Konzentrationslager (KZ) Dachau holds a significant place in public memory because it was the second camp to be liberated by British or American forces. Therefore, it was one of the first places where the West was exposed to the reality of Nazi brutality through first-hand journalist accounts and through newsreels. The Nazis opened their first concentration camp at Dachau, near Munich, in March 1933, only two months after Hitler came to power. This camp was the model for the many others to follow. It operated continuously until April 1945, when the allies liberated the inmates. Originally intended for the temporary detention of political prisoners, the camps became permanent institutions manned by the Schutzstaffel (ϟϟ) Totenkopfverbande. In these camps, the more sadistic guards, of whom there was no shortage in the ϟϟ, were more or less free to inflict indescribable cruelties on the inmates without fear of disciplinary action. The camp system gradually evolved from penal camps to the infamous death mills of Auschwitz, Belzec, Chelmno, Maidanek, Sobibor, and Treblinka.
In total, over 200,000 prisoners from more than thirty countries were housed in Dachau of whom two-thirds were political prisoners and nearly one-third were Jews. 25,613 prisoners are believed to have died in the camp and almost another 10,000 in its subcamps, primarily from disease, malnutrition and suicide. In early 1945, there was a typhus epidemic in the camp followed by an evacuation, in which large numbers of the weaker prisoners died.
During liberation and standing in front of the jourhaus today- the main gate to the camp. It was the first building prisoners had to build during the 1936 redevelopment of the camp. The tower shown here, a reconstruction, was one of seven watchtowers making up the guard installations. On the right Brigadier-General Henning Linden stands on the bridge over the Würm in front of the jourhaus with ϟϟ-Untersturmführer Heinrich Wicker - the tallest man- on the left. It had been he who had surrendered the camp to the Americans and soon after this photograph will have suffered summary justice. Richard Evans relates that at Auschwitz,
Over the entrance, (Kommandant Rudolf] Höss placed a wrought-iron archway with the words Arbeit macht frei, 'work liberates', a slogan he had learned in Dachau.
The motto at Dachau, “Arbeit macht frei” (Work Is Liberty), is well known; it was also used elsewhere, a hollow, cynical promise from the tradition of the work society. No prisoner was ever released because of hard work and good performance.
Sofsky (61)

Historic gate at Dachau concentration camp stolen
Photos I took November 19, 2014 showing the missing 200-pound gate reported missing on November 2, 2014. The gate itself was a reconstruction; the current whereabouts of the original is a mystery. When the US military administration used the site, it removed the gate and dismantled the watchtower. These were not reconstructed until 1972. Shown is German blacksmith Michael Poitner who has painstakingly rebuilt the 1.87 meter-high, 108-kg gate in time for the 70th anniversary commemorations for the liberation of the camp. "A lot of thought went into how to make this cynical Nazi slogan close to the original - which is important as some 800,000 people visit the Dachau memorial each year," said Poitner, 36, who was born in town of Dachau. "You can feel all that cynicism with this gate."  He studied pictures and documents about the original gate, which was installed in 1936, and used techniques like high-temperature brazing, which was more common than soldering in the 1930s.
In fact, this photo from the late 1940s shows the Jourhaus with gate without the inscription (and me in 2007), leading the memorial site to conclude that based on such existing historical photos, a document from May 1972 from an inspection of the grounds by the CID, the local Building Authority, which refers how “[t]he inscription ‘Arbeit macht frei’ removed from the iron entrance gate needs to be reinserted” , the revised view of the architectural historian, and the general knowledge as to how the Americans dealt with the architectural legacy of the former concentration camp, the gate is most likely original, but the sign itself is a reconstruction added in 1972. The stolen gate was recovered after a two-year hunt in the southwestern Norwegian city of Bergen thanks to an anonymous tip-off. This is not the first time a sign reading ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ has been stolen. In 2009, the iron sign bearing the same slogan above the entrance to the former Auschwitz death camp was stolen.
The site soon after the war and today, showing how the camp was anything but hidden away

The main building in front of the square (Appelplatz) in 1939 and today showing the former slogan on the roof reading: 
Es gibt einen Weg zur Freiheit. Seine Meilensteine heißen: Gehorsam, Ehrlichkeit, Sauberkeit, Nüchternheit, Fleiß, Ordnung, Opfersinn, Wahrhaftigkeit, Liebe zum Vaterland 
There is one path to freedom. Its milestones are obedience, honesty, cleanliness, sobriety, hard work, discipline, sacrifice, truthfulness, love for the Fatherland.

