Showing posts with label Konzentrationslager. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Konzentrationslager. Show all posts

Dachau

Konzentrationslager (KZ) Dachau, shown in an American aerial photo in April 1945 and the site as it appears today, holds a significant place in public memory because it was the first Nazi camp to be established and the second camp to be liberated by British and 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 here outside 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. 
It began as terror against political adversaries, and it ended with the death of millions. In the beginning, vengeance raged: the lust for revenge of a regime that had just gained power, bent on suppressing any who had stood in its way. But after its opponents had been eliminated, a new species of absolute power was unleashed that shattered all previous conceptions of despotism or dictatorial brutality: systematic destruction by means of violence, starvation, and labour—the businesslike annihilation of human beings. In the span of twelve years, the concentration camp metamorphosed from a locus of terror into a universe of horror.
Dachau then and nowGiving one of my tours on the right and as it appeared on June 28, 1938 during a roll call of the prisoners. Originally intended for the temporary detention of political prisoners, the camps became permanent institutions manned by the ϟϟ Totenkopfverbände. 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 any 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. Below American Army Brig. Gen. Henning Linden, assistant commanding general of the 42nd Rainbow Infantry Division, gives directions to his troops from the bridge
over the Würm in front of the Jourhaus gate entrance. The civilian with the white armband is Dr. Victor Maurer of the ICRC (International Red Cross). The German officer to the left- the tallest man- is SS Lt. Wicker, the German officer who surrendered the camp to the Americans. Soon after this photograph will have suffered summary justice. He had been feared by prisoners for his brutality. In December 1944 he became camp commandant of the Natzweiler satellite camp Mannheim-Sandhofen in which one of his first official acts was the execution of the Warsaw prisoner Marian Krainski on January 3, 1945 for alleged sabotage in the school yard of the Friedrichschule, to which he had invited five representatives from Daimler-Benz.
He had been awarded the Iron Cross, 2nd Class, Winter Campaign Medal, Wound Badge in Black. Towards the end of the war Wicker was the leader of "evacuation marches," leading the evacuation of the Heppenheim and Bensheim-Auerbach subcamps
from March 22 to 28, then the Neckarelz concentration camp until April 2 and the Hessental and Kochendorf concentration camps from April 5. His command of the Hessental death march which April 15 led at the Munich-Allach subcamp led to at least 170 concentration camp prisoners being brutally murdered or killed through sheer exhaustion. Wicker then took over the camp management at Dachau on April 28, after the commandant Eduard Weiter had withdrawn from the advancing Americans on April 26. In the presence of the Swiss Red Cross worker Victor Maurer, Wicker surrendered the camp on April 29, to Linden. Historian Harold Marcuse assumes that Wicker was shot immediately after the liberation. By the time the Americans arrived the unit in charge of the camp had fled and had been replaced by other units. These would probably have left as well, had not the Red Cross delegate, Maurer, persuaded the acting camp commandant Wicker to remain. The violent aftermath is related below.
In front of the main entrance from inside the camp, and as it appeared during liberation as seen in never before seen photographs showing the liberation of Dachau.
Of the gate itself, 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)
Arbeit macht frei  gate Dachau
  Young prisoners behind the gate two days after liberation. The expression Arbeit macht frei comes from the title of an 1873 novel by German philologist Lorenz Diefenbach, Arbeit macht frei: Erzählung von Lorenz Diefenbach, in which gamblers and fraudsters find the path to virtue through labour. In 1922 the Deutsche Schulverein Wien printed contribution stamps with the inscription "Arbeit macht frei" together with the swastika. The phrase is also evocative of the mediæval German principle of Stadtluft macht frei ("urban air makes you free"), according to which serfs were liberated after being a city resident for one year and one day. In some Nazi concentration camps , the gate inscription was a cynical paraphrase for the alleged educational purpose of the camps, the actual purpose of which was often destruction through work. Harold Marcuse states that the slogan, placed at the entrances to a number of Nazi concentration camps, was first implemented by Theodor Eicke, the first ϟϟ commander of Dachau concentration camp. Eicke's colleague Martin Broszat assumed that the commander responsible for the installation at the gate of the Auschwitz concentration camp was Rudolf Höss, stating his view that "[i]n his limited way of thinking and feeling, I think he meant it seriously to a certain extent.. One of the extermination strategies of genocide grew out of the modern myth of the working spirit, which was ultimately regarded as specifically German.” In fact, the slogan was first used over the gate of a "wild camp" in the city of Oranienburg, which was set up in an abandoned brewery in March 1933 (later rebuilt in 1936 as Sachsenhausen) and can also be seen at the Dachau, Gross-Rosen, and Theresienstadt camps, as well as at Fort Breendonk in Belgium. At the Monowitz camp (also known as Auschwitz III), the slogan was reportedly placed over the entrance gates although Primo Levi describes seeing the words illuminated over a doorway rather than from a gate. In 1938 Austrian political cabaret writer Jura Soyfer and composer Herbert Zipper, whilst prisoners at Dachau, wrote the Dachaulied, or "The Dachau Song". They had spent weeks marching in and out of the camp's gate to daily forced labour, and considered the motto Arbeit macht frei over the gate an insult, and so the song repeats the phrase cynically as a "lesson" taught by Dachau. 
Arbeit macht frei Photos I took of the gate and on 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 American 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 painstakingly rebuilt the 1.87 metre-high, 108-kilogram 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. The stolen gate was eventually found on November 28, 2016 under a tarpaulin at a parking lot in Ytre Arna, a settlement north of Bergen, Norway's second-largest city. The gate returned to Dachau on February 22, 2017 and is kept on display in the museum's permanent exhibition in an alarm-secured and air-conditioned display case.
Dachau Jourhaus with gate without the inscription
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 infamous iron sign bearing the same slogan above the entrance to Auschwitz was stolen.
Dachau watchtowers
The site soon after the war and today, showing how the camp was anything but hidden away. As Richard J. Evans writes in The Third Reich in Power, 
the regime made no secret at all of the basic fact of their existence. The opening of Dachau in 1933 was widely reported in the press, and further stories told how Communist, Reichsbanner and ‘Marxist’ functionaries who endangered state security were being sent there; how the numbers of inmates grew rapidly into the hundreds; how they were being set to work; and how lurid atrocity stories of what went on inside were incorrect. The fact that people were publicly warned in the press not to try and peer into the camp, and would be shot if they tried to climb the walls, only served to increase the general fear and apprehension that these stories must have spread. What happened in the camps was a nameless horror that was all the more potent because its reality could only be guessed at from the broken bodies and spirits of inmates when they were released. There could be few more frightening indications of what would happen to people who engaged in political opposition or expressed political dissent, or, by 1938-9, deviated from the norms of behaviour to which the citizen of the Third Reich was supposed to adhere.
Appelplatz Dachau 1937
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.
Dachau tourism
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. 
Taking aBvarian International School students around Dachau

Taking my students at the nearby Bavarian International School around the site and as it appeared June 28, 1938.

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)
Bavarian International School students at Dachau KZ
Prisoners on the left in front of the maintenance building and students at the site today. According to the regime's propaganda, work was primarily a means of political education so that prisoners capable of betterment could be accepted into National Socialist society. However, the ϟϟ made more and more profits from the prisoners' 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 ϟϟ making furniture, clothes and shoes. In this way the camp developed into the economic base of the ϟϟ. The Chamber of Commerce wrote a letter on November 28, 1933 expressing its fear that the camp would represent unsustainable competition for other local craftsmen. The political police replied that production in the camp would definitely continue to increase. Officially, the values obtained were part of the state property, but in reality they were used by Himmler's ϟϟ by reducing their dependence on the SA and the Reich Ministry of the Interior. Until 1940 the ϟϟ could use the full profit of the prisoner labour. In numerous cases, the forced labour resulted in humiliation, abuse and death by harassing or inciting inmates to death. Later, with 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.
Prisoners carrying large buckets of food from Dachau camp kitchen to barracks June 28, 1938Prisoners carrying large buckets of food from the camp kitchen to the barracks in another June 28, 1938 propaganda photo; the distance from the kitchens requiring such effort demonstrated the camp hierarchy with Germans typically housed in the nearest barracks and those seen as particularly against the Nazi state at the furthest end. The residential barracks were given the designation "blocks" under Commandant Loritz. Over the course of its twelve years of existence, different divisions of the 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 included a so-called Interbrigadistenblock, a Jewish block, an invalide block , a 'celebrity' block and a pastors' block. From the beginning of the war there was a division according to nationalities for Poles, Czechs et cet.. Each block 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 however, 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 ϟϟ 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 eighteen barracks in size. The "Lazarett" included a disinfection barrack and a death chamber. There was a work barrack, another barrack was the canteen , which also served propaganda purposes. Behind it was the bunker, where camp arrests, camp penalties (such as increased solitary confinement) and shootings were carried out. Standing bunkers were added from autumn 1944 as discussed below.
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 ϟϟ personnel fired from watchtowers without warning. The fence was illuminated at night. There were a total of 34 barracks in two rows, with the camp street in the middle. The Jourhaus formed the entrance to the prisoners' area. 
Liberated prisoners greeting arriving American GIs and me at the site today. Initially, the camp was put under quarantine by the Americans as typhus was rampant on the site. The epidemic and the consequences of malnutrition during concentration camp imprisonment decimated the number of survivors by around 2,000 men. In the now liberated Dachau camp, between 100 and 300 dead had to be buried every day in May 1945. During the acute emergency, the camp area was temporarily used as accommodation for homeless and sick former prisoners. In July, the American military authorities established the Dachau internment camp on the site. Shortly after the liberation, Colonel William W. Quinn, then Assistant Chief of Staff of the military intelligence service G-2 Section of the 7th US Army, arrived at the camp. In view of the dramatic conditions and the enormous war crimes, he decided to immediately form a larger investigative commission made up of employees from various military intelligence services who would create comprehensive documentation. After about a fortnight the 72-page report entitled Dachau was published , which soon reached the press. It is considered one of the first publicly accessible studies of the German concentration camp complex. Roughly  three and a half years after the liberation, the Americans  handed the site over to the Bavarian authorities in September 1948. By then CSU state parliament member Hans Hagn submitted a proposal to the Bavarian state parliament to build a labour camp on the site of the concentration camp as a “site for the re-education of anti-social elements;” the motion was passed unanimously. At the same time, the Bavarian Federation of Trade Unions also called for “all anti-social elements to be sent to a work camp”. The implementation failed because a new vote in April 1948 voted in favour of using the concentration camp as a refugee camp.
Dachau memorial
Two 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 Dachau triangles memorialappropriate to recognise them as victims on such a public display.
 What is surprising is that the stigmatisation connected to these categorisations continued even after the end of the war as the colours of the patches determined whether survivors were entitled to compensation. Those stigmatised with the black, green, or pink patches were ruled to have no valid claims for compensation of either a moral or financial kind. This had an immediate effect on the set up of the International Memorial,where prejudices concerning certain victim groups were directly translated into the exclusion of their representation within the memorial. Neither the patches 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.
Dachau 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 modernisation, 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) 
From 1937-1938 the camp was surrounded by a perimeter fence designed to make escape impossible. ϟϟ men kept watch over the camp from its seven watchtowers. The instant a prisoner entered the prohibited zone he was fired upon. A great many prisoners had been so desperate and hopeless that they committed suicide and intentionally ran into the guard installations area or into the border strip on purpose in order to put an end to their suffering which appears to have been the case with the example shown on the left from April 1945 and with me at the spot today.
