachau ). The SS personnel lived on the directly adjoining SS premises. The SS-Totenkopfverband responsible for guarding the Dachau concentration camp was the SS-Totenkopf-Standarte I "Oberbayern" , from which the later Waffen-SS Division "Totenkopf" was established in October 1939 . After the regrouping, the SS standard in Dachau was renamed SS-Totenkopf-Recruit-Standard "Upper Bavaria".

Second in command, from late June 1933 to July 7, 1934, was Theodor Eicke . After his murder of the SA leader Röhm , he was promoted to head of the SS inspection of the concentration camps (responsible for all concentration camps). He issued regulations that were implemented in practically all concentration camps. Heinrich Deubel , Hans Loritz , Alex Piorkowski , Martin Weiß and Eduard Weiter followed him as commanders (October 1, 1943 to April 26, 1945). After him, Heinrich Wicker (born 1921), a lower SS batch, handed over the camp to the US troops on April 29th.

Dachau trials

Main defendant in the main Dachau trial on November 15, 1945

The US military used the former prisoner camp and the SS barracks to detain NSDAP functionaries and members of the SS. A total of 489 trials, the Dachau trials as military trials, were carried out in Dachau .

The first trial, the Dachau main trial ( United States of America v. Martin Gottfried Weiss et al. ), Was directed against parts of the Dachau concentration camp team and was carried out from November 15 to December 13, 1945. So-called concentration camp doctors and Otto Schulz as a representative of the German equipment works (DAW, exploitation of slave labor ) were also charged there. All 40 defendants were found guilty and 36 of them were sentenced to death; 28 were hanged in Landsberg prison in 1946 . The Dachau main proceedings were followed by 121 follow-up trials with around 500 suspects.

However, numerous SS men managed to flee abroad via the rat lines .

Memorial sites and memorial work

Memorial stone and inscription "Never again"
Death march from the Dachau concentration camp (bronze sculpture by the sculptor Hubertus von Pilgrim )

In 1963 Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle signed the Franco-German friendship treaty . The German federal government committed itself to preserving the graves of former prisoners.

The Dachau concentration camp memorial was established in 1965. With the exception of the various church-sponsored facilities on the site, the premises and properties of the actual camp, some branch offices as well as extensive exhibition and archive holdings are owned by the Bavarian Memorial Foundation established in 2003 .

The remaining buildings of the SS area were initially used by the US Army after the war. In the 21st century it is used by the Bavarian riot police and is not open to the public.

In 1996 January 27th was set as the national day of remembrance for the victims of National Socialism . Since 2005 January 27 has also been an international day of remembrance.

On May 2, 2010, on the 65th anniversary of the liberation, an incumbent German President ( Horst Köhler ) took part in the memorial ceremony at the Dachau concentration camp memorial for the first time. On May 3, 2015, German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a speech on the 70th anniversary .

On the night of November 2, 2014, the original entrance door with the cynical inscription Work makes you free was stolen by unknown perpetrators. Although the thieves have not yet been identified, despite intensive search work, the door was found after an anonymous tip in the Norwegian city of Bergen . The door returned to Dachau on February 22, 2017. In future, it will be on display in the museum's permanent exhibition in an alarm-secured and air-conditioned display case.



Graphic novel


Feature films with historical reference

  • The ninth day . Feature film, Germany, 2004, director: Volker Schlöndorff.


  • Dachau concentration camp. Documentary, Germany. Among other things, the film can be viewed in the cinema hall of the Dachau concentration camp.
  • The priest's block. Documentary, Germany, 2005, director: Max Kronawitter. The film reports on the pastor's block (Dachau concentration camp) with interviews and individual scenes from the feature film The Ninth Day .
  • Hafner's paradise . Documentary, Germany, 2007, director: Günter Schwaiger. The film describes the encounter between the former prisoner Hans Landauer and the former SS man Paul Hafner .
  • The white raven. Documentary film, 2009, about the former prisoner Max Mannheimer .
  • Born in a concentration camp. Documentary, 2010. The story of two Jewish women who gave birth to children in the Kaufering satellite camp during the last winter of the war.