The memorial in front is now being used to promote other tourist attractions on buses
After the Second World War, a kind of 'dark tourism’ emerged in Germany, as the former sites of death and terror in the Third Reich became 'must see’ sights on the tourist trail. Today, Dachau, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen and other 'fatal attractions’ linked to the Hitler dictatorship draw thousands of visitors each year. The most recent Lonely Planet guide to Germany, for example, lists the former concentration camp at Dachau as one of the key attractions around Munich, alongside the Chiem Lake, the Andechs brewery and the Alpamare water park. 
The prisoners marched out by block onto the Appellplatz and waited there for the ϟϟ to appear. The block personnel counted the inmates and reported the results to those on duty in the prisoner orderly room. They in turn passed the total on to the ϟϟ rapport leader. The ϟϟ block leaders double-checked the results, running through another count so that the reporting officer could compare the two totals. In order to make sure the final tally was correct, the prisoners in the sick bay and those who had died during the night also had to be counted. This double bureaucratic procedure should hardly have required more than half an hour, given the experienced and well-rehearsed chain of reporting. But the process was often delayed or interrupted by violence. Despite the fixed time for morning roll call, the ϟϟ was often late. Illuminated by searchlights, the columns had to wait in the first light of dawn in every conceivable type of weather until the camp lords took the stage. Their entrance was a carefully calculated show of power. To leave thousands waiting is always a demonstration of total power. And time was something the camp masters had plenty of. Inmates did not march off to their places of work until it was light. Consequently, morning roll call in the winter months could drag on for more than ninety minutes, until the command was given over the loudspeakers for the prisoners to form up into Kommandos. The accommodation of working hours to daylight was the only concession the camp regime made to natural time.
Sofsky (75)
Two other memorials demonstrate a skewed perspective of the history of the camp. On the left is a relief whose statement in English, French and Russian statements is unequivocal:
May the example of those exterminated here between 1933-1945, because they resisted Nazism, help to unite the living in defence of peace and freedom and in respect of their fellow men.
The German version differs in making the victims passive participants who died rather than "exterminated." 
On the right is another relief consisting of coloured triangles attached to a chain, representing the badges worn by prisoners from 1937. Three colours are missing- the black triangle for “asocials”, the green for ordinary criminals, and the pink for homosexuals. The latter have a memorial displayed in a little room inside the museum as homosexuality is no longer deemed a crime in Germany, but after nearly half a century it has not been seen to appropriate to recognise them as victims on such a public display.
 What is surprising is that the stigmatization connected to these categorizations continued even after the end of the war as the colors of the patchesdetermined whether survivors were entitled to compensation. Those stigmatized with the black, green, or pink patches were ruled to have no validclaims for compensation of either a moral or financial kind. This had an immediate effect on the setup of the International Memorial,where prejudices concerning certain victim groups were directly translatedinto the exclusion of their representation within the memorial. Neither thepatches that had to be worn by homosexuals, nor the ones identifying asocials or professional criminals, appear in the second installation with the black solidarity rings. This underscores once more that the commemoration of painful memories is also an expression of power and identity, which in the case of the memorial at Dachau turned into a struggle for dominance of some victim groups over others.
Aline Sierp (10) Memory, Identity and a Painful Past
The monument on the left to 'the unknown prisoner at Dachau' by Fritz Koelle in 1950 and today which reads: To Honour the Dead, To Warn the Living. Two other memorials on the right are also shown in 1950 and today
Himmler with his daughter Gudrun (shown right in a recent photo) visiting Dachau in 1941 with Reinhard Heydrich (in background) and Karl Wolff (2nd from right). The sign reads "(G)efangenen- (sa)mmelstelle" ("(Co)llection Point for (P)risoners"). In her diary Gudrun wrote:
Today we went to the ϟϟ concentration camp at Dachau. We saw everything we could. We saw the gardening work. We saw the pear trees. We saw all the pictures painted by the prisoners. Marvellous. And afterwards we had a lot to eat ... it was very nice.
She is still alive and has never renounced the Nazi ideology, repeatedly justifying the actions of her father. For decades she has been a prominent leader in Stille Hilfe which provides support for Nazi war criminals as in the case of Anton Malloth who was extradited to Germany in 1988 and sentenced in 2001 to life in prison. She had arranged his stay at an expensive nursing home in Pullach in the south of Munich which had originally served as the property of Rudolf Hess.
Watchtower then and now
Watchtower then and now
Beginning in the summer of 1933, the camp island already resembled a bulwark. In front of the wire fence, charged with high-voltage current at night, there was a low, slatted fence that marked out the “neutral zone.” Whoever entered it was shot down without warning. Directly behind it ran a concrete wall three meters high that surrounded the entire area of the camp. Patrols moved in the area between the wall and the internal fence; these patrols maintained eye contact with the two sentries posted on each of the four watchtowers. Machine guns were pointed at the camp from all directions. Searchlights illuminated the grounds at night. Every corner could be lit up brightly and brought under fire at will. In the beginning, the patrols had to drive away strangers and the curious, but this was a problem that soon took care of itself. After modernization, the entire area was surrounded by a high wall and encircled during the day by the Große Postenkette. Patrols with dogs scoured the areas in between. The prisoner camp was enclosed by a moat; then came the concrete wall with the wire fence and watch- towers, a path for the nightly patrols, and a double row of electrified barbed wire. Finally, there was the death strip, covered with white gravel to make any shadow readily visible at night. 
Wolfgang Sofsky (56) 
Bodies lined up outside the barracks upon liberation; shortly after liberation and the same view today
Inside the reconstructed barracks. After the 9-11 attacks in 2001, the barracks were targeted with anti-Semitic vandalism from neo-Nazis.
During the new construction of the camp in 1937-38 the prisoners had to build 34 barracks. The first two barracks on the left of the camp road were used for a variety of purposes in the course of the years. Located here were, for example, the canteen, the camp clerk office, the library and the ϟϟ museum as well as training rooms for the prisoner personnel and workshops serving the armaments industry. Located behind these barracks were those housing the prisoners. Every barrack was divided into four so-called Stuben, comprising of a day room and dormitory. The barracks were fitted to each hold 200 prisoners; towards the end of the war however they were completely overfilled, holding up to 2,000 prisoners. On the right-hand side of the camp road was the infirmary, which expanded continuously in the course of the war. Behind the infirmary were the penal blocks and the quarantine barracks for the prisoners newly arriving at the camp.
The reconstructed baracks at the Buchenwald concentration camp look almost the same as the dimensions used for the barracks used at the Dachau Refugee Camp I take my students to every Tuesday in the town.
The prisoner baths (Häftlingsbad) in 1942, shortly after liberation, and today. 
 Shown here are the beams for the “pole hanging” used as torture (between the pillars) during the inspection of the Dachau concentration camp by Erhard Milch, General Inspector of the Luftwaffe (front middle). On July 19, 1940, he was appointed field marshal and from 1941 he was the general master of the Luftwaffe, the actual director of technical development and armaments production of the Air Force. In this capacity, he was also responsible for the vacuum- human experiments of the Luftwaffe from 1942 here in the Dachau concentration camp. The question of whether he had known of human experiments in Dachau could not be clarified during the Nuremberg trials in the so-called Milch trial, so that he was acquitted on this point but was nevertheless sentenced to life imprisonment as a war criminal; in 1954 he was released.. The prisoner baths, located in the maintenance building erected in 1937-1938, belonged to the central rooms in the new camp. The admissions procedure for the new prisoners concluded here with the shaving of body hair, disinfection, showering, and putting on the prisoner uniform. At first weekly, later less frequently, the prisoners were taken to bathe – a procedure often accompanied by harassment. From 1941-1942 “pole hanging” was carried out on the beams between the pillars in the baths. Corporal punishment was also at times inflicted in the baths.
Gustav Hinz, died on February 19, 1941 by hanging from the sink. The top right shows Franz Rabanda, died on May 29, 1940, in the electrified fence and below Josef Stessel, “shot while trying to escape” on August 11, 1940. It occurred that prisoners crossed the guard chain, which meant certain death by shooting, out of despair. Often, however, they were violently forced over the guard line by the guards and then shot “while trying to escape”.
With the mass committal of foreign prisoners from 1940 onwards, the number of deaths in the Dachau concentration camp rose dramatically. Death became an everyday event. Dying took place without any sign of piety and sympathy, the dead were robbed of all dignity. In order to conceal the horrific reality from the public, the ϟϟ built a crematorium in the camp in 1940. In June 1941 an independent registry office, Dachau II, was set up to register the deaths in the Dachau concentration camp.
Bodies found in and outside the crematorium after liberation
And how inhumanely the corpses were treated! The last piece of clothing they wore was taken from them. In the barracks there was barely enough room for the living. The naked corpses were therefore carried out onto the road and stacked in piles. There they lay in the dirt in the road. Once or twice a day a wagon pulled by prisoners came along and picked up the dead. They were covered with tarpaulin, taken to the crematorium and unloaded there onto the heaps of corpses which had arrived from other camps. The corpses were stacked one above the other like logs.
The original crematorium used by the Nazis with, on the right, American soldiers finishing their inspection of the site on November 18, 1945