Today the watchtowers are inaccessible in order to avoid visitors from having the perspective of the perpetrators. On the left prisoners cooking outside watchtower B on May 1, 1945 right after liberation and me beside it today; the door is postwar and the towers themselves have been reconstructed. Prisoners cooking outside Dachau watchtower May 1, 1945Despite the appearance, the weather at the time of liberation was unseasonably cool and temperatures tended to fall below average throughout the first two days of May; the day after the photograph was taken, the area received a snowstorm with four inches of snow at nearby Munich. Proper clothing was still scarce and film footage from the time as seen in classic The World at War television series and footage shown in the museum here show naked, gaunt people either wandering on snow or dead under it. The authorities had worked night and day to alleviate conditions at the camp immediately following the liberation as an epidemic of black typhus swept through the prisoner population with two thousand cases already having been reported by May 3. By October of the same year the camp was being used by the Americans as a place of confinement for war criminals, the ϟϟ and important witnesses. It was also the site of the Dachau Trials for German war criminals, a site chosen for its symbolism. In 1948, the Bavarian government established housing for refugees on the site, and this remained the case until the 1960s. Among those held in the Dachau internment camp set up under the American Army were Elsa Ehrich, Maria Mandl, and Elisabeth Ruppert. The Kaserne quarters and other buildings used by the guards and trainee guards were converted and served as the Eastman Barracks, an American military post. After the closure of the Eastman Barracks in 1974 due in large part to the incompetence shown by the German authorities during the massacre of Israeli athletes during the Olympic Games of 1972, these areas were given over to the Bavarian Bereitschaftspolizei (rapid response police unit).
In front of the former guard tower D at the east side of the camp and
when a group of Polish prisoners stood at the spot on May 3, 1945. Directly behind the partially reconstructed camp wall runs the main road past the camp, Alte Römerstraße. These seven watchtowers were all outfitted with machine guns along a tall wall topped with electrified barbed wire before which was the so-called barrier, a strip of grass on which the prisoners were forbidden to tread. Watchtowers were strategically placed on the boundaries of the camps one or two storeys high to survey the boundary fences and across the camp  These became quite monumental structures when they were incorporated into gatehouses at concentration camps on German territory. The entrances to the camps were often the only part of the camp to have any symbolic effect on the ϟϟ guards and the prisoners. In brick and stone they were displays of ϟϟ power and permanence. 
 It was said that an ϟϟ man briefly turned his submachine gun on the prisoners who left their huts to watch the arrival of the Americans. This led to fury on the part of the conquerors, who shot anyone they found defending the complex and flushed the guards out of the watchtowers and killed them. They were left with an initial bag of 122 prisoners. One American shot the lot with his machine gun. Just as he was killing the last three who were standing – two with their hands up, the other defiant with his arms crossed – an officer arrived and kicked him in the head. ‘The violence of Dachau had a way of implicating all, even the liberators.’
Photograph of barracks in 1944 secretly by Czech inmate Rudolf Císař who was working in the infirmary as an orderly and during a 2024 visit by Grade 10 students. Císař had been arrested by the Gestapo in 1942 and sent to Dachau from Mauthausen. After a typhus epidemic at the beginning of 1943, he made contact to his resistance group RUDA in the Protectorate which managed to send medical supplies directly to the camp through Maria Weber, a civil employee at the plantage discussed below, and with the tacit consent of the ϟϟ senior medical consultant. He also succeeded in smuggling in an urgently needed pneumothorax machine and camera through which he was able to send reports, compromising objects and undeveloped films to Prague.
Bodies lined up outside the barracks upon liberation; shortly after liberation and the same view today.  Within the camp, an measuring two hundred fifty by eight hundred metres was marked out with bunkers and working quarters located on one side, with the roll-call square in front. The thirty-four blocks were arranged in two rows, separated by the camp street shown here. These barracks were numbered with uneven numbers on the right side, even on the left. Originally it was intended to house only 5,000 prisoners, but from 1940 on there were never fewer than 12,000 inmates; Dachau had more than 32,000 when it was liberated in 1945. 
The liberators found thirty-three thousand inmates still alive in Dachau—a third of them Polish, thousands of them Russian, French, Yugoslav, Italian. Prisoners from thirty-four nations, and about a thousand Germans. In their zebra-striped rags, the survivors looked like creatures from another planet. Liberation had arrived, yet the dying was far from over. During the following month, another 2,226 inmates would perish from exhaustion or typhoid fever. Civilians would loot the nearby ϟϟ supply depot, oblivious to the procession of death nearby. Children on bicycles would ride past the corpses, their handlebars slung with clothing picked up along the way.
Sofsky (5) The Order of Terror
By January 1948, the Americans handed over the site to the Bavarian government although the entire area of the ϟϟ camp as well as the entrance building, camp prison and a wing of the maintenance building remained, under American military administration for another quarter century. The Bavarian authorities immediately arranged for refugees and homeless to be accommadated within the barracks eventually simply renamed the "Dachau East residential settlement” which became a council estate with businesses, restaurants and bars, cinemas, a school and a kindergarten. The only nod to the original use of the site was the crematorium area, which was walled off as a memorial site open to the public. By the time 50,000 participants arrived for the Eucharistic World Congress in 1960 for the inaugeration of the Catholic chapel, the continued neglect of the site's history became untenable. Two years later the Bavarians relented and agreed to create a memorial site with a large documentary exhibition in the former maintenance building. The barracks, which were either greatly altered after 1945 or had become dilapidated, were torn down after the last residents of the refugee camp had left. The first two barracks were reconstructed and the walls and guard towers repaired, seemingly confirming Volkhard Knigge's theory concerning development of the memorial sites in that the minimisation of relics is the condition for yielding a maximum of meaning.
Dachau reconstructed barracks       
Inside the reconstructed barracks and as they appeared in 1933. The short period of time free from work was spent "making beds", cleaning dishes and lockers, and scrubbing the floor. All these harassing cleaning tasks were accompanied by violence and enforced by draconian punishments. Meanwhile the wooden floor in the day room of a barrack had to shine like parquet with the floorboards scrubbed three times a day to a brilliant shine. The lockers were polished with sandpaper to appear as if they had been planed down. The aluminum eating bowls and cups had to shine as if made of silver. Until 1938 the prisoners lived in ten stone barracks belonging to the former munitions factory. Every barrack had five dormitory rooms, each of which housed 54 prisoners. 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.  Fifty-two prisoners were housed in each "Stube", giving a total of 208 prisoners in each barrack. The entire camp was planned to house more than 6,000 prisoners. Towards the end of the war however they were completely overfilled, holding up to two thousand 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.
After the 9-11 attacks in 2001, the barracks were targeted with anti-Semitic vandalism from neo-Nazis shown below on the right.  Anti-Semitic vandalism Dachau
There are thirty-two one-story, low-ceilinged wooden barracks, or blocks, arranged in two rows separated by a wide dirt street. Most of them have eight rooms filled with triple-tiered wooden beds, some of which have rags or filthy straw ticks thrown over them. Now, lying head to foot, as many as three men are crowded onto each narrow bed. Each building holds from 1,000 to 1,900 men; if each person had his own space in which to sleep there would be room for only 650 men in each block. These are not really beds, but shelves measuring thirty-two inches wide and seven feet long. There are no places for the inmates to sit, so most of them lie on these slabs. As they look at us, their bald, shaven, or partly shaven heads jut out, and we can see part of their shoulders and chests. The rest of their bodies are hidden by the bedsteads. Some try to smile, but emaciated, sallow faces do not convey emotions.  
Dachau prisoner baths (Häftlingsbad) 
The prisoner baths (Häftlingsbad) in 1942, shortly after liberation, and today. The prisoner baths, located in the maintenance building, belonged to the central rooms in the new camp. Here the newly arrived prisoners had their heads and bodies shaved before being disinfected and showered. The ϟϟ carried out this procedure not only for hygienic reasons, but also to deprive the inmates of their privacy and to humiliate them. Those who had already been arrested were initially taken to the prisoners' bathroom to shower once a week, later less often. After the bath, the newly admitted prisoners, urged by the ϟϟ, hurriedly received a prisoner's uniform, which mostly did not correspond to their dress size. From 1938 the uniform consisted of a jacket, trousers and a cap made of blue and white streaked drill. The shoes were made of wood and partly of linen. shower room DachauThe prisoners had to sew their prisoner numbers and coloured triangles on their prisoner clothing. In the prisoners' baths, the ϟϟ punished the prisoners for "violating" the camp regulations. The prisoners were beaten with a stick while they were being beaten. In 1941 the ϟϟ introduced the so-called “pole hanging” torture. The layout of the former prisoner bath has been preserved unchanged today. When the exhibition was redesigned, the original tub was exposed, but the wooden lattice walkways have been reconstructed. The anchoring of the beams attached to the pillars, on which the "pole hanging" was carried out, came to light during a historical building study. The central object in the room is this replica of the whipping buck from 1945, der Prügelbock, which was used as an object of illustration during the Dachau trials. Dachau whipping blockHere prisoners were brought, 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)
During my accreditation course I was told that such an exhibit is rare given the desire not to sensationalise the experience of the prisoners but to soberly recognise their suffering.
Erhard Milch Dachau
 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) and me at the site at the end of 2021. 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 camp which involved excruciating or fatal air pressure and hypothermia experiments were carried out on prisoners under duress for the air force. 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.
Gustav Hinz dead February 19, 1941 hanging from Dachau sink
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.
Entering the crematorium area, the main place of remembrance in the Memorial Site, shown
with 'barrack x' immediately after liberation and today. The area was already being used to remember the dead immediately upon liberation. In the 1960s, it underwent a cemetery-like redevelopment. Today, access to the crematorium area is via a bridge from the former prisoner camp. This doesn't correspond to the historical situation; the area, partly covered by trees, was in fact located in the ϟϟ camp, was bounded by a wall, and strictly separated from the prisoner camp. Only ϟϟ men responsible for running the facility and prisoners forced to cremate the bodies were allowed to enter.  
The original crematorium used by the Nazis with, on the right, American soldiers finishing their inspection of the site on November 18, 1945. For about seven years, the dead were brought to the crematorium in Munich's Ostfriedhof for cremation, which meant that the number of deaths beyond the camp boundaries could be known. At first, the ϟϟ sent the ashes of the prisoners who perished in the camp to the family concerned or buried the body not far from the camp. In 1940 the ϟϟ built its own crematorium on its ϟϟ premises. It was this very small building with only one room and a so-called double muffle furnace, set a little apart and hidden by trees. A special prisoner commando, who were not allowed to have any contact with other prisoners, now had to carry out the cremations.
Only prisoners from the “Crematorium Work Squad” were allowed to enter this area. Inside the ϟϟ camp the path branched off to the crematorium. It was therefore strictly separated from the prisoner area and had little visibility which is also why the ϟϟ carried out executions by hanging and shooting at this place. As the prisoner numbers and the death rate rose dramatically with the outbreak of war, in the summer of 1940 the ϟϟ had this crematorium built, fitted with a furnace. Just a year later however, the capacity of this crematorium was insufficient and so in the spring of 1942, work began on building “barrack X”, which was then put into operation a year later. This was a crematorium with four furnaces, a disinfection chamber for clothing, dayrooms and sanitary facilities, as well as morgues anda gas chamber disguised as a “shower bath”. There can't be much doubt that  “barrack X” was designed for the mass extermination of prisoners even if killing on a mass scale through poison gas never took place in the camp. It does remain unexplained as to why the ϟϟ never used the operational gas chamber for this purpose although according to one contemporary witness account, some prisoners had been killed by poison gas in 1944. The ϟϟ also used the crematorium area as an execution site. Here prisoners were hung or shot in the back of the neck. Particularly gruesome to me and indicative of the obscenity of Nazism are the posts with hooks above the crematoria in 'barrack x'  from which victims were strung up, forced to look down onto where their bodies would be incinerated. These victims were mainly members of resistance organisations. A commemorative “path of death” takes visitors past the execution sites and the graves with the ashes.
Jean Brichaux photo of Barrack X chimney Dachau
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 not originating from the Nazis themselves.  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. 