Photo archive of the Bavarian State Library

Web links

Commons : Dachau Concentration Camp  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Numbers of the memorial
  2. merkur.de : Visitor center at the concentration camp memorial shortly before completion. February 9, 2009.
  3. a b c d e f Source: Stanislav Zámečník: (Ed. Comité International de Dachau): That was Dachau. Luxembourg 2002.
  4. ^ Peter Longerich : Heinrich Himmler. Biography. Siedler, Munich 2008, p. 161.
  5. ^ Dachau - Heinrich Himmler and the first concentration camp , September 1, 2015 WeltN24 , accessed September 25, 2016.
  6. Anna Andlauer: Claus Bastian - The prisoner with the number 1. In: Hans-Günter Richardi (Ed.): Curricula vitae - fates of people who were in the Dachau concentration camp. BoD - Books on Demand 2001, Dachauer Documents Vol. 2, ISBN 978-3-8311-2190-8 , p. 27 f.
  7. ^ A b c Barbara Diestel, Wolfgang Benz: The Dachau Concentration Camp 1933–1945. History and meaning . Ed .: Bavarian State Center for Political Education. Munich 1994 ( online [accessed April 17, 2006]). The Dachau concentration camp 1933–1945. History and meaning ( memento of the original dated December 3, 2005 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.km.bayern.de
  8. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Barbara Diestel, Wolfgang Benz: The Dachau Concentration Camp 1933–1945. History and meaning . Ed .: Bavarian State Center for Political Education. Munich 1994 ( online [accessed April 17, 2006]). The Dachau concentration camp 1933–1945. History and meaning ( memento of the original from March 11, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.km.bayern.de
  9. Hans Beimler: In the Dachau murder camp. Four weeks in the hands of the brown bandits. Moscow 1933 with numerous reprints and translations, among others in English, French, Yiddish, Polish and Danish. A new edition with annotations published in 1980 by the GDR military publishing house also contains a biography of Beimler with contributions by Karl Horn, Karl Pioch and Arthur Dorf.
  10. Reasons for the death penalty were e.g. B. "Act against camp personnel" or "joint disobedience" or inciting to do so.
  11. a b Zdenek Zofka: The emergence of the Nazi repression system. ( Memento of the original from January 5, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.km.bayern.de
  12. ^ Public Prosecutor Karl Wintersberger. (PDF) Story 2 ( Memento from December 24, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  13. ^ Münchner Illustrierte Presse. Report of July 16, 1933
  14. ^ Zámečník: That was Dachau. Luxembourg 2002, pp. 54–58.
  15. On July 2, prisoner Hans Deller discovered 17 corpses covered with chlorinated lime. The number of deaths was probably slightly higher, in the book Die Toten von Dachau are listed higher deaths for these days. See Zámečník: That was Dachau. Luxembourg 2002, p. 70.
  16. Prisoners had seen an execution through the windows of the barracks at night; the camp administrator prevented SS men from storming into the barracks and shooting them. The next day, Eicke ordered that they had to watch another execution through the wire fence. See Zámečník: That was Dachau. Luxembourg 2002, p. 69.
  17. Cf. Zámečník: That was Dachau. Luxembourg 2002, p. 90.
  18. Advertising poster for the Reichstag election on March 29, 1936
  19. See also Wolfgang Benz: History of the Third Reich. Beck, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-406-46765-2 , pp. 80-81. On July 16, 1936, around 600 Sinti and Roma were arrested in Berlin under the propaganda slogan “Berlin without Gypsies” and locked in the Berlin-Marzahn prison camp , which the Nazis called the Marzahn Gypsy Rest Area. Many were later deported from there to the concentration camps. See Wolfgang Benz: The Marzahn camp. On the National Socialist persecution of the Sinti and Roma and their ongoing discrimination. In: Helge Grabitz, Klaus Bästlein, Johannes Tuchel (eds.): The normality of crime. Balance sheet and perspectives of research on the national socialist violent crimes. Berlin 1994, pp. 260-279.