This secretly taken photo on the left by the Belgian prisoner Jean Brichaux from the summer of 1944 is the only surviving shot of the crematorium facility taken during the existence of the concentration camp.  The photo shows the smoking chimney of the crematorium ovens and is thus the obvious proof for an operating crematorium. The difference in size of the chimney then and now is due to the Bavarian state's alteration in light of safety concerns, forcing it to be shortened. On the right are bodies piled up outside and the view today
The same view with my 2014 seniors; note new ramp since constructed
In front of the crematorium. From May 1942 to April 1943 the camp administration had this larger building, the so-called Barrack X, erected opposite the first crematorium. It was equipped with four ovens, which were used for cremation from April 1943 to February 1945. After that the mass burials began in the cemetery of Leitenberg. The building also contained four disinfecting chambers for prisoners' clothing, which had been in operation since the summer of 1944. In another room, the inscription "shower-bath" was placed above the entrance. The room was white tiled, had a peephole and 15 simple shower head dummies. On the outer wall were two metal flaps, which would also enable Zyklon B to be filled. American troops identified this space on April 29, 1945 as a gas chamber.  It came in the camp, even to warfare, to no mass destruction by gas. This is also reported by former prisoners: "When, after the completion of the [gas chamber], the fears that it would lead to mass killing failed [...]".  Whether individual persons or a small group were killed by Zyklon B or other gas - for example, gas - can not be proven, because many documents had been destroyed before the end of the war. The surviving letter from ϟϟ doctor Rascher to Himmler of August 9, 1942, provides an indication of experiments with combat gas: "As you know, the KL Dachau has built the same facility as in Linz. After the invalid transports are ended in certain chambers [gas chambers] anyway, I ask whether the effects of our different firing gases can not be tested in these chambers at any time. "Another indication is the statement of former prisoner Frantisek Blaha who recorded how she had been "called to Rascher to investigate the first victims. Of the eight to nine people who were in the chamber, three were still alive and the others seemed dead. " Historian Barbara Distel writes that "[w]hether the trial of the gassing proposed by Rascher has been carried out has not yet been clarified. According to the statements of former prisoners, however, such a use can not be ruled out." For assassination by gas, the ϟϟ preferred to deport Dachau prisoners to the gas chamber of Hartheim or to Auschwitz.
Holocaust deniers such as Matt Giwer and another site on the right claim that a photograph taken after liberation shows a fraudulent gas chamber at Dachau-
The words on this door are warnings of danger and the lethality of the gas. Even for the iliterate (SIC!), the skull and crossbones a clear warning. No one could be tricked into believing this is a shower.
In fact, the sign above the door actually reveals that the room served as disinfection chambers. It is then shown next to a photo of a completely different site-  the actual shower entrance- to claim that the site has been tampered with. The The Nizkor Project devotes a page to this anti-semite's deplorable statements which shows the purpose behind his lies as well a page concerning him at http://ftp.nizkor.org/hweb/people/g/giwer-matt/. Now such Holocaust denial is being promoted through Facebook.
Standing beside both doors here and below showing how they are completely different sites- at the four disinfecting rooms for clothes shown during liberation and today.
And the entrance to the shower. On the right American Congressmen visiting the showers planned to later be used to exterminate and the room today. Meanwhile Artur Żmijewski's Game of Tag, a film showing an explicit nude game of tag in a Nazi gas chamber, is currently part of an exhibition titled “Poland – Israel – Germany. The experience of Auschwitz,” which opened May 2015 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow (MOCAK) which was endorsed and sponsored by the Israeli Embassy in Poland. 
Behind the main building showing an inspection of the penal company of the ϟϟ penal camp in the Bunker-yard by ϟϟ judges in either 1941 or 1942. I'm standing in front of the so-called "death wall" beside the bunker which had served as the feared camp prison. 