Caption on the back of the image: "Clandestine shot of the Crematorium in action. Photo taken by Jean Brichaux (Belgian) from the roof of the DAW in 1944." The long quadrangular fireplace rises into the white sky on the top half of the image - like a protrusion amplified by the vertical frame. We can clearly see the smoke escaping from it, and its shadow, projected on one side of the duct, which it redoubles the darkness: the crematorium is in operation that day. Then, below, is the tiled roof, pierced by two ridge skylights, surmounting the south façade of the brick building. We see two windows, and two open doors. It is a solid, massive and long building - it extends beyond the frame on both sides. To take this view, Jean Brichaux was able to leave the enclosure of the prison camp thanks to the pass from the photographic identification service: this area was strictly separated from it by lines of barbed wire - only the deportees assigned to this "Kommando" could access it. This photograph is not taken from the roof of the "DAW" (the weapons factory), as the caption indicates. Barrack X Dachau 1945 and todayJean Brichaux placed himself in front of the old smaller crematorium of Dachau: its two ovens no longer sufficient to burn all the corpses of the main camp and all the other satellite camps, a larger crematorium was then built between 1942 and 1943, containing four ovens - this is the one the photographer frames the exterior of. And this building, called “Barracks X”, also includes another addition: a gas chamber... An inmate is standing in front of the entrance on the right of the picture, alone, shirtless. He does not notice the photographer: he looks to the right of the frame, out of view. With his hands clasped behind his back, one foot a little ahead of the other, he seems to be on hold, in a moment of pause. It probably seems normal to this prisoner standing in front of "barracks X" for Jean Brichaux to take this image: photographers from the identification service regularly came to this enclosure to photograph the dead. The care taken in the shooting - the rigour of the framing and the accuracy of the exposure - denotes the relatively long time that Jean Brichaux devoted to it, and therefore the relative tranquillity he was able to take advantage of.
Also the loneliness of the shirtless inmate and his serene attitude in front of this large building open under the sun, the grassy area in the foreground of the image and the composition of the courtyard, they form, with the smoke in the sky  a strange painting: everything seems so peaceful, so normal - as in the photograph of the Buchenwald crematorium taken by Georges Angéli, at this same time in the summer of 1944. 

Bodies found in and outside the crematorium after liberation and at the site today from a photo taken by Gilbert R. Di Loreto, a member of the first medical team to enter the Dachau concentration camp after its liberation. One of the chutes for depositing the Zyklon B can be seen on the left.
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.
It can't be proven whether individuals or small groups died from Zyklon B or other gases behind me because many documents were destroyed before the end of the war. As discussed below, it has at least been proven that there were no mass killings by gas in Dachau; for murder by gas, the ϟϟ preferred to deport Dachau prisoners to the gas chamber in Hartheim or to Auschwitz.
Bavarian International School students at Dachau crematorium  
The same view with my 2014 seniors; note new ramp since constructed. The corpses to the left of the nude mound of prisoner corpses are of ϟϟ personnel summarily executed by American troops. Behind the bodies can be seen what appears to be a 16 feet by six feet wooden screen covering the area where Zyklon B would have been administered.
Dachau crematorium
In front of the crematorium. For me the most gruesome aspect of this room showing the utter barbarity of the regime are the wooden planks above with metal hooks from which victims would be hanged directly in front of the ovens in which their bodies would be disposed. In the account of the conditions prevailing in “barrack X” in January 1945, former prisoner Karl Adolf Gross described how 
[t]he crematorium can hardly cope with the heaps of corpses laden stark naked like logs on carts, which resemble dung carts, and driven through the gate to be thrown to the embers without a prayer and chiming bells. Even the barbarians were not guilty of displaying such disrespect to the dead.

Gross had been a journalist and theologian, but after becoming a victim of blackmail and engaged in illegal financial transactions, was persecuted by the Nazis and sent to Sachsenhausen on August 20, 1939 for this and for his homosexuality. On September 2, 1939 he was transferred to Dachau; even after liberation he remained convicted in the form of the tightened §175 criminalising homosexuality under federal German law until 1969, losing his job, freedom, health and ultimately his life in 1955 from the long-term effects of his imprisonment here.

On the right former prisoners of the camp demonstrating the cremation of the dead to the Americans immediately after liberation and me at the site today. 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 fifteen 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. 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 - cannot 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." Barbara Distel, who served as the Director of the Dachau concentration camp memorial from 1975-2008, 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." When killing by gas, the ϟϟ preferred to deport Dachau prisoners to the gas chamber of Hartheim or to Auschwitz. She concludes by stating that “[t]he question of whether people were actually murdered by poison gas in the gas chamber installed in this crematorium has not yet been answered with certainty; the sources in this respect are poor, and this has not changed in the 25 years which have passed since the first scientific inventory on ‘Nazi Mass Murders.'" Whilst some have speculated that a working gas chamber was built in connection with the execution of Soviet PoWs, she goes on to "question as to why the gas chamber, presumably erected in the spring of 1943, was not used for executions according to what we know today must remain unresolved just like the question whether the gas chamber was possibly used for individual killing actions.”

The plaque seen in the GIF above beside the crematoria is dedicated to four women who died in the service of the British Empire against Nazi tyranny from left to right: Yolande E.M. Beekman, Madeleine Damerment, Noorunisa Inayat Khan, and Eliane S. Plewman. It reads: "Here in Dachau on the 12th of September 1944 four young woman officers of the British Forces attached to Special Operations Executive were brutally murdered and their bodies cremated. They died as gallantly as they had served the Resistance in France during the common struggle for freedom from tyranny. '"But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God and there shall no torment touch them.'"
Bodies being held in room next to Dachau ovens
Bodies being held in the room next to the ovens before being cremated in a photo taken May 1, 1945 shown left. As Jürgen Zarusky writes in "That is not the American Way of Fighting,"
 The final months of Dachau were the worst. The camp was extremely overcrowded due to the continuous arrivals of transports evacuating the camps near the front. These transports resulted in a large number of fatalities. Most of the survivors arrived near death from exhaustion, undernourished and physically completely broken down. The hygienie [sic] conditions and the food situation were catastrophic. A typhus epidemic broke out in December 1944. Over 15,000 prisoners died due to sickness, undernourishment and by assault of the ϟϟ from the end of 1944 to the liberation. This is nearly half of the total of the fatalities of the Dachau camp. Cremation of the corpses was no longer possible. The bodies were piled up in the mortuaries and around the crematorium. There were over 32,000 prisoners in the camp at the end of April 1945. Hope of imminent liberation and fear of extermination by the ϟϟ or an evacuation of the camp caused the most diverse rumours and resulted in an armosphere [sic] of the highest nervous tension. Actually, a mass murder of the prisoners was at least considered. The various evacuation transports, especially the death march put into action on April 26th, precipitated a high number of casualties.
Holocaust deniers such as Matt Giwer and other such sites 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 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 Degesch circulation disinfestation chambers for clothes shown during liberation and today. Degesch was a German chemical corporation which stood for Deutsche Gesellschaft für Schädlingsbekämpfung mbH (German Corporation for Pest control). It had produced pesticides used against weeds, rodents and insects and owned the patent of the pesticide Zyklon, of which variant "B" lacked any odour or irritant and was used to execute people in gas chambers of German extermination camps during the Holocaust. Through the firms Tesch & Stabenow GmbH (Testa) and Heerdt-Linger (Heli) Degesch sold the poisonous gas Zyklon B to the Wehrmacht and the ϟϟ. The chairman of the board of directors from 1939 to 1945, Hermann Schlosser, was arrested in February 1948 and acquitted in April 1948 after which he managed to take another job as chairman of the board. The owner of Testa, Bruno Tesch, and its director Karl Weinbacher were convicted as war criminals and hanged by the British in Hamelin prison on May 16, 1946.
   
And now in front of the entrance to the shower with American GIs entering the chamber and inside, with members of an Americn Congressional party investigating German atrocities  on May 3, 1945. In the group from left to right are Senators Kenneth S Wherry, Senator. C. Wayland Brooks, Representative John M. Vorys, and Senator James P. Richards.
Dachau shower Dachau bodies
Looking on the left at the only remaining shower head inside the shower. During my training it was revealed that all the others had been stolen and it is assumed this would also fall prey, but it's necessary to preserve as much of the actual site as possible to visitors. As it is, it has been cemented into the ceiling. The GIF on the right has me inside the room next door. As Harry W. Mazal OBE writes, given the evidence that confronted soldiers, journalists and American Congressional investigators who visited the site as seen here, it is only natural that they assumed that the bodies found in the mortuary, on the floor of the gas chamber, and next to the old crematorium had been victims of the gas chamber.
Dachau execution wall bunker
Behind the 'bunker'- the camp prison, 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 ϟϟ built a shooting range in the eastern part of this courtyard; from the end of August 1941, the ϟϟ shot a large number of Soviet prisoners of war. Given the impossibility of keeping this a secret, the ϟϟ used ϟϟ-Schießplatz Hebertshausen for the task, described below.
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. 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. Inside Dachau bunkerThe 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 inmates were forced to kneel down, bending their necks forward, and were then liquidated in rows, one after the other.
 Sofsky (233)
 Inside the bunker with the cells on either side. Behind me is a fenced section preventing access- according to Mette Therbild, a friend who has long given tours of the site (as well as for students of mine), this restriction is due to the fact that ϟϟ prisoners were held within after the war before their trials; the cell walls still bear the Nazi-themed etchings and symbols which are prohibited today in Germany. Originally this camp prison was built from 1937 to 1938 and contained several parts. The central wing held the security guards' offices containing an examination room, a recording room and an interrogation room; the inmates were often tortured during these interrogations which explains why the walls of the interrogation room were insulated. The east and west wings were single cells. Prisoners often had to stay in these individual cells for several weeks or even months, receiving very little food. Dachau bunkerFrom 1941 special, prominent prisoners were locked up here whom the ϟϟ held as hostages in order to serve as negotiation tools. As a result, these special inmates had better living conditions than the other inmates such as Georg Elser. In addition, a punishment compound for ϟϟ men, police officers, and air defence personnel was set up in the east wing of the prison and an annex structure which no longer exists.  According to a prisoner account by the former head orderly Heinrich Stohr, killing of the mentally disabled through phenol injections took place in the bunker. From 1943, prisoners suffering from tuberculosis were murdered by injection here in groups of twenty in a cell close to the guard room. The bunker is shown here in May 1945 and as it appears today. Today, the cells within provide first-hand accounts from bunker prisoners through audio and visual terminals with biographical information on some of the prisoners that were detained here.
On the left is a photograph of Franz Honig taken by the
ϟϟ after committing suicide in his cell on December 6, 1941 and how the cells appear today.
By 1944 special cells were built in the camp prison in which individual cells were converted by being divided into four smaller cells, each of which measured only 80cm by 75cm giving them the name 'standing cells.' The prisoners often had to stay in the standing cells for many days receiving very little food and air. The brick chambers resembled chimneys in which  was a ventilation opening at the top, and a narrow door with an iron bar locked the standing bunker. The intensified “punitive measure” saved space and increased the punishment ordeal. As a result, prisoners were exempt from forced labour in the camp for a shorter period of time. Polish prisoner Max Hoffmann spent days in the standing bunker describing it as 
a terrible state when I thought that it was the end of me, when everything seemed so indifferent and so far away. I couldn't lie down, I couldn't squat, the best thing was standing, standing, for six days and six nights... With your elbows you touch the walls on both sides, with your back you touch the wall behind you, with your knees the wall in front of you... This is not punishment or pre-trial detention, this is torture , direct medieval torture. I had bloodshot eyes, was numb with bad air, and was just waiting for the end.
According to Johannes Neuhäusler, an inmate in the standing bunker only received a piece of bread for three days.  On the fourth day, prisoners were taken out, given a normal ration of camp food, and allowed to sleep on a cot. The next day the three-day detention in the standing bunker began again. This break after the third day was not always observed however as Czech prisoner Radovan Drazan spent eight days without a break in the standing bunker. In some cases, prisoners were not allowed out of the bunker for a short time, which resulted in chemical burns on their bodies from fæces and urine.
