Results 1-10of 13 Reviews
West Lafayette, Indiana
March 31, 2007
From journal Munich over Spring Break 2007
Los Angeles, California
January 8, 2007
From journal Oktoberfest Madness
by Red Mezz
Inverness, Scotland, United Kingdom
October 11, 2006
It was hard for me to pick a category for this to go under; it seems as if it should have its own, because no other single identifier seems appropriate. Eugen Kogon said "the significance of this name (Dachau) will never be erased from German history. It stands for all concentration camps which the Nazis established in their territory" And in many ways that could well sum up my entire review of this unexpected part of my trip to Germany. It seems a deep injustice to even attempt to review it in under 500 words, so forgive my lack of space here and try to understand the weight with which I still carry the experience.
When I first learned I would be making a trip around Europe, one of the very top things on my list to see was a concentration camp in Germany. It may sound a little bit dark, but I've always been deeply interested in the history surrounding WW2 and the Holocaust, and the fact that such a thing occurred so recently in our history. And I had wanted to see first hand where these events took place. I can tell you quite seriously that I can neither recommend, or unrecommended such a place. I openly and easily tell people from the moment I first arrived there, that being in Dachau was the worst thing I've ever experienced. But that does not mean I wish I hadn't done it. I went into it with a purely historical interest in the site, and no superstitions or fears whatsoever, (not being a person so inclined) and yet the moment I set foot through the gates (which still have guard towers that hang dark and ominous over the fenced in camp) I wanted nothing more in the world than to be far away. If you have any desire to get an idea of what the experience may have been like...even in the smallest way, then I could do no less than recommend it. But it is not an easy thing to bear, and I am not someone usually moved by such things.
I spent most of my time in Dachau, wandering in freezing rain, head bent feeling the most vast sense of surrounding sorrow I have ever experienced. Every stone seemed to remember what had happened there, and the tall trees planted by the prisoners there some 60 years ago waved tall along the walk to the Crematoria Area, even more mournful. It is all too recent, the memories there are strong. I watched other tourists, who had simply come along for the sight seeing standing in the rain in the courtyard in tears. Not one or two. Dozens. Men and women. Young and old. Teenagers on school trips weeping for something that earlier in the day they knew little about. It is an experience unlike any other, and if you have the desire and the will to go, be prepared to take away something you will carry forever.
From journal Driving to Munich, the Fairytale Heart of Bavaria
by go cards
June 24, 2006
From journal Time to Dance
by Ed Hahn
Hong Kong, China
February 23, 2006
From journal Melancholy Munich
Prague, Czech Republic
April 7, 2005
The museum inside looks like a good place to begin. We did that last and I didn’t get a lot of time in there. The one thing I really liked were the memorials at the back of the camp. There’s a synagogue, a Catholic chapel, a Protestant chapel, and a little off to the side on the way to the crematorium, a Russian Orthodox chapel. I just found the architecture of the synagogue and the Protestant chapel to be particularly moving. Also, behind these memorials is a convent, which I also thought was touching. The nuns there pray every day for what has happened and for all of the people who come to Dachau to remember the victims of the Holocaust. You can also go to their chapel to pray if you like.
From journal Easter in Munich
August 30, 2003
You enter past original white watchtowers, dotted along the barbed wire perimeter fence. These days, the site is a bleak, windswept expanse of gravel and concrete -- allied soldiers razed the prisoners' huts to the ground after liberation in April 1945 but one has been reconstructed and the layout of the balance is picked out in gravel on the ground. Each hut was originally designed to accommodate 208 prisoners but, by 1938, up to 1600 people were crammed into each -- original bunks were redesigned into 3-tiered shelves, stacked to the ceilings like coffins; no wonder disease spread.
Numerous placards give information and contemporaneous photos for a genuine impression of how things looked before and after liberation on 29.4.1945. Dachau doesn't shy from the brutality and horror of the regime -- pre-1945 photos depict gunned down prisoners whose escape attempts has just failed. Even on a blue-skied day, I felt a chill suddenly to realise that the poplars pictured lining the path between the huts, with cadaverous figures walking alongside, are still swaying there today, right next to me.
Beyond the barracks are memorials -- a Jewish
memorial of Israel, a Christian chapel of Christ's agony, a Russian Orthodox chapel of Reconciliation. A remembrance bell is rung every day at 3pm. Beyond the Russian
chapel along a formerly blocked path lies the medical unit, punishment block and crematorium. Though apparently never a systematic extermination camp like Auschwitz or Treblinka -- survivors have testified that the gas chamber, disguised as a shower room, was never used -- the crematoria saw a lot of use. The tell-tale tall square
chimney of "Barrack X" makes you shuddder : 10,000s died -- their corpses burnt to hide their sheer numbers -- of diseases and malnutrition, shot by SS guards or killed in medical "experiments".
The infamous entrance gate has been pulled down but the haunting lie "Arbeit macht Frei" (work brings freedom) is reproduced on the medical block gateway. The old kitchen/laundry is now an excellent museum, detailing with photographs, films and documents Germany's sad state after the WWI defeat, the 1930s depression and Nazi propaganda which led to Hitler's rise, and the passage of WWII. It's also an auditorium for a harrowing documentary film. Outside is the International Memorial dating from 1968 - a stylised representation of prisoners behind barbed wire.
Take S-bahn 2 to Dachau station for a 722 bus to drop you just short of the camp (€1 each way; depart every c20 mins).
Entrance is free; informative audio guide-sets are €2.50; allow minimum 4 hours including travelling.
From journal Absolute München
by Stacie Devaney
April 9, 2003
From journal Bavarian Travels
April 8, 2003
It is of course a museum. It is "sanitized", but the message comes through. Plan on two or three hours, but it is intense and you may not be able to take it all in one visit.
Dachau was the first concentration camp, opening in 1933 as a "work" camp. Many of the original buildings are still in place and photos or sign boards are informative.
Plan around meal times and bring water. There are no concessions.
From journal Munich: history, culture and fun
November 6, 2002
We started in the museum held in what was once the main headquarters of the camp. There were well-put-together displays that used pictures and diary entries from both the Nazi's that ran the place and the people who were interned there. Anything I say to describe the feeling is grossly inadequate, so perhaps it's enough to say that the museum was effective at bringing the Holocaust to life.
We watched the 20 minute film on Dachau and proceeded to walk the grounds. After the museum we elected not to do the audio tours, but they seemed popular and certainly cheap enough.
I was relieved to see that most everyone was very respectful of the importance of the place. I was expecting to see at least a couple shutter-happy tourists walking about, but (thankfully) this was not the case.
From journal Quick getaway to Munich