The mass executions at the “death wall” in the main camp were generally achieved by bullets to the nape of the neck. Thousands of men, women, and children were shot at this site. In Dachau as well, mass executions were carried out in the yard of the bunker or the garden of the crematorium, generally by bullets to the nape of the neck. Groups of fifteen to thirty prisoners were forced first to disrobe completely and then to kneel down in a row. The associates went from person to person, pressing a pistol to the base of each skull and pulling the trigger.
The bunker then and now
This procedure had no military tradition behind it: killing by Genickschuß was a method first used by the secret police. Although the act of killing here was done by an individual, the sequence of slaughter was just as anonymous as in the case of a firing squad. The perpetrator saw the victim only from behind. Direct eye contact was precluded. Soldiers condemned to death stand erect and await a hail of bullets to their faces. Honour demands that they stand directly facing the enemy. By contrast, the concentration camp in- mates were forced to kneel down, bending their necks forward, and were then liquidated in rows, one after the other.
 Sofsky (233)

Individual cells inside the so-called bunker used for prisoners such as Georg Elser. Today, these cells provide first-hand accounts from bunker prisoners through audio and visual terminals with biographical information on some of the prisoners that were detained here.
The desk at which new arrivals to Dachau would be processed. The photo on the right shows where prisoners were brought here, strapped down and whipped by two ϟϟ officers whilst having to count the blows, as demonstrated to Patton and Eisenhower at Ohrdruf.
An undated list for internal ϟϟ use prepared during the war mentions no fewer than forty-seven crimes punishable by official flogging. A few examples: ten strokes of the cane were given for “negligence at work and undisciplined behaviour,” twenty for “absence from the work place” and stealing of food, fifteen for “insolence toward a member of the ϟϟ” or “cutting up a woollen blanket”; the “theft of a potato” was punishable by five strokes on the whipping block.
Sofsky (332)
Standing in front of the Bavarian Riot Police HQ (Bayerische Bereitschaftspolizei Abteilung VI. Dachau) and as it appeared as the main entrance to the ϟϟ training area during a personal tour of the entire compound. The area was occupied by the US Army as the Eastman Barracks after after the war until 1973 when the Bavarian Riot Police (VI Department) moved in there. This was a result of the incompetence shown by the German authorities during the Olympic Games the year before in which eleven Israelis were massacred by terrorists, compelling the Americans to provide a site that would allow the Germans to train themselves to provide counter-terrorism, particularly today by training police officers and keeping hundreds of people ready for closed missions such as football games and demonstrations. The Bavarian Riot Police also provides the helicopter squadron of the Bavarian Police and the Bavarian Police Orchestra. I was advised not to take photos inside given the level of extremism on the Left directed at those who work for the state in buildings built for and used by the ϟϟ.
Massacre of Guards during the liberation of Dachau by Allied soldiers