Standing in front of Bavarian Riot Police HQ (Bayerische Bereitschaftspolizei Abteilung VI. Dachau) and as main entrance to SS training area
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 American 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 extremist terrorism from the extreme Left directed at those who work for the state in buildings built for and used by the ϟϟ.
First prisoner transport to Dachau March 22, 1933
Showing the first prisoner transport to the camp on March 22, 1933 at the former entrance to the
ϟϟ grounds, where today a small section of the railway line leading directly to the western entrance of the ϟϟ camp remains; the sidetrack was removed in 1948. Two days before the liberation of the camp a prisoner transport from the Buchenwald concentration camp arrived. Loaded with 4,480 prisoners, the train had been en route for three weeks. The ϟϟ had crammed the prisoners in goods wagons and given them practically nothing to eat or drink. During the journey, thousands died of hunger and exhaustion or were simply shot by the ϟϟ. A train full of dying and already dead persons arrived in Dachau with only 816 persons surviving the transport. The ϟϟ refused the train entry into the ϟϟ camp, so that it remained standing on the track in front of the gates. Upon reaching the concentration camp, American troops found the bodies in the wagons, a discovery that traumatised many of them leading to the controversial massacre of guards during the liberation of Dachau by American soldiers. Site of the Dachau massacreThe Pocket Guide issued to troops stationed in Germany, a thoroughly researched document containing in depth information about the culture, customs and attitudes to expect in Nazi Germany, did not even mention the existence of the camps, despite detailed military and political knowledge of them. In fact, Eisenhower deliberately downplayed “a lot of it [the conditions in the camps]” to avoid “men going nuts and reacting like assassins” up to that point, although as we have seen his policy drastically changed shortly after his own experiences. However, almost simultaneously, Eisenhower had first-hand experience of the concentration camp at Ohrduf; on April 12th, he toured the camp with General Patton and aides. Shortly thereafter, he ordered all the troops in the vicinity to show them “what they were fighting for”. He also organised an official delegation from the US to visit the camps, because “all written statements up to now do not paint the full horrors.” 
Upon liberation, a coal yard near the ϟϟ hospital was used to contain the ϟϟ PoWs from the hospital, NCO school and finance centre.
Standing at the site of Dachau massacre
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. Sparks 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. William P. 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), 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 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 which states that 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 instead been after someone shouted “fire”.
Dachau massacre wall then now
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.
 Numerous first-hand accounts from liberation portray the anger and disbelief that the soldiers felt, coupled with the combat mindset they still held, was expressed with violence. Letters home from soldiers also provide evidence to this effect; in one of Lt. Cowling’s letters home (written three days earlier than his official report), he stated unequivocally that “I will never take another German prisoner armed or unarmed. How can they expect to do what they have done and simply say 'I quit and go scot free'? They are not fit to live.” This tendency had not gone unnoticed by the Army brass present. It had become apparent to Sparks early in the day that the emotions of the troops were running high, and so he contacted headquarters for replacements to avoid an “explosion.” Dachau massacreThe violent reactions of the troops began early on in their exploration of the camp, which shows how natural the urge was on encountering the camp. Upon inspecting the Death Train, the Thunderbirds came across four Germans, bearing medical insignia, although these could have been false markings. Although they apparently attempted to surrender, Lt. Walsh ordered the four into a boxcar and shot them. Private Albert C. Pruitt then “finished them off with his rifle”, after screaming at them about their medical negligence. Other accounts reference ϟϟ guards “shot in the legs so they couldn’t move”, allowing the prisoners to take their revenge against their captors. Shown here is a guard, named Weiss, who is being confronted by two Polish prisoners. Others handed over weapons to prisoners, or shoot guards pointed out to them by their victims, or simply refused to intervene on the behalf of the ϟϟ soldiers, who were under their protection since the surrender of the camp.
Dachau massacreAfter the hospital shooting was stopped, some of the Americans 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 supported by photographs of the event, a selection presented here. 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
SS guards being fished out of Dachau canalϟϟ guards being fished out of the canal, and at the same site today. The soldier on the far right has been identified as 19-year-old Richard F. Dutro of 232 Infantry, E Company from Zanesville, Ohio.
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.
In the report Whitaker recommended the opening of court-martial proceedings for murder against Company Commander Walsh and four other soldiers, as well as proceedings for dereliction of duty against the military doctor Howard Buechner, who hadn't provided medical aid to the wounded men found. However, the Seventh Army headquarters under General Alexander Patch attempted to downplay the findings of Whitaker's report in a statement, according to Zarusky. Only the first incident directly at the death train was recognised whilst the events at the coal yard and at watchtower B were interpreted as preventing the prisoners from attempting to escape or as fighting. Whitaker was also accused of bias and a lack of understanding of the situation of the soldiers, who were confronted with disturbing horrors during the liberation. Ultimately, there was never an American trial for the killings during the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp.
Dachau courthouse
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-ϟϟ, 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, American 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'.
In front of the Holländer Hall on the right. The building dates from 1915 when it was a gunpowder and munitions factory during the Great War and which was later used by the ϟϟ as a large garage and stables. Shown during the war and when I visited, this remains an important industrial monument with typical Art Nouveau features although today the building is in a state of disrepair and can't be entered.
Dachau ϟϟ training camp
The former
ϟϟ training camp on December 23, 1948 when the Americans were using the site to hold the war crimes trials. The process wouldn't continue as the Cold War tensions intensified.
The Cold War shaped an American foreign policy that increasingly relied on the U.S.–Western German anticommunist alliance. The concentration camp disappeared from American propaganda in Germany, and Nazi atrocities receded to the distant background. The American efforts in Dachau in 1951 are emblematic. In order to “bridge the sea of misunderstanding,” the U.S. Army built a community centre in Dachau, and American officers invited local notables to a New Year’s party at the officers’ club.American officers organised a community-wide Christmas fund, encouraging civic cooperation between Catholics and “Evangelicalists” [sic], and tried to integrate the American military into the community. An ice rink in the U.S. Service Centre, previously reserved for American children, was opened to Germans. The centre’s new kindergarten likewise accepted German children to foster “a spirit of comradeship between children of the two nations.” “Prejudice has no place on Dachau’s playgrounds, where US and German kiddies show democracy in action,” boasted an article in the HICOG Monthly Bulletin. American official rhetoric no longer equated Dachau with its concentration camp. 
Cora Sol Goldstein (38-39) Capturing the German Eye
Early Dachau 
ϟϟ sentries from May 24, 1933  at the very beginning of the establishment of the camp  and the site today with my Grade 10 Bavarian International School students. Behind is 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 and under the Nazi regime, scores of prisoner details were forced to work here in a variety of business enterprises, including a saddlers, a shoemaking workshop, a tailoring workshop for uniforms, or building ϟϟ facilities and army barracks, in a butcher’s, and a metalworking shop. Here, in the still preserved factory building, prisoners were forced to work in a large bakery and different storerooms. Today the Bavarian Riot Police uses the building although in the next year or two it is expected to be given over to the site to serve as a museum. Two larger factory buildings seen in the original photo in the GIF were demolished in the 1980s and the debris heaped into a wall to shield the police on the former ϟϟ grounds from the gaze of visitors to the memorial site.   The Deutsche Wirtschaftsbetriebe (German Economic Enterprises), abbreviated DWB, was a project launched by Germany during the war that was organised and managed by the Allgemeine ϟϟ, a major branch of the ϟϟ officially established in the autumn of 1934 which was managed by the ϟϟ-Hauptamt. Its aim was to profit from the use of slave labour extracted from concentration camp inmates. The DWB controlled a wide variety of enterprises, many having been seized or otherwise expropriated from their rightful owners, ranging from stone quarries, brick manufacturing plants, cement mills, pharmaceutical factories, real estate, housing, building materials, book printing and binding, porcelain and ceramics, mineral water and fruit juices, furniture, foodstuffs, and textiles and leather.
Dachau Deutsche Wirtschaftsbetriebe
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)

Christmas 1933 Dachau
Release of roughly 600 prisoners from concentration camp at Christmas 1933 showing roughly fifty or sixty prisoners about to be released at the camp gate.
eingang Dachau; Himmler driven through main guard post 1941
Himmler being driven through  the main guard post of the camp in 1941; all that remains are the foundations recovered only since 2008. 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. This was the entrance through which the ϟϟ deployed in the camp reached the actual concentration camp area which was separated by a wall from the ϟϟ drill camp in 1936. The ϟϟ deployed in the camp was divided into two units:– members of the commandant’s staff were responsible for disciplining and controlling the prisoners directly in the prisoner camp through fear through terror. Reporting only to the commandant, they were the main culprits of the torture, horrific punishment, and murders that took place. The ϟϟ guard squads were responsible for watch on the towers and escorting work details outside the camp grounds. These duties did not stop them however from tormenting and murdering individual prisoners.
Dachau Strasse der SS ϟϟ
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. These villas were built as early as the time of the First World War and belonged to the former Muntions factory. Today only these eight houses remain of the former ϟϟ settlement and are used by the Bavarian riot police.
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)
Dachau Kommandantur
 
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 Dachau Kommandantur (headquarters) just outside the memorial site can be seen behind me on the right and as it appeared during the war. 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.
Dachau commandant's headquarters
Prisoners arriving at the commandant's headquarters early in the camp's history in 1933. 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 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)
Dachau Kräutergarten in 1938In 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, notably with locals like Resi Huber who had secretly slipped the emaciated prisoners food and smuggled letters for them. However, ϟϟ guards were constantly present and violators were severely punished.
Himmler Dachau plantation
Himmler visiting the site. The area served to supply the eastern front with vitamin C and active plant substances and was thus a building block for the planned war of aggression. Based on the poor supply situation during the First World War, the herb garden had an important military task: The gladioli grown in Dachau were pulverised and processed into vitamin C , and sent to the Eastern Front as parcels for the soldiers of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen ϟϟ. A mixture of ground basil , thyme , and savory served as a German pepper substitute. There was also the goal of developing "German drugs", possibly with the motive of strengthening the soldiers' willingness to fight.
After the start of the war, the Dachau herb garden was also part of the planning of the ϟϟ settlement policy of the Race and Settlement Main Office (RuSHA), set out in the General Plan East in Eastern Europe in which after a victory over the Soviet Union, the depopulated areas were to be settled by German farmers, whose cultivation methods were to be developed in the Dachau herb garden. When it was completed in 1942, it was 148 hectares, the open spaces of which the ϟϟ cynically divided into the field names " Freiland I" and " Freiland II".
Dachau Kräutergarten
No savings were made for the various farm buildings, watchtower, apartments, workshops, classrooms, library, laboratories, drying barn and tool shed, greenhouses, spice mill, apiary, composting plant, ornamental garden and necessary facilities and installations (heating, transformer and pump house) and at that time a state-of-the-art, industrial horticultural company. The core of the complex were two elongated gable roof buildings with a courtyard and a gate seen with me in front on the left. Four 6 metre wide and 30 metre long greenhouses were built, as well as two 3 metre wide and fifty metre long greenhouses. The Mehlhorn
company from Saxony was responsible for the construction, owning patents for the applied construction of the glass structures using resistant, moisture-resistant American redwood which enabled the metal base support structure to be thermally decoupled from the glass and wood outer skin in order to avoid structural damage that could occur as the outside temperature can differ significantly from the inside temperature of a greenhouse. There were separating locks in the glass houses to divide them into temperature zones. There was a living barracks and an air raid shelter. Dachau plantationDuring the war, the buildings were partially expanded, but parts were not completed either. Between 1939 and 1940 around 1 million Reichsmarks were spent. The driving forces behind all this were Ernst Günther Schenck, who later became the "food inspector of the Waffen-ϟϟ", and Rudolf Lucaß, the master horticulturalist. According to the aims of the Deutschen Versuchsanstalt für Ernährung und Verpflegung GmbH (DVA) headed by ϟϟ-Obersturmbannführer Heinrich Vogel, Germany was to gain self-sufficiency in medicines, drugs, spices and medicinal plants whilst developing ways beyond the natural sciences that were suspected of being Jewish, and to develop models of how to improve German public health. In line with the Nazi ideology, the folk and natural history ideas were to be bundled in a "German folk medicine." Inspired by the esoteric teachings of Rudolf Steiner, a Nazi derivation of organic farming was practiced. 