  20. See Wolfgang Ayaß : "Asoziale" in National Socialism. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1995, pp. 138-179.
  21. ^ Zámečník: That was Dachau. 2002, p. 98.
  22. ^ Facsimile of Heydrich's telex in the night of the pogrom in 1938. NS archive, documents on National Socialism, as of December 6, 2008.
  23. Wolf-Arno Kropat: Kristallnacht in Hessen, Das Judenpogrom from November 1938. Wiesbaden 1988, ISBN 3-921434-11-4 , p. 167 ff.
  24. Letter from the Foreign Office Berlin 1939 , as of January 9, 2007.
  25. The Catholic chapel forms a broken cylinder, which for the architect Josef Wiedemann is supposed to represent a symbol for the liberation from captivity by Christ. There is a memorial bell in front of the Agony of Christ Chapel, which rings daily at 3 p.m. It was the first religious memorial to be built in 1960 on the initiative of the former prisoner and later Munich Auxiliary Bishop Johannes Neuhäusler. Their consecration on August 5, 1960 as part of the World Eucharistic Congress was an important signal for the concern to erect a memorial at the site of the former concentration camp.
  26. The floor plan of the Russian chapel, made of wooden planks, is an octagon and stands on a hill that was partly made of earth from the former Soviet Union. The main icon inside the chapel shows the risen Christ who leads the inmates of the camp out of their barracks through the gate opened by angels.
  27. "May the example of those who lost their lives here from 1933 to 1945 because of their struggle against National Socialism, unite the living in defense of peace and freedom and in awe of human dignity." Inscription of the International Memorial of Nandor Glid.
  28. The Jewish memorial to the right of the agony of Christ chapel was inaugurated on May 7, 1967. The building by the architect Zvi Guttmann is made of black lava basalt stone and leads down like a ramp. At the lowest point, however, light penetrates through an opening in the ceiling. The building is dominated by a seven-armed marble menorah from Peki'in in Israel. The place Peki'in is said to have always been inhabited by at least one Jew over the centuries, which symbolizes a continuity of Judaism. Inside is the "Ner Tamid", the Eternal Light. The railings take up the image of the barbed wire ubiquitous in the concentration camp and together with the ramp, the building represents on a symbolic level a reminder of the extermination of European Jews.
  29. Graphic unemployment between 1921 and 1939
  30. "Hitler came (...) in" Mein Kampf "to the conclusion that (...) a political influence of religion - in Hitler's eyes an abuse - should not be allowed". Text excerpt from: Zámečník: That was Dachau. Luxemburg 2002, p. 170. See source: Hitler: Mein Kampf. 1939, pp. 292-294.
  31. ^ A b c Barbara Diestel, Wolfgang Benz: The Dachau Concentration Camp 1933–1945. History and meaning . Ed .: Bavarian State Center for Political Education. Munich 1994 ( online [accessed April 17, 2006]). The Dachau concentration camp 1933–1945. History and meaning ( memento of the original dated December 3, 2005 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.km.bayern.de
  32. Zámečník, p. 174.
  33. Dachau Archive, DA-36125.
  34. Figures of the memorial ( Memento from September 24, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  35. ^ First Klee: German Medicine in the Third Reich. Careers before and after 1945. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt / M. 2001, ISBN 3-10-039310-4 , p. 185.
  36. Attempts with negative pressure in 1942 ( memento of the original from February 13, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. As of January 9, 2007. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / schule.judentum.de
  37. According to statements made by the defense witness H. Bickel (NOR 4, pp. 5335-5359 G) and the defendant Mummethey, managing director of DEST (NOR 4, pp. 5588-5589 G).
  38. ^ Zámečník: That was Dachau. P. 257.
  39. ^ Zámečník: That was Dachau. Luxembourg 2002, p. 256 ff.
  40. Dachau Concentration Camp. German Historical Museum