Upon liberation, a coal yard near the ϟϟ hospital was used to contain the ϟϟ POWs from the hospital, NCO school and finance centre.  Lieutenant Sparks, shown above trying to call an halt to the massacre, later described the area as enclosed by an “L-shaped masonry wall, about eight feet high, which had been used as a coal bin. The ground was covered with coal dust, and a narrow gauge railroad track, laid on top of the ground, led into the area.”  The prisoners were placed under the command of Lt. Walsh, the same man who had shot four ϟϟ guards on the so-called Death Train. The number of men present varies enormously between accounts, but according to the investigation carried out by the Assistant Inspector General of the 7th Army, Joseph M. Whitaker (known as the IG report); all estimates were in the range of 50-125, with the majority in the range of 50-75. From this point, the accounts of what happened to these men diverge wildly. Walsh gave the order to the machine gunner identified in the IG report as “C” and the other soldiers present to shoot the POWs if they moved. An eyewitness, Karl Mann, remembered the I-Company officers deciding to shoot the ϟϟ men when Sparks was no longer in sight, although this also conflicts with the IG report.  According to the IG report, the ϟϟ men thought they were going to be executed when the machine gunner loaded his weapon, and lurched forward, triggering the shooting. However, other eyewitness reports, including the gunman himself, indicate that the trigger had rather been someone shouting “fire”.
Standing at the site and as it appeared in a photograph of the incident being interrupted by an irate Colonel Sparks, who ran from where he had been stationed “about 100 to 200 meters on the other side of the wall”  To stop the shooting, Sparks shot his “.45 in the air whilst shouting 'Cease Fire!'”, before kicking the shooter away from the gun. The pink building to the right is an hospital. On the right is the site looking the other direction. The walls are gone but the dying tree in the photograph taken today appears in the original photograph.
After the hospital shooting was stopped, some of the U.S. soldiers allegedly gave a number of handguns to the now-liberated inmates. It has been claimed by eyewitnesses that the freed inmates tortured and killed a number of captured German troops, in retaliation for their treatment in the camp. The same witnesses claim that many of the German soldiers killed by the inmates were beaten to death with shovels and other tools. A number of Kapo prisoner-guards were also killed, torn apart by the inmates.
 At first the prisoners indulged in an innocent game of making the guards dance to their tune. They shouted ‘Mützen ab!’ And the ϟϟ men had to doff their caps. Then the Americans aided and abetted the prisoners in their revenge. One soldier lent an inmate a bayonet to behead a guard. A kapo was found lying naked with cuts all over his body and a gunshot wound to his head. They had rubbed salt into his wounds. Another was beaten to death with spades. Other guards were shot in the legs to immobilise them. Later reports drew a veil over what happened then, although it is clear that some of the Germans were ripped limb from limb. It seems that around forty more guards and kapos died this way. 
MacDonogh (67) After the Reich
Watchtowers in 1945, 1950 and today
ϟϟ guards being fished out of the canal, and as it appears today
After entry into the camp, personnel of the 42nd Division discovered the presence of guards, presumed to be ϟϟ men, in a tower to the left of the main gate of the inmate stockade. This tower was attacked by Tec 3 Henry J. Wells 39271327, Headquarters Military Intelligence Service, ETO, covered and aided by a party under Lt. Col. Walter J. Fellenz, 0-23055, 222 Infantry. No fire was delivered against them by the guards in the tower. A number of Germans were taken prisoner; after they were taken, and within a few feet of the tower, from which they were taken, they were shot and killed.
from the IG Report of the U.S. Seventh Army
At the site of the Dachau courthouse selected by the American mili­tary to hold its German war crimes proceedings, officially known as U.S. vs. Valentin Bersin, et al. into the so-called Malmedy Mas­sacre. this incident constituted a war crime committed by members of Kampfgruppe Peiper (part of the 1st ϟϟ Panzer Division), a German combat unit led by Joachim Peiper, at Baugnez crossroads near Malmedy, Belgium, on December 17, 1944, during the Battle of the Bulge. According to numerous eyewitness accounts, 84 American prisoners of war were massacred by their German captors: the prisoners were assembled in a field and shot with machine guns. The term Malmedy massacre also applies generally to the series of massacres committed by the same unit on the same day and following days. The defendants were 73 former members of the Waffen-SS, mostly from the ϟϟ Division Leibstandarte. Highest in rank were ϟϟ-Oberst-Gruppenführer Sepp Dietrich, commander of the 6th Panzer Army, his chief of staff, ϟϟ-Brigadeführer Fritz Krämer, ϟϟ-Gruppenführer Hermann Priess, commander of the I ϟϟ Panzer Corps and ϟϟ-Standartenführer Joachim Peiper, commander of the 1st ϟϟ Panzer Regiment - the core element of Kampfgruppe Peiper, which conducted the massacre. The  pro­ceedings began on May 12, 1946, and the ver­dicts were handed down on July 16, 1946, lter becoming the focus of some controversy. Colonel Everett was convinced that a fair trial had not been granted to the defendants: in addition to alleged mock trials, he claimed that "to extort confessions, U.S. prosecution teams 'had kept the German defendants in dark, solitary confinement at near starvation rations up to six months; had applied various forms of torture, including the driving of burning matches under the prisoners' fingernails; had administered beatings which resulted in broken jaws and arms and permanently injured testicles'.
 Located where the current Information centre and in front of the Jourhaus (the Kommandant's HQ in the background), these metal corners mark the exact position of the building of the political department. The chief function of the Political Department was to screen and process all political and other types of criminals, the keeping of their records, the notification of the higher interning authorities of deaths, discharges, or other disposition of the internees. Death sentences of internees were received by this department (from Berlin), and these sentences were referred for execution to Abteilung III (Schutzhaftlager), and upon the execution of the above, this department was responsible for turning in a final report of the carrying out of these orders. Gestapo came from Munich to carry on interrogations at Dachau. It was the responsibility of this department to interrogate and abuse Russian prisoners of war who were brought here for that specific purpose. Orders for the inhumane interrogation of the Russian prisoners of war were carried out by this department. Another function of this department was to recruit internees by intimidation for sabotage and espionage work.
The ϟϟ Wirtschaftsbetriebe or 'business enterprises' that served as the main factory for prisoners. It had been built around the time of the Great War; the period photo dates from 1941.
Although scarcity was ubiquitous, the personnel used the workshops in Dachau, which already employed five hundred artisans in 1933, for its own private orders. This was the origin of the system of graft and corruption in which many members of the commandant office staffs were implicated later on. When the Dachau workshops were transferred from the supervision of the central Inspektion and placed under Pohl’s Administrative Office, that move met with fierce opposition from the clique of commandants. The shift to commercial principles curtailed their private power of control. This line of conflict between the economic administration echelon and the camp ϟϟ also resurfaced in differences over the later deployment of prisoners in arms manufacture.
Sofsky (174)

This is what is left of the former ϟϟ main guardhouse directly across from the ϟϟ Wirtschaftsbetriebe. From 1935, this served as the entrance to the camp. Harassed and beaten prisoners would pass through it from the railway station as well as prisoner transport such as buses and lorries. The ϟϟ members used it too when entering, and most lived further down this road to the ϟϟ residences. The foundations were uncovered as recently as 2008.
These buildings on what was the 'Strasse der ϟϟ' , now within the Bavarian Riot Police HQ compound, served as residences for members of the ϟϟ.
The centre of power was located in the administrative area. The offices of the camp commandant, the Political Department, and the administrative department were in close proximity to the prisoner camp, but just outside the barbed-wire perimeter. Every office of the KZ-Inspektion had its branch in this administrative zone. It served as the local representative of the central bureaucracy. A leafy, wooded area was set aside for the living quarters of the ϟϟ officers. In Dachau, these were located on the Straße der ϟϟ outside the camp.
Sofsky (49)
This was the Dachau Kommandantur (headquarters) just outside the memorial site. The area of the commandant's headquarters in the ϟϟ concentration camp was located directly next to the prisoner camp. The commandant had almost unrestricted control over the camp. The headquarters staff and the guard units carried out his orders.
In the major Dachau war crimes case (United States of America v. Martin Gottfried Weiss et.al.), forty-two officials of Dachau were tried from November to December 1945. All were found guilty – thirty-six of the defendants were sentenced to death on December 13, 1945, of whom 23 were hanged on the May 28–29, 1946, including the commandant, ϟϟ-Obersturmbannführer Martin Gottfried Weiss, ϟϟ-Obersturmführer Freidrich Wilhelm Ruppert and camp doctors Karl Schilling and Fritz Hintermeyer. Camp commandant Weiss admitted in affidavit testimony that most of the deaths at Dachau during his administration were due to “typhus, TB, dysentery, pneumonia, pleurisy, and body weakness brought about by lack of food.” His testimony also admitted to deaths by shootings, hangings and medical experiments.