 
 
 Dachau ϟϟ housing ϟϟ housing
Beside the plantation buildings on the way to Hebertshausen shooting range one goes past housing used by members of the ϟϟ. After listening to Adrian Weale's audiobook on the ϟϟ, he suggests Adolf Eichmann lived here at one point. 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 around 1942, with the ϟϟ flag in front, and as it appears today. The building was used to house the facility attendant, provide accommodation quarters, offices, munitions store, and an inn; at the moment it's used as an homeless shleter.  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".
entrance to Hebertshausen shooting range with SS runes  
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.
Hebertshausen shooting range in 1938 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. Five of the prisoners brought in by truck had to step in front of the range undressed. They were handcuffed to waist-high stakes. Each of the twenty ϟϟ henchmen fired a shot on command in what they dubbed the "rifle festival". About 0.5 metres below the turf, to the right of the mound behind me in front of the opening of the bullet trap, is the place where thousands of Soviet prisoners of war died from 1941-42. After analysing the witness reports and aerial photos, the Institute for Prehistory and Early History and Provincial Roman Archaeology of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich carried out archaeological excavations in both shooting lanes of the former pistol shooting range in spring and autumn 2001 which supplemented the understanding obtained from historical research into the mass shootings of four to six thousand Soviet prisoners of war there during the years 1941 and 1942 with previously unknown aspects that were not mentioned in the witness reports. Together with a detailed digital survey of the entire complex, excavation areas were opened at various points in order to find the former fence, the coffin storage and the remains of the posts mentioned in witness reports, to which the victims were handcuffed. The western shooting range was identified as the exclusive site of the executions of 1941-1942 and the place where the victims met their deaths were precisely localised archaeologically. A considerable number of skull fragments were found from the murdered. The results of the historical, archaeological and anthropological investigations confirmed that the mass murder committed on the shooting range was particularly cruel, going far beyond the standard of "normal executions".
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. The photo on the left, which probably dates from the 1940s, shows a rough-hewn shed, the left part of which is covered with a tarpaulin. Based on the aerial photos and the Lengfelder sketch shown below, it's clear that it was the southwestern corner of the pistol range, shown today with my bike as a marker. The "shed" is just a primitive-looking building with apparently only a temporary roof, reminiscent of the ones mentioned in the Torah report and a high wooden fence visible on the aerial photos had been built. According to former ϟϟ member Max Lengfelder, the coffins were made and stored here. The crate probably also served to camouflage the coffin storage. The sign on the right door wing with the inscription "Strictly forbidden to enter" is remarkable in that it is probably related to the secrecy of the killing campaign, which didn't allow the coffins to be stored in an openly visible manner. Next to the open left shed door, a room is seen leaning against the outer wall. The photographic reproduction of the wooden fence is important, given that it towered over the shed. The question arises whether it was specially built for the planned executions. Because on the already fenced and cordoned off area of the shooting range, its existence otherwise would make little sense given that on the one hand, the high wooden wall offered protection against unwanted glances, since the shooting range was not only visible from the heights outside the ϟϟ area and from the nearby railway embankment, but was also generally visible. On the other hand it prevented any attempts to escape. The area was all surrounded by a high deck fence to prevent any observation from the surrounding fields. The shootings must have been real bloodbaths, for which the ϟϟ involved had special overalls, aprons and gloves at their disposal. As the outside exhibition points out, the majority of perpetrators from the firing range were not directly confronted with either the dead behind the front or with dying in combat at the front. As evidenced by the testimony of Josef Thora, after work they were able to return to Munich or to the surrounding communities, which were still largely peaceful at the time.
Karel Kasak's photo of Hebertshausen shooting range
Former Czech political prisoner Karel Kasak's photo of the site immediately after the war, and a sketch of the execution site by Lengfelder from April 29, 1954. Lengfelder would receive a sentence of life imprisonment after the Anton Stinglwagner trial August 12-14, 1947. Within the entire area, the former pistol shooting range is more than just a place of remembrance; here in front of the bullet trap, at the site of the executions, rest scattered over an area of several metres - still under the protective turf today the only surviving remains of the corpses of the Soviet prisoners of war who were burned in the Munich and Dachau crematoria. Given that thus far no more than a quarter to a third of the expected fragments of precious metal have been recovered, the majority must still lie in the ground. As a crime scene and as a cemetery/war grave, this site continues to suffer from illegal robbers and dogs running free.
 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. 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.
 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. 
Hebertshausen shooting range
The route to the execution site just after liberation and today. After the war, the firing range initially continued to function; the American Army was still doing target practice here in the 1950s before the site became overgrown. When I took students here, one who actually lived in Hebertshausen told me she hadn't even known of the site's existence. In 1964, on the initiative of the Dachau camp community, a first memorial was erected in memory of the Soviet prisoners of war murdered here. It was not until 1998 that the site was declared part of the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial. An archaeological investigation was conducted and the remains of the complex are uncovered. Since 2014 there has been an outdoor exhibition as well as several memorial signs, also using the names of those murdered here although only about a thousand are known so far. Since then, a memorial service has been held here every year on June 22nd. Like many former Nazi sites remaining, the building on the site is used as an homeless shelter.
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 Dachau police described it as resulting in "massive damage," even though the lettering was illegible they excluded a political motive. They eventually identified a 24 year old Dachau woman as the culprit who is said to have sprayed swastikas and graffiti with Nazi symbols on the bicycle parking garage at Dachau train station, on manhole covers and power distribution boxes in Dachau, Hebertshausen and Karlsfeld, resulting in material damage estimated at around 4,000 euros. Despite admitting everything and evidence found at her apartment including spray cans, the police won't identify her.
schloß Deutenhofen Hebertshausen
Also in Hebertshausen is schloß Deutenhofen which served as a  Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt (NSV) Müttererholungsheim (maternity home), shown here in 1941 from a postcard. The NSV was a social welfare organisation in Nazi Germany. In such places 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, from 20-30 years of age, 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.   
Dachau concentration campNational Socialist concentration camp in Bavaria (1933–1945), with the main camp in the city of Dachau and 169 geographically widely distributed satellite campsCommunity-generated content on this topic is also availableautomatic translationContributeDachau concentration camp (Germany)Dachau concentration campDachau concentration camp in GermanyWatchtower B of the Dachau concentration camp, April 1945Propaganda photo: Dachau concentration camp, prisoners at roll call (June 28, 1938). Photo by Friedrich BauerPropaganda photo: Heinrich Himmler (2nd from left) and - next to him - Rudolf Heß (2nd from right) during a camp inspection in 1936Concentration camp prisoners doing forced labor in the camp (pushing Loren) (July 20, 1938)The Dachau concentration camp , full name Dachau concentration camp , official abbreviation KL Dachau , existed from March 22, 1933 until it was taken over by soldiers of the 7th US Army on April 29, 1945 ( liberation of the Dachau concentration camp ). The Nazi regime built it just a few weeks after Adolf Hitler came to power . It was the first concentration camp to be built as a permanent facility , [1] and one of the best known due to the publication of the conditions in the camp immediately after the liberation. [2] It operated continuously for twelve years, twice as long as many of the other concentration camps .The site is approximately 20 kilometers northwest of Munich. The camp initially served to imprison political opponents of National Socialism. Heinrich Himmler , police chief of Munich and Reichsführer SS from 1934 , had it built east of the city of Dachau on the site of a former ammunition factory. It was used - especially in its early years, when the NSDAP wanted to consolidate its power - to imprison and intimidate political dissidents.After the dismantling of the SA in 1934, which was accompanied by the propaganda lie of an impending “ Röhm Putsch ,” Himmler planned to expand the Dachau concentration camp. In 1937, construction work began on the new prisoner area, which was connected to the former ammunition factory. The organization and spatial structure later served as a template for new concentration camps in the Reich. The Nazi regime presented it as a “model camp” for propaganda purposes , for example using euphemistic photographs.Dachau was a training location for concentration camp guards and SS leaders, who were also deployed in extermination camps after the start of the Second World War . The Dachau concentration camp was not an extermination camp; However, no other concentration camp saw so many political murders .After Kristallnacht , the SS increasingly imprisoned Jews and other persecuted people. After the start 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 occupied several special positions: The camp was the first place in the German Reich where an SS camp commander was assigned sole jurisdiction and applicable law was successfully repealed. The SS created a “ state within a state ”. The imprisonment and murder of political opponents were beyond the reach of the justice system.Of the total of at least 200,000 prisoners, around 41,500 died, of which around 14,500 died between June 1944 and April 1945 in the Kaufering subcamp complex alone. [3] In addition, the SS often deported prisoners to other camps with harsher conditions or even to the extermination camps in the East.The Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial has been located on the site since 1965 and was visited by around 800,000 people annually in 2008. [4]Table of contentsOriginPropaganda shot: Release of prisoners as part of a “mercy action” at Christmas 1933On the night of the Reichstag fire on February 27, 1933, the National Socialists began imprisoning their political opponents. [5] 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 places 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 places of detention. Dachau was the only one of the early concentration camps that was not dissolved until the beginning of the Second World War : Heinrich Himmler had it systematically expanded and used it as a model for concentration camps built later.StoryPolitical terror 1933–1934SS guards at the end of May 1933Newspaper clipping from the Dolomites from May 22, 1933, p. 2, with the explicit mention of the Dachau concentration campThe Dachau camp was built three weeks after the Reichstag fire. On March 13, 1933, Himmler, who had been in office as acting police chief of Munich for a week , arranged for the establishment of a political concentration camp near Dachau and announced this to journalists from Bavarian newspapers a week later, on March 20, 1933, at a press conference at the Munich police headquarters . [6] [7] On March 22nd, around 150 prisoners from the Landsberg correctional facility , the Neudeck prison and the Stadelheim prison were brought to the site of the disused Dachau Royal Powder and Ammunition Factory . The communist Claus Bastian received prison number one . [8] In the first few days they were guarded by the Bavarian State Police . [9] From April 11th, the police and SS shared the guarding of the camp; the SS was used as auxiliary police. The next day the first murders were committed, of the prisoners Rudolf Benario , Ernst Goldmann and Arthur Kahn. [10] Numerous other deaths followed, for example Fritz Dressel , Wilhelm Aron , Sebastian Nefzger .In May, Hans Beimler ( KPD ) managed to escape; He had been a member of the Reichstag until his imprisonment. Shortly afterwards, he published the brochure In the Dachau Murder Camp abroad . [11] The first commandant was Hilmar Wäckerle ; he wrote the first provisional camp regulations in May on Himmler's instructions. It stated that jurisdiction over the camp lay solely with the commandant. He could even sentence prisoners to death if two SS guards he appointed agreed. Reasons for death penalty were e.g. E.g. “acts of violence against camp staff”, “collective refusal to obey” or incitement to do so. At the beginning of June, the SS took over sole guarding. At the end of June , Theodor Eicke became camp commandant. Eicke aimed to completely seal off the camp from outsiders. Even the fire department was not allowed to enter the area to check compliance with fire regulations. [12] Karl Wintersberger from the Munich public prosecutor's office was investigating the first three prisoner shootings in Dachau during this time. [13] When all proceedings were stopped after a few months, the Dachau concentration camp had become a lawless area. [10]Concentration camp prisoner