  41. Kupfer-Koberwitz: The Mighty. Volume II, p. 177.
  42. In the spring the prisoners performed a self-written play on an improvised open-air stage; the text had been censored, but there were allusions to Hitler: One person was called Adolar, another showman then deliberately pronounced the name Adol-f-ar. From the end of April, Redwitz allowed a weekly soccer game on the roll call ground on Sundays. Polish folk dances were allowed to be performed on August 29th.
  43. 800 to 1000 executions for sabotage according to a statement by inmate Emil Mahr, Case Dachau, Exhibit 93, pp. 1–2.
  44. ^ Zámečník: That was Dachau. Luxembourg 2002, p. 259 ff.
  45. According to French sources, from which Berben also assumes, the transport arrived on July 5th with 984 dead. - The source Dachauer Archiv DA-1042, on the other hand, mentions July 6th with 891 dead. This is also the case with Zámečník: That was Dachau. Luxemburg 2002, p. 346: he uses the lower number (6 July, 891 deaths).
  46. ^ Zámečník: That was Dachau. Luxembourg 2002, p. 323.
  47. Sea water experiments 1944
  48. ^ Zámečník: That was Dachau. Luxembourg 2002, p. 348.
  49. ^ Tables from ITS Arolsen.
  50. Zámečník, p. 399.
  51. ^ History: Dachau: II. Dachau, concentration camp, OSS section, seventh army. Retrieved October 13, 2014 .
  52. cit. According to the conference report: Tagber: "Only those who work should also eat." On the cultural and social history of unemployment
  53. ^ Barbara Diestel, Wolfgang Benz: The Dachau Concentration Camp 1933–1945. History and meaning . Ed .: Bavarian State Center for Political Education. Munich 1994 ( online [accessed December 31, 2006]). The Dachau concentration camp 1933–1945. History and meaning ( Memento of the original from December 4, 2005 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.km.bayern.de
  54. see colored border ( memento from July 19, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  55. See Zámečník: pp. 298–300.
  56. ^ IMT Nuremberg, Volume 32 (Document Volume 8), ISBN 3-7735-2524-9 , p. 62 = Document 3249 PS.
  57. Barbara Distel: The gas chamber in "Baracke X" of the Dachau concentration camp. In: Günther Morsch, Bertrand Perz: New studies on National Socialist mass killings by poison gas. Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-940938-99-2 , p. 339.
  58. Barbara Distel: The gas chamber in "Baracke X" ... p. 338/339.
  59. ^ Barbara Diestel, Wolfgang Benz: The Dachau Concentration Camp 1933–1945. History and meaning . Ed .: Bavarian State Center for Political Education. Munich 1994 ( online [accessed April 17, 2006]). The Dachau concentration camp 1933–1945. History and meaning ( memento of the original from March 11, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.km.bayern.de
  60. Karin Orth: How SS Men Were Drilled into Murderers. In: Spiegel Online. March 12, 2008.
  61. ^ Zámečník: That was Dachau. Luxembourg 2002, p. 158.
  62. Henryk Maria Malak: Shavelings in Death Camps: A Polish Priest's Memoir of Imprisonment by the Nazis, 1939-1945 , p 363rd
  63. Eugen Kogon: The SS State . The system of the German concentration camps. Alber, Munich 1946.
  64. ^ According to Dachau archive DA-36125. Zámečník, p. 398.
  65. See the Bruttig-Treis concentration camp (June – September 1944) and the Hessental Death March .
    Stanislav Zámečník (Ed. Comité International de Dachau): That was Dachau. Luxembourg 2002, pp. 390-396.
    HW - Born on June 30, 1921 in Gausbach near Gernsheim (Baden)
    Sandhofen Memorial: SS leaders Ahrens and Wicker. ( Memento of the original from July 19, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.majoonline.de
  66. Against forgetting. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . May 2, 2010.
  67. ↑ The gate of the Dachau concentration camp memorial in Norway discovered . In: Berliner Zeitung , December 3, 2016, p. 4.
  68. ↑ The stolen gate is back in Dachau. Spiegel Online, February 22, 2017, accessed on the same day
  69. Supplement: The Priest's Block. (PDF) FWU - School and Lessons; Retrieved November 5, 2014.