 The Plantation (Kräutergarten)

In 1938 concentration camp prisoners were forced to build an herb garden (plantation) on the other side of the Alte Römerstrasse, east of the camp. The cultivation of local herbs was the idea of the 'working group for medicinal plants studies' and Reichsführer ϟϟ Heinrich Himmler showed particular interest in the plan. Germany should have no need to import foreign medicines and herbs. The economic importance of the work done by the prisoners in the herb garden increased as the war progressed. The ϟϟ guards marched the prisoners to work on the large open-air site under abusive threats and blows, and prisoners were arbitrarily shot 'while attempting to escape'. Less brutal working conditions reigned only in the buildings and greenhouses. There a work detail of draughtsmen was supposed to produce a plant collection for Himmler. At the risk of losing their lives, some of the prisoners managed to depict the crimes committed by ϟϟ guards in secret notes.  The ϟϟ set up a shop as part of the herb garden to sell produce from the 'plantation' to residents from Dachau and neighbouring communities. Some prisoners succeeded in establishing secret contact to the civilian population.

Himmler in the Dachau herb garden and the site today.
Beside the plantation buildings on the way to Hebertshausen shooting range one goes past housing used by members of the ϟϟ. They are shown here beside the Plantation complex in the scale model of the camp in the memorial site. Today one of the inhabitants chooses to fly the Confederate flag outside. 
Meanwhile AMAZON nixes rebel flag, continues selling Nazi memorabilia...

Hebertshausen ϟϟ Range
The ϟϟ guard house then, with the ϟϟ flag in front, and my senior class today. Here in Hebertshausen, a municipality adjoining Dachau, is a shooting range that had been built for the ϟϟ in 1937.  Just over a mile to the north of the Dachau main camp, this is where roughly 4,000 imprisoned Soviet soldiers were executed from November 25 1941 to the final year of the war. The prisoners brought to Dachau for execution were not recorded in the concentration camp files. The victims had previously been "segregated" by Gestapo commandos in the prison camps of the Wehrkreise Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Wiesbaden and Salzburg, according to ideological and racist criteria. In particular, Communist officials, intelligentsia and Jews fell victim to mass murder. The former ϟϟ guardhouse shown above is used today as an homeless shelter. On May 2 2014, the Dachau concentration camp memorial opened the newly designed memorial site at the former "ϟϟ-Schießplatz Hebertshausen".
 Standing at the entrance to the shooting range April 30, 1945 and today; the ϟϟ runes have been removed but their traces remain on the now superfluous posts.
The route to the execution site just after liberation and today.
In front of the coffin depot and shooting range in 1938 and today. The victims were killed as they were handcuffed to posts on the left side of the range shown on the right. It was surrounded by a high deck fence to prevent any observation from the surrounding fields. On its eastern edge a shed had been erected, which served to store the coffins. These were used for transporting the corpses into the crematorium of the camp and returned from there. The coffins were of the most basic construction but later lined with zinc plate to prevent leakage of blood.
Former Czech political prisoner Karel Kasak's photo of the site immediately after the war, and sketch of the execution site by former ϟϟ member Max Lengfelder from 29.iv.1954. Lengfelder would receive a sentence of life imprisonment after the Anton Stinglwagner trial 12-14.viii.1947.
 Maria Seidenberger took these photos from the second floor window of her family's home whilst her mother stood outside and gave potatoes to the prisoners. Karel Kasak is shown standing with his back to the camera in the first photo, wearing a white shirt. According to Kasak's diary the prisoners were coming from Nuremberg.  Maria Seidenberger is the second child of Georg and Katharina Seidenberger. In 1943 she made the acquaintance of Karel Kasak, a Czech prisoner who was assigned to take photographs of flowers in the gardens right outside the main entrance to Dachau. He took advantage of his position to also photograph other prisoners and needed a safe place to hide his photos. Having learned that Maria worked in a photo lab, he asked if she would hide his clandestine photos. She also secretly stored Dachau prisoner photos and letters in her family's beehive and mailed them to the prisoner's relatives back in Czechoslovakia. Furthermore, she even hid the personal papers and human remains (a heart and death mask) of Masryk's personal archivist, Jaroslav Simsov, who died of typhus in Dachau.  Near her house is a small memorial on the side of the road, a shooting site where many Soviet POWs were shot sometime in 1942-44.
 Maria explained how she and her mother heard the constant noise of the gun firing in her house during the day and stood frozen over the kitchen sink sobbing, knowing that each bullet meant the death of a person. On a Sunday Maria and Kasak, searched for the site where the Soviet POWs were buried and found the mass grave. Maria went to the mass grave site to establish that mass murder had indeed happened and photographed the site. She gave her negatives to the Czech prisoner, Karel Kasak. During the final weeks of the war, Maria photographed the death march from Buchenwald to Dachau from inside her home in Hebertshausen. One photograph shows her mother distributing potatoes to the prisoners. After the war, Maria accompanied Kasak back to Czechoslovakia before returning to Hebertshausen in 1959.
The site vandalised soon after the opening of its outdoor exhibit after the site's signposts, information boards and even the monument itself had been spray-painted with bright pink lettering. Whilst the the Dachau police described it as resulting in "massive damage," even though the lettering was illegible they excluded a political motive. 
Also in Hebertshausen is schloß Deutenhofen which served as an NSV Müttererholungsheim during the Third Reich. In such laces mothers with their children were accommodated here, and prepared for their task as housewife and mother. The mothers were relieved of the care of their infants and toddlers by sisters. The "Aryan" women were accompanied throughout the pregnancy as well as after the birth of the child. The women, of 20-30 years, would prepare the food for the children in the in-house kitchen. These  centres would organise festivals, raffles for the Winterhilfswerk, and hold compulsory meetings. Training sessions on public health and propaganda were regularly on the agenda. In the sense of Nazi ideology, the birth rate was to be increased. In a philosophical sense, above all, were the advertising evenings, which had the purpose of "guiding" women to the leader. It was suggested to the women that they had to serve the people and that they should bear sons for the wars to come.