postcard from August 1933For example, members of the state parliament such as Alois Hundhammer ( BVP ) or members of the Reichstag such as Ernst Heilmann and Friedrich Puchta (both SPD ) were imprisoned. The numerous examples of imprisoned politicians or activists had an intimidating effect on the public. The NSDAP had already achieved many things with the help of the political police and judiciary: weakened the influence of trade unions, banned or dissolved parties, brought states and municipalities into line , and abolished democratic conditions. Radio and film were controlled. By controlling or taking over all existing associations and restricting freedom of speech , ideological control was gained over communication among the people. Forming 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 kept track of who was imprisoned. It was at the discretion of ambitious local Nazis to arrest or release anyone. Frictions soon arose over questions of jurisdiction and power struggles. At that time, SA group leader Schmid was the special commissioner of the Supreme SA leadership in the government of Upper Bavaria. On July 1, 1933, he wrote an incendiary letter to the Bavarian Prime Minister Siebert :“The authority of the state is at risk from the all-round, unauthorized interference of political officials in the wheels 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 command powers of the ministries, i.e. in the command powers of the district governments, district offices, down to the smallest gendarmerie station. Everyone arrests everyone (...), everyone threatens everyone with Dachau (...) Down to the smallest gendarmerie station, the best and most reliable officials have become insecure, which is bound to have devastating and state-destroying effects." [12]Prisoners eating (May 1933), propaganda photo by Friedrich BauerPropaganda photo: A group of around 50 prisoners being released at the camp gate (December 1933)On July 16, 1933, a propagandistic report about the camp appeared in the magazine Münchner Illustrierte Presse with the subtitle Early Appeal in the Education Camp . The cover picture showed prisoners dressed neatly and cleanly (see Fig. [14] ). Since July, a priest from the Dachau community appeared regularly and held a service on Sundays; An average of 20 people took part. At this time the prisoners still wore their own clothes. Camp meals on weekdays consisted, for example, of substitute coffee, bread, and stew; 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 or sent money , which they could use to buy bread, butter, sausage or fruit in the canteen at higher prices. A camp library was built in the fall; It contained, among other things, books by Karl May and Hitler's Mein Kampf . [15] By publicizing these initial living conditions, the SS combated the so-called atrocity propaganda from abroad ; The living conditions in the camp also changed within the twelve years.On October 1, 1933, Eicke presented the second camp regulations , which were much stricter than the previous ones. He also introduced mandatory guard duty where blank shots were prohibited and live fire should be carried out immediately. The Dachau camp became a “state within a state”: a place isolated from the outside world with its own laws and the threat of death. A ban on dismissals was ordered on October 20, 1933 and lasted two months. In November 1933, camp inmates were able to take part in the Reichstag election . During 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 of power in Bavaria. [10]The Dachau camp was planned from the start with a capacity of 5,000 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 imprisoned, about half were released, so that 2,425 were still imprisoned at the end of the year. [5] The released prisoners reported about the concentration camp. The camp slowly developed into a concept that spread terror among the population and prevented many dissidents from making public statements. [9] Long before the outbreak of war, the saying came up: “Dear God, make me dumb so that I don’t come to Dachau!”Closure of 48 concentration campsBy January 1934, SS leader Himmler had managed to increase his influence. He was commander of the political police in almost all German states. At that time , SA leader Ernst Röhm was considered the second most powerful man in the state. 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 organization, the SS. “Protective custody” should be restricted and the “wild” concentration camps should be dismantled. 34 concentration camps were cleared - 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 Empire ; Dachau was one of these few.Disempowerment of the SASS troopHimmler's SS, which was in competition with the SA, achieved the murder of Röhm and the disempowerment of the SA by the end of June 1934. In order to be able to show an official reason and not to antagonize the people, Hitler had the SA chief Röhm ( Röhm Putsch ) spread the rumor of an allegedly impending putsch . 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 [16] people in the camp on July 1st and 2nd: members of the huge SA party army as well as opponents of the regime who had nothing to do with the SA: For example, Fritz Gerlich , Bernhard Stempfle , Gustav von Kahr , who as General State Commissioner put down the Hitler putsch in 1923, as well as five prisoners from the Dachau concentration camp who had sat in the bunker. [17] 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 ( IKL ). His successor as commander from December 10th was Heinrich Deubel .After the SA was removed from power, Göring later managed to become the second man in the state by accumulating offices. Himmler was given the opportunity to separate his SS from the SA and build it up as a large organization. Those early, “wild” SA concentration camps were already feared by the people. Gradually, the government began to set up “systematic” camps in which order supposedly 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 build new concentration camps in the following years, such as Sachsenhausen (1936), Neuengamme (1938), Mauthausen (1938) and Auschwitz (1940).1935Starting around 1935, the government began increasingly deporting people who had been released from prison. [9] In addition to these prisoners, a few Sinti and Roma , Jews , Jehovah's Witnesses and homosexuals were imprisoned; these did not arrive in larger numbers until 1936. In September, the Nuremberg Racial Laws created a legal basis for the persecution and imprisonment of Jewish citizens.Transition period 1936–1938Propaganda photo: Himmler visits the Dachau concentration camp, 1936.The years 1936 to 1938 represented a transitional period. The first blow of political terror slowly subsided. The regime had consolidated and was now preparing for war. It had successfully found an “instrument of terror” in the concentration camps. A second phase of incarceration began in the camp after the start of World War II and intensified in 1942 and 1943. [18]1936Propaganda photo and propaganda campaign: BDM leaders visiting the camp (1936)Propaganda photo: construction work (1936)In March 1936, camp inmates were allowed to take part in the Reichstag election again . [19] Hans Loritz was promoted to camp commandant on April 1st. While the prisoner clothing previously indicated the reason for imprisonment using colored dots and stripes, a new identification system for prisoner groups was introduced under Loritz, as was the striped prisoner clothing .The 1936 Winter Olympics took place not far from Munich in February and the Summer Games in Berlin in August. The regime presented the Olympics as a festival of the peoples ; they became a major propaganda success for the “Third Reich”. In 1936, in connection with the large number of tourists expected to attend the Olympic Games, the Bavarian Political Police issued guidelines on the imposition of “protective custody” for “ public pests ”. Affected were so-called “beggars, tramps, gypsies, work-shy people, idlers, prostitutes, habitual drinkers, bullies, traffic offenders, troublemakers, psychopaths, mentally ill people”. Frick issued the circular to combat the “Gypsy plague” in 1936. [20]In Switzerland, Julius Zerfaß published the book Dachau - A Chronicle under the protective pseudonym Walter Hornung.The local press in Munich reported several times about the concentration camp until the start of the war, mostly with a derisive tone about political inmates and with warnings about the “dangerous Bolsheviks ” (see World Bolshevism ). At the end of the year, the Illustrierte Observer published a propaganda report about the Dachau camp.1937At the beginning of the year, construction work began on the larger, planned new prison area . New barracks were built. The new site measured 583 by 278 meters and was partially adjacent to the old camp, the former ammunition factory. A roll call area, wooden barracks, a bunker with 136 cells for solitary confinement, a farm building with a kitchen and other buildings were built. The new prisoner accommodation corresponded to the status of imperial barracks at the time. On the east side of the camp, the soil was cultivated to create a medicinal herb plantation (project of the German Research Institute for Nutrition and Catering ). The site was rebuilt and expanded by 1938. In 1937, 38 [5] people died in the camp.1938Propaganda photo: After the November pogrom, a column of Jews is taken to the concentration camp for so-called protective custody, Baden-Baden, November 1938.On April 1, 1938, three weeks after the annexation of Austria , the first 151 Austrians came to Dachau on the so-called celebrity transport . They were primarily media-effective opponents of various political directions. The Dachaulied was also written in the same year . In June, another wave of arrests took place with the “Workshy Reich” campaign , which affected people with “ anti-social ” behavior. [21] 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, as well as in relation to the living conditions "The material and hygienic facilities of the camp, as well as the treatment, nutrition and work of the prisoners, left me a very favorable impression." [22] The first Sudeten German prisoners arrived in October . Anti -Semitism had increased sharply, and in the course of Kristallnacht , 10,911 [10] Jews, including 3,700 from Vienna , were brought to the camp.In a telex sent on the night of the pogrom, SS group leader Reinhard Heydrich instructed the StaPo to “arrest as many Jews in all districts – especially wealthy ones – as can be accommodated in the existing detention rooms.” [23]Decaying greenhouse in the former Dachau herb gardenThese Jewish prisoners were gradually released until May 1939. Threats were used to put pressure on them and their families to immediately emigrate and Aryanize their assets . [24] In several cases, individual National Socialists succeeded in extorting houses, businesses or assets from the so-called “ Action Jews ” at far below their value. At Christmas, several prisoners were publicly whipped in the roll call area next to the Christmas tree.From May 1938 to 1942, concentration camp prisoners built a “ herb garden ” directly next to the concentration camp on behalf of the German Research Institute for Nutrition and Catering as a research facility for the use of plant-based active ingredients and organic-dynamic farming .1939Prisoner postcards were checked and censored by the SS for their content .On the night of January 24th, the painter Louis Übrig managed to escape. As a blanket punishment, the SS ordered the entire camp staff to stand in the freezing cold of the night, which resulted in deaths. [10]On January 25, 1939, a letter from the Berlin Foreign Office described the goal [25] of Germany's “Jewish policy” and pointed out in detail the ways and means of emigration and the whereabouts of property. On the anniversary of the annexation of Austria, some Austrian prisoners were given amnesty. A month later, a “jubilant amnesty” took place on Hitler’s 50th birthday . In the second half of 1939, the inmates of the Jewish block were punished with isolation several times.Catholic “Fear of Christ Chapel” [26]Russian Orthodox Church “Resurrection of Our Lord” [27]“Skeletons in Barbed Wire” monument by the Yugoslavian sculptor Nandor Glid, a Jew who lost most of his relatives in the Auschwitz concentration camp . [28]Jewish memorial [29]War begins in September 1939Propaganda photo: SS guards and prisoners, June 1938After the start of the Second World War, the SS filled the camp with prisoners from occupied countries. Originally, the concentration camps were places of harassment and deterrence for influential opponents of the regime. Now the arms industry was increasingly dependent on the cheap labor of prisoners to wage war (see graph on unemployment [30] ). Inmates were used in SS-owned companies, for example the German Earth and Stone Works ( DEST ) or the German Equipment Works ( DAW ), as well as in quarries, brickworks, gravel pits and various other professional sectors and companies. They were allocated by the government and used in the company cost-effectively and profitably. Prisoners were also used to build the Reichsautobahn . For local reasons, satellite camps and flexible work teams became necessary.Between September 27, 1939 and February 18, 1940, the prisoners were transferred to other camps. Meanwhile, 7,000 members of the SS Totenkopf units were trained in Dachau . The prisoners were relocated: 2,138 to Buchenwald , 1,600 to Mauthausen , 981 to Flossenbürg . Only a work detail of around 100 prisoners remained in the camp. [10]1940Camp fence and watchtower (photo from 1991, memorial)At New Year's Day 1940, the SS armaments company, the German Equipment Works (DAW) , took control of the concentration camp's workshops such as metalworking, carpentry and saddlery. At the end of April and beginning of May, transports with Polish prisoners from the Krakow special operation arrived . The film The Great Dictator , a satire on Hitler and National Socialism that dealt with the forced camps, was released abroad this year . Towards the end of the year, the priests and pastors from all the concentration camps began to be brought together in Dachau; [31] the prisoner barracks there were called the pastor's block . While extermination camps such as Chelmno , Auschwitz-Birkenau , Belzec , Sobibor , Treblinka and Majdanek emerged in the occupied territories of Poland, the use of violence also increased in the Dachau concentration camp. [32]1941In January 1941, on Himmler's orders, an improvised chapel was set up for the clergy in Block 26. From January 22nd onwards, the clergy were allowed to celebrate services there every day, under the supervision of an SS man. From April 11, all clergy received better food rations, financed by the Vatican . The privileged status of prisoners led to physical resentment from other prisoners and SS men; it was reversed in September. [33] This year, a prisoner music group was formed under Egon Zill , which had to play music on certain occasions. At the beginning of 1941, an experimental station was set up in the hospital ward in which 114 registered tuberculosis patients were treated homeopathically . The head doctor was von Weyherns. In February he tested biochemical agents on prisoners. From June 1st, a special camp registry office (Dachau II) was set up to register deaths . By then, according to the registry office of the city of Dachau, the number of deaths was 3,486 [34] 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 at the SS training shooting range in Hebertshausen . [35]1942Pick-up bus from the Hartheim Nazi killing center at Hartheim Castle: The “invalids” were led to believe that they were going to a sanatorium to recoverThe Wannsee Conference took place on January 20th, at which the Holocaust was coordinated. On January 2nd, the first transport, called “ Invalidentransport ” in Nazi cover language , started to the Nazi killing center in Hartheim . There the Dachau prisoners were killed by gas as part of Action 14f13 . Within a year, the SS brought undesirable concentration camp prisoners there in 32 transports [10] who were labeled mentally ill or unfit for work, a total of around 3,000 prisoners. These killings in Hartheim Castle took place as part of the Nazi murders .On February 22nd, the negative pressure test series began in the concentration camp, in which the aviation physicians Georg Weltz , Siegfried Ruff , Hans-Wolfgang Romberg and the SS-Hauptsturmführer Sigmund Rascher were involved. [36] The doctors were commissioned to determine people's ability to react and survive at high altitudes, during rapid ascents (at heights of up to 20 kilometers and more) and when suddenly falling from great heights. A Luftwaffe negative pressure chamber was delivered and set up between Block 5 and the adjacent barracks. [37] The series of experiments ended in the second half of May and cost the lives of 70 to 80 [10] of around 200 prisoners.On February 23, 1942, Claus Schilling began his first experiments to research drugs against the tropical disease malaria . 1100 [10] prisoners were infected and used as test subjects. Ten deaths were clearly proven in the Dachau trials . Schilling carried out these experiments until April 5, 1945. [10] While the medical experiments on pressure effects were intended to benefit pilots, this research was aimed at Wehrmacht soldiers deployed in the African campaign .In the first years of the war, the infirmary consisted of six barracks; the Kapo in the infirmary was Josef Heiden . A biochemical experimental station was set up in Block I in June. The director was Heinrich Schütz . The phlegmon (inflammation) test series began , carried out in Block 1, Room 3. By the time it was completed in the spring of 1943, this had cost the lives of at least 17 [10] prisoners.On August 15, hypothermia attempts began under the direction of doctors Holzlöhner , Finke and Rascher. Their purpose was to be able to better help pilots who got into distress at sea. The experiments officially ended in October 1942. Rascher extended the series of experiments on his own initiative until May 1943. The number of test subjects was between 220 and 240 people, of which around 65 to 70 prisoners died.On September 1st , Martin Weiß became the new commander. He had been sharply instructed by Pohl [38] to pay better attention to maintaining the prison labor force. During his command, the punishment of hanging on poles was abolished, harassment, beatings and roll calls became less frequent, and prisoners were allowed to go to their barracks more often. Above all, the weight and number of food shipments were no longer restricted. More packages arrived, some prisoners were now very well looked after, and a lively barter trade arose. A differentiation developed among the prisoners. [39] Soviet prisoners were unable to have any contact with their homeland and were not sent any packages. Anyone who received enough packages could now also get prison functionaries accepted into a good work detail. [40]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. [41]At the end of November, typhus and typhus broke out. Typhus, transmitted by lice, became 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, [42] a total of around eight more followed. Selected feature films and propaganda reports on German war successes were shown. The government wanted to use war propaganda to counteract the hopes of political opponents and resistance fighters in the camp. The situation in the Stalingrad pocket gave rise to suspicions that the war might not be won. A few weeks later, Goebbels publicly called for total war .1943Bunker (Dachau concentration camp)From January 1 to March 15, 1943, the entire camp was under quarantine because of a typhus epidemic. During this time, the prisoners lived in the prison area; SS men did not enter it. The prisoners were allowed to rest, occasionally they were allowed to make music and poems were also written. The camp library had expanded because books were now arriving in parcels. Cultural activities continued to a limited extent during the quarantine period. [43] At the same time, around 800 to 1000 inmates were executed for “sabotage” during these months. [44] On August 4th, 16 prisoners were beaten as a deterrent to the assembled camp inmates . Rascher and Schilling's series of experiments were also running. [45] In October , Eduard Weiter became the new and last commandant of the concentration camp.1944Death Notification (1944)In 1944, the first concentration camps in the East were evacuated due to the advancing front. Western camps were increasingly filling up with evacuated prisoners. On February 22nd, 31 Soviet officers were shot by the SS in the courtyard of the crematorium. [10]On May 11, a camp brothel was put into operation and six women from the Ravensbrück concentration camp arrived. It was related to Oswald Pohl's service regulations to reward and thus increase exceptional work performance among prisoners. It was dissolved again towards the end of the year. [5] On July 6th, the death transport from the Compiègne camp arrived in Dachau; out of 2,521 [10] prisoners, 984 [10] were already dead. [46]On the same day, prisoner Sepp Eberl managed to listen to the news about the Allies landing in Normandy on a radio in the SS rooms . [47] In the summer, Wilhelm Beiglböck attempted to use seawater as drinking water. [48] ​​His test subjects were 44 [10] imprisoned Sinti . From autumn onwards, the camps were completely overcrowded: the rooms planned for 52 people now had to be shared by 300 to 500 people. On September 4th and 6th, a further 92 [10] Soviet officers were shot in the courtyard of the crematorium, publicly to deter the prisoners. [49] In November, another typhus epidemic broke out, brought into the camp by an evacuation transport. Death rates increased, from 403 in October to 997 in November and 1,915 in December. [50] On December 17, deacon Karl Leisner was secretly ordained a priest in the camp chapel by the French bishop Gabriel Piguet .In September 1944, the Dachau Mass was composed by the church musician and composer Father Gregor Schwake as a prisoner in the Dachau concentration camp.1945Prisoner clothing, April 30, 1945From the beginning of the year until April, evacuation transports arrived from camps that had already been evacuated. In order to be able to continue using their labor, the prisoners were sent on long and costly transports to the west of the empire. Camp personnel also arrived, such as the later acquitted SS doctor Hans Münch in January 1945 . The overcrowding of the camp accelerated the typhus epidemic: the mortality rate was 2,903 deaths in January and increased in the following months. The crematorium was taken out of operation, from February 12th the deceased were buried in mass graves on the Leitenberg, and from 1949 the Dachau-Leitenberg concentration camp cemetery was built there. [51] A number of doctors and nurses also succumbed to the epidemic. Father Engelmar Unzeitig died of typhus during this time. Towards the end of March, hundreds of German clergy were dismissed; 170 [10] 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 . The prisoners Georg Elser and Charles Delestraint were shot on April 9th ​​and 19th, respectively. At the beginning of April, the SS began burning papers and documents. In mid-April, the SS suspended Johan Meansarian and Albert Wernicke. She put the two prison functionaries, who were feared by the prisoners, in the bunker. [5] On April 14th, Himmler sent a radio message to the commandant's office in Dachau and Flossenbürg . He ordered a total evacuation, [10] which was later reduced to the removal of Germans, Soviet citizens, Poles and Jews. This marked the beginning of the evacuation and death marches . On April 17th and 24th, some prisoners, including Niemöller , Piquet and Schuschnigg , were transported towards Tyrol.On April 23, the work detail stopped leaving the camp for the first time. Another evacuation transport with 1,700 Jewish prisoners arrived on the Reichsbahn via Emmering-Munich- Wolfratshausen -Mittenwald on April 28th to Seefeld in Tyrol . The railway line was interrupted in Reith, so the prisoners had to march further into the Inn Valley on foot. In Mösern, the SS guards received the order from Gauleiter Franz Hofer to turn back, so that the next day the majority of the group was forced to return to Seefeld in order to be transported back to Mittenwald by train. Some prisoners did not survive the hardships. [52] Another transport with the Reichsbahn ran on April 25th from Emmering via Munich, Wolfratshausen and Kochel to Seeshaupt on Lake Starnberg. The 3,000 prisoners were freed on April 30th. The evacuation transport from April 26th via Emmering-Munich-Wolfratshausen-Penzberg-Staltach with 1,759 Jews was also freed on April 30th. On the same day, the Americans stopped a march of 6,887 [10] prisoners. It began on April 26th and led via Pasing, Wolfratshausen and Bad Tölz to Tegernsee. Many did not live to see liberation; they died of complete physical exhaustion or were murdered. 1000 more Russian prisoners were saved from the march by the camp committee through sabotage. [53] On April 27, 2,000 prisoners were sent on a transport from Emmering on 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.A day later, on April 28, German Major General Max Ulich, wanting to avoid unnecessary losses against the US forces , withdrew the 212th Volksgrenadier Division from the camp area. The Dachau Uprising also took place in the city on this day , led by former Dachau prisoners Walter Neff and Georg Scherer .Liberation in 1945Death train from Buchenwald (April 29, 1945)→ Main article : Liberation of the Dachau concentration campThe next day, April 29, 1945, the US Army marched in to liberate the main camp. She was completely unprepared for the death train from Buchenwald , which was standing next to the prisoner camp on the SS site and had around 2,300 corpses in its wagons. This shocking impression led to spontaneous vigilantism. The US soldiers executed SS men. The shootings, which were not necessary to liberate the camp - the men of the Waffen-SS had hardly offered any resistance - were later used as propaganda in right-wing extremist circles to offset them, and the event itself was spread as the so-called " Dachau massacre " .A day later the troops marched into Munich. Other nearby satellite camps were liberated; among the prisoners was, for example, Viktor Frankl , whose later book ... Still Saying Yes to Life about his experiences in the Dachau and Auschwitz camps achieved worldwide fame. Prisoner transports that were still in the Munich area were also released on April 30th.US administrationLiberated prisoners from the Dachau concentration camp greet US soldiersView of the camp barracks, a few days after the camp was liberated by the US ArmyInitially, Dachau was under quarantine due to a US order. Typhus and typhus were rampant on the site. The epidemic and the consequences of malnutrition during concentration camp imprisonment decimated the number of survivors by around 2,000 people. In the now liberated Dachau camp, between 100 and 300 dead had to be buried every day in May 1945. The formation of an international prisoners' committee ( CID ) was planned and announced. During the acute emergency, the camp area was temporarily used as accommodation for homeless and sick former prisoners. In July, U.S. military authorities established the Dachau internment camp on the site .Shortly after the liberation, Colonel William W. Quinn, then Assistant Chief of Staff of the military intelligence service G-2 Section of the 7th US Army, arrived at the camp. In view of the dramatic conditions and the enormous crimes, he decided to immediately form a larger investigative commission made up of employees from various military intelligence services who would create comprehensive documentation. After about one or two weeks [54] the 72-page report entitled Dachau was published , which soon reached the press. [55] It is considered one of the first publicly accessible studies of the German concentration camp complex. [56]Towards the end of 1945, the main Dachau trial took place as part of the Dachau Trials ; 36 of the 40 defendants were sentenced to death by hanging . In May 1946, 28 of the 36 death sentences in the Landsberg war crimes prison were carried out. In 121 follow-up proceedings, around 500 defendants had to answer before US military courts in the following years . The defendants were mostly SS members who had previously worked in the main camp and its satellite camps. The Dachau Trials, which concerned, among other things, the Holocaust , took place on the site until 1948 . The medical experiments on prisoners were also discussed in the Nuremberg medical trials and the Milch 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, CSU state parliament member Hans Hagn submitted a proposal to the Bavarian state parliament to build a labor camp on the site of the concentration camp as a “site for the re-education of anti-social elements”. The motion was passed unanimously; At the same time, the Bavarian Federation of Trade Unions also called for “all anti-social elements to be sent to a work camp”. The implementation failed because a new vote in April 1948 voted in favor of using the concentration camp as a refugee camp . [57]In late post-war investigations, for example the 1960 trial of Karl Kapp , prison functionaries were also brought to trial.Spatial structureInteractive location map (more information → click on the desired location on the map). Modell, eingenordet (links: SS-Gelände, rechts: Häftlings-Gelände)Model, to the north(left: SS area, right: prisoner area)  Lageplan – Überblick bis 1945, sowie KZ-Friedhöfe, eingenordetSite plan - overview up to 1945, as well as concentration camp cemeteries, arranged to the north  Luftaufnahme 1941 Südwestausrichtung (für die Legende auf das Bild klicken)Aerial photo 1941 southwest orientation (click on the image for the legend)  Luftaufnahme 2012 Südausrichtung (Ausschnitt)Aerial photo 2012 south orientation (detail)Gas chamber in the crematoriumThe 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:Inmate compoundSS area (west of the prisoner area)Herb plantation (east of the prison compound)Hebertshausen shooting rangeLeitenberg cemeteryGrave complex in the forest cemeteryWith the start of the war, an increasing number of satellite camps were set up, most of which were located near armaments factories or important workplaces in the southern Reich.Inmate compound View from the roll call area onto Lagerstrasse and barracks, 2020Digging behind electric fenceThe first large section of the concentration camp was the prison camp, also euphemistically known as the 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 anyone approached the fence, the SS personnel fired from guard towers without warning. At night the fence was illuminated. There were a total of 34 barracks in two rows, with camp street in the middle . The Jourhaus formed the entrance to the prisoner area . The living barracks were given the name “blocks” under Commander Loritz. Each apartment block had two washing facilities, two toilets and four “stuben”. Each room had a living room and a bedroom. 