Concentration Camp Memorial Cemetery Dachau-Leitenberg

Dachau residents transporting the dead to the cemetery at Dachau-Leitenberg on the left, and depositing the bodies on arrival.

On the right, disinterred bodies at the site.
From February 28 to April 27 1945, eight mass graves were dug on the Leitenberg located in Etzenhausen just outside Dachau although the first mass grave may have already been dug there in October 1944. According to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site,
[t]here is demonstrable proof that 4,318 dead concentration camp prisoners were buried there up until liberation on April 29, 1945. A further 1,879 dead prisoners as well as regular German army troops killed in fighting around Dachau were buried in two further mass graves by May 18, 1945 at the latest...
... according to counts made by the responsible authorities, a total of 7,609 dead are buried at the concentration camp cemetery Leitenberg, of whom only 204 are known by name.
Dachau Town
The station immediately during liberation, with clothes scattered all over, and today. Prisoners who arrived at the train station would march down this street to the concentration camp. Frühlingstrasse, which leads to the bus and railway stations, was renamed Adolf-Hitler-Strasse on March 24, 1933. The documents on the right made this official after the Dachau town council voted unanimously whilst Lord Mayor Georg Seufert of the Catholic Bavarian People's Party declared Hitler an honorary citizen. Soon after on November 15, 1933, the former market town of Dachau was elevated to town status.
Friedenstrasse off Frühlingstrasse was the first residential street set up after the First World War, hence its name- 'Freedom Street'. Here it is shown in April 1945 and today with student, showing Dachau residents forced to haul the enormous number of corpses up to Leitenberg mass grave.
The town hall's topping out ceremony in 1934 
The rathaus in 1936 and today. In the passageway through the new town hall on the right are these two plaques that commemorate the Jews of Dachau who died in the Holocaust. The plaque on top refers to Reichskristallnacht. The one below it lists the names of five of the twelve Jews of Dachau who would die in the death camps: Julius Kohn, Max Wallach, Melly Wallach, Hans Neumeyer, and Vera Neumeyer.
On the left is the Hörhammerbräu Inn where, in November 1922, the Bund Oberland was established which would later become the Dachau Nazi party in 1929 and where it would hold regular meetings; one speaker had been Rudolf Hess. Because the KPD did as well, violent fights would break out. On the right is the Obere Apotheke, which had been damaged in the fighting on April 30, 1919 between the Freikorps Görlitz, sent by the government from Berlin, and the Red Army which had occupied Dachau since winning "The Battle of Dachau" on April 16, 1919. The Freikorps was also known as the White Guard because they wore white armbands while the Red Army wore red armbands. After a battle that lasted one day, the Freikorps liberated the town of Dachau from the Communists. The white armbands, worn by the Freikorps, were decorated with an ancient emblem called the swastika. The Obere Apotheke supplied the medicine to the prisoners at the camp, delivered to St. Jakob church and even provided medication illegally to prisoners working in the town on work details.
Heldengedenktag commemoration conducted by the Nazis next to St. Jakob church at Schrannenplatz; today a large tree has all but obscured the war memorial behind it which was designed by Karl Kroher and dedicated in 1929. It shows the martyrdom of St. Sebastian and reads: "To protect Dachau and you, the heroes went to battle. We offer them our thanksgiving. So great was their sacrifice." Behind, seen in a wartime postcard and today, there had been an air-raid shelter during the Second World War. From May 1944, an air raid shelter with numerous tunnels and shelters was also built under the Dachau Castle Hill.
The Stadtkeller shown on the left has had its name since July 1936 when SA man Paul Taut, serving on the town council, leased the building to open a restaurant. Up to then it had been owned by the Dachau Association of Free Trade Unions where the Social Democrats held their party meetings and as a result it became the centre for the trade unions. When the Nazis won the March 5, 1933 elections, union leaders met here to plan their defence against the coming persecution.The Brückenwirt Inn, site of a particular tragedy during the Nazi era. Its innkeeper and butcher, Ludwig Rosner, was arrested after making anti-Nazi remarks here and sent to the camp. During the time he was incarcerated his wife had suffered an emotional breakdown and had taken their two sons (aged about six and seven) where they were last seen in a shop in Eschenried where she bought them candy. They remained missing when Rosner had been released months later until the bodies were found in Ziegelwald, all dead by the mother using the man's pistol. Past the inn, one arrives at the Mühlbachweg, which was the path women from Dachau used when they accompanied escaped prisoners from the concentration camp during the Dachau Uprising on April 28, 1945.

Further along the street after the Brückenwirt Inn, the New Gallery was once the site of the Dachau Labour Service Camp shown in 1937 and today. In 1935 those between the ages of 18 to 25 as well as the unemployed were made to volunteer for one year of labour service. By the end of the war teenagers and those over the age of sixty were called up into the Volkssturm and this was its base. 
On the morning of April 28, 1945 an armed revolt broke out in Dachau in which, a resistance group led by Georg Scherer and Walter Neff, consisting of recently escaped concentration camp prisoners, Dachau citizens and members of the Volkssturm, actively sought to end the Nazi regime in the city and prevent a senseless defence. At around 8.30 am they occupied the Town Hall but, due to the superior forces of the deployed ϟϟ units, it was bloodily suppressed in a few hours. Nevertheless, the revolt not only contributed to saving the town of Dachau from destruction by the Allies, but also to ending the evacuation transports from the concentration camp.
The Unterbräu Inn in 1934 and today. It is apparently the oldest brewery in Dachau. On April 16, 1919 this was the headquarters of the Red Army when it controlled Dachau before being overthrown over a week later by Freikorps Görlit. It holds a place in Nazi mythology as the site where the Dachau NSDAP Ortsgruppe was officially founded on February 1, 1930 under the chairmanship of NSDAP Gauleiter for Upper Bavaria, Fritz Reinhardt who, on April 1, 1933 was appointed State Secretary in the Reich Ministry of Finance. In fact, it was to this man that “Aktion Reinhardt” was named whereby the Jews of the Polish General Government became the first large group of Jews to be liquidated by gas in 1942–43. Fritz Reinhardt had by then become the official in the Finance Ministry responsible for administering the valuables, including dental gold, taken from the victims before or after their deaths.
However, a more infamous event took place here on Sunday, July 17 1932- the so-called Battle of Unterbräu Inn where seven SA men had fled after having antagonised members of the Reichsbanner by stealing a flag from the Jungsozialisten. They were protected by the innkeeper who stood in the doorway with two dogs until they were saved by a Bavarian state police riot squad.

This chapel in the Alter Stadtfriedhof, Dachau's oldest cemetery on Gottesacker off Augsburgerstrasse, was dedicated to the town's war dead in 1961.
In the foreground in the photo of Augsburgerstraße on the right is the Bäckerei Teufelhart which had supplied bread to the camp and to prisoners in the town on labour detail. After the war displaced persons were settled in Dachau, as in many other Bavarian communities, which led to a population increase of approximately thirty to 40%. After being temporarily accommodated in the barracks of the former concentration camp, the families were housed with the local population. Only the expansion through the new building areas in Dachau-Süd and the new settlement Dachau-Ost brought relaxation here. All in all, the population of the place grew very strongly during the so-called Wirtschaftswunder and there was a structural change from a rural, small-commercial place to a place of residence today with many commuters.
Memorial in the town designed by Israeli Abraham Borenstein for the 50th anniversary of the camp's liberation. It is made up of original railway track near where the 45th Thunderbird division discovered the so-called "death train" within which the remains of 2,310 prisoners shipped from Buchenwald three weeks before were left.
The second memorial shown in the next two photographs is one designed by Hubertus von Pilgrim in the town itself, dedicated to the concentration camp inmates who where sent on so-called Todesmärsche (death marches) from Dachau in April 1945 southwards. this is one of 23 such memorials that are along the routes of the marches (apart from the last which is in Jerusalem).http://gz-tm-dachau.de/3.5.html
After the Second World War 1,268 KZ-prisoners, who had died after the freeing of the concentration camp Dachau, were laid to rest here at the Waldfriedhof. The four-metre high monument shown in these photos overlooking both Jewish and non-Jewish graves, is dedicated to the Jewish prisoners killed on the death march from from the Flossenbürg camp as the war ended. The last photo shows a memorial specifically to Austrian victims.


This tiny hamlet just to the Northwest of Dachau was the site of a massacre the day the camp was liberated. A Waffen-ϟϟ unit had arrived to take up defensive positions in trenches dug around the farms by French POW workers in order to delay the advance of American tanks of the 20th Armoured Division and infantry units of the 7th US Army which was approaching Dachau. The farms, mostly run by women (whose husbands were either dead, prisoners of war or still fighting) with the help of French POWs, came under fire on the morning of April 29 forcing all inhabitants to rush for the cellars. One soldier of Company F of the US 222nd Infantry Regiment of the 42nd Rainbow Division was killed upon entering the hamlet under fire from the Waffen-ϟϟ unit. This led the first German to emerge from the cellar, the farm's owner Herr Furtmayer, to be immediately shot. 
The French PoWs then informed the Americans that that only civilians were actually hiding in the cellars which led the soldiers to round up the men of the ϟϟ unit. The first of those to surrender was an officer, Freiherr von Truchsess, who led a detachment of seventeen men who was then struck with a trenching tool splitting his head open. The others were lined up in the farmyard and summarily shot. On a slight rise behind the hamlet, another group of eight ϟϟ were shot. Their bodies were found lying in a straight line with their weapons and ammunition belts neatly laid on the ground suggesting that the men were shot after they surrendered. Altogether, one ϟϟ officer and forty one men lay dead as the infantry regiment proceeded on their way towards Dachau. Next day the local people, with the help of the French POWs, buried the bodies in a field to be later exhumed by the German War Graves Commission and returned to their families. The site today is remembered by a memorial; photos above taken on the anniversary of the massacre.