52 people were to be accommodated in each room, which meant 208 prisoners per apartment block. In the last years of the war, up to 1,600 [58] prisoners had to share an apartment block.Stone surround of a former barracksThe roll call took place at the beginning and end of the day on the roll call square. If someone was missing, a penalty call was held all night or for half a day. Seven watchtowers surrounded the area, each of which was usually manned by two SS guards with two machine guns. The so-called infirmary initially consisted of two barracks, but was expanded in 1939. In the last years of the war it was 18 barracks in size. The “hospital” included a disinfection barracks and a mortuary chamber. There was a work barracks, another barrack formed the canteen , which was also used for propaganda purposes. The kitchen and also the infamous “bathroom” were located in the farm building . Behind it was the bunker , where camp arrests, camp punishments (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 monuments in the camp: From then on , prisoners passing by had to take off their caps in front of the Schlageter monument, as well as in front of the Wessel monument .Over the course of twelve years, various divisions of the apartment blocks were formed: The punishment blocks were surrounded by barbed wire: here were inmates who had been repeatedly imprisoned or who had been subjected to stricter imprisonment. Other blocks were: Interbrigadist Block , Jewish Block, Invalid Block , Celebrity Block and Pastor Block . From the beginning of the war there was a division according to nationalities (Polish bloc, Czech bloc, ...).SS compoundThe second large area of ​​the camp was the SS area; it was a good twice as big as the prisoner area. Part of it was not officially a concentration camp because there was an SS training camp with barracks and training rooms here. [59] However, there were also workshops at the SS training camp in which prisoners had to work. There were also team barracks and officers' apartments, a bakery and the administration building in the area. Two crematorium buildings were added later.First crematoriumDouble muffle furnace of the first crematoriumForced laborers 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 brought to a crematorium in Munich for cremation, which meant that the number of deaths beyond the camp boundaries could be known. In 1940 the SS built its own crematorium on its SS premises. It was a very small building with only one room and a so-called double muffle furnace, set a little apart and hidden by trees.A special prisoner commando, who were not allowed to have any contact with other prisoners, now had to carry out the cremations. Only prisoners from the “Crematorium Work Squad” were allowed to enter this area. Inside the SS camp the path branched off to the crematorium. It was therefore strictly separated from the prisoner area and had little visibility. This is also why the SS carried out executions by hanging and shooting at this place.Barracks X (second crematorium with gas chamber room)Barracks X, also called Block XTransport list of 555 prisoners to Auschwitz , referred to in Nazi cover language as the “invalid transport”.From May 1942 to April 1943 , the camp administration had a larger building built opposite the first crematorium, the so-called Baracke 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 [5] . Afterwards, 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. Another room had the inscription “Brausebad” above the entrance. The room was tiled in white, had a peephole and 15 simple dummy shower heads. There were two metal flaps on the outer wall, which would also have allowed Zyklon B to be poured in . US troops identified this room as a gas chamber on April 29, 1945 .There were no mass killings by gas in the camp, even at the end of the war. This is also reported by former prisoners: “When the fears that there would be mass killings did not come true after the completion [of the gas chamber], […]”. [60]It cannot be proven whether individual people or a small group died from Zyklon B or other gas - for example combat gas ; because many documents were destroyed before the end of the war. An indication of experiments with combat gas is provided by the surviving letter from SS doctor Rascher to Himmler dated August 9, 1942: “As you know, the same facility is being built in KL Dachau as in Linz. Since the transports of invalids end up in certain chambers [meaning gas chambers] anyway , I ask whether the effects of our various combat gases can not be tested in these chambers on the people who are designated anyway." Another indication is the statement of the 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." [61]The historian Barbara Distel judges: “It is still not clear whether the combat gas testing proposed by Rascher was carried out, but according to the statements of former prisoners, such use cannot be ruled out.” [62]It is proven that there were no mass killings by gas in Dachau. [63] For murder by gas, the SS preferred to deport Dachau prisoners to the gas chamber in Hartheim or to Auschwitz.Concentration camp internal commandosThe concentration camp prisoners were used for forced labor not only in the concentration camp itself in 34 "internal commandos", but also in another type of "internal commandos" of very different sizes, from just a few to hundreds of prisoners, sent to different companies for daily work assignments for the respective shift , partly on foot, partly by train. After the shift, these prisoners from these 45 commandos returned to the Dachau concentration camp to spend the night. [64]See also : Section “Inner Command of the Dachau Concentration Camp” in the article “Subcamp of the Dachau Concentration Camp”Concentration camp subcamp→ Main article : Subcamp of the Dachau concentration campThe 169 satellite camps did not have a uniform appearance. [65] Many thousands of concentration camp prisoners were deployed in the Kaufering and Mühldorf concentration camp subcamp complexes or the large subcamps such as Allach or Lauingen , and only a few elsewhere. [32] Dachau was the most extensive camp system of the National Socialist regime. Forced labor in the concentration camp subcamps initially extended from construction work, such as in gravel pits, quarries and road construction (mostly for the SS-owned Deutsche Erd- und Steinwerke group ) or in the infrastructure measures of the Todt organization , to agricultural work such as cultivation from moors. Manual work was also carried out, mostly in SS-owned craft workshops. From 1942 onwards, sub-camps were created to build huge underground complexes as part of the so-called U-relocation , with the aim of continuing arms production underground in order to protect them from air raids. Upon request, concentration camp prisoners were also used as workers, among other things. Loaned to BMW , Messerschmitt AG , Reichsbahn , Luftschiffbau Zeppelin , Dyckerhoff & Widmann , Agfa and various government agencies. Around 37,000 prisoners worked in the satellite camps at that time.Organizational structurePrisoner work and selectionPropaganda photo: prisoners doing forced labor (1938)According to propaganda, work was primarily a means of political education so that reformable prisoners could be accepted into National Socialist society. However, the SS made more and more profit from prisoner work. The cultivation of the surrounding moors was the initial task of prisoners, but this quickly changed. The establishment of artisanal workplaces - road construction, bricklayers, carpenters, locksmiths, tailors, shoemakers, saddlers, bakers, butchers - promised more profit or self-sufficiency . Just a few months after the camp opened in 1933, 300 prisoners were already working for the SS. Housing 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 its fear that the camp represented untenable competition for other local craftsmen. The political police responded that production in the camp would definitely be be continued. Officially, the assets generated were part of state property, but in reality they benefited Himmler's SS by reducing dependence on the SA and the Reich Ministry of the Interior. Until 1940, the SS was able to use the full profits of prisoner labor. In numerous cases, forced labor resulted in humiliation, abuse and physical destruction, with prisoners being harassed or hunted to death. Later, v. a. in the large satellite camps, this number increased dramatically.Sick and physically weakened prisoners were moved to the invalids' block , from where they were transported to the killing sites.Training campPropaganda photo: Himmler in the SS area of ​​the camp (1938)Since Dachau was the SS's first self-operated camp, the systematic expansion of the concentration camp system in the Reich took place from here. The training of SS personnel took place here, and numerous later concentration camp commanders were initially employed as guards in the Dachau concentration camp.On the adjacent 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 guards' accommodation were housed in the form of the SS barracks. Furthermore, the SS-Unterführerschule Dachau was located on the site of the training camp , the staff of which was housed in the headquarters building of the SS-Totenkopfverband. The junior non-commissioned officers of the “Camp SS” were brought in and trained there. The General SS also had its own “leader school” there. The neighboring SS Administrative School Dachau served to train the administrative cadre until autumn 1942 and was then partially relocated to the then SS barracks in Arolsen due to the course of the war .In the Dachau training camp, Dachau's later guard personnel were brutalized by being trained strictly according to Eicke's specifications ("Dachau School") and the SS men were encouraged to actively use violence on "camp duty" against the local "enemies of the state" in the form of the prisoners to act brutally against them (“tolerance means weakness”). The recruits learned to use corporal punishment and torture on a daily basis during their deployment as concentration camp guards . With what they learned there, the guards were then deployed to other Nazi camps. [66]Medical experimentsNegative pressure test for the Luftwaffe, 1942Since the SS also trained doctors to carry out operations on injured soldiers during wartime, operations were carried out several times for training purposes in the infirmary. In addition, numerous Dachau SS doctors carried out various experiments on prisoners , for example the TB series of experiments, liver punctures, Sigmund Rascher carried out high-altitude and hypothermia experiments, and Claus Schilling infected prisoners with malaria. Hubertus Strughold , Sigmund Ruff and Rascher also carried out mescaline experiments on inmates for interrogation purposes. [67] The experiments were part of the so-called “aviation medical experiments”, in which prisoners were “experimentally” exposed to various extreme physiological stresses until their (precisely measured) death occurred. [68]Camp regulationsThe whipping box on which the corporal punishment was carried outIn almost all early camps, camp regulations emerged that were derived from the common regulations of police and judicial prisons. Things were completely different in the Dachau camp. Here, in the first camp regulations, Commander Wäckerle assigned full jurisdiction to the office of camp commandant, which gave him sole legal authority and was therefore the most far-reaching change. Six months later, the second version was tightened by Commander Eicke on October 1, 1933, and corporal punishment was added as a further innovation. The camp regulations became valid for all SS concentration camps from 1934. The hierarchy of SS personnel was determined by the IKL . The IKL later also provided uniform guidelines for the procedure of the so-called criminal proceedings in the SS concentration camps. In the guard's duty , Himmler had it written down that prisoners had to be shot immediately without being called out and without a warning blank shot. In the case of the numerous unnatural deaths, the attempted explanation was often that prisoners had been shot in an alleged attempt to escape.prison functionariesThe “divide and rule” method was used through graduated prisoner self-management in the camp. The SS appointed prisoners to oversee duties. As soon as they did not complete their task satisfactorily, 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. Minor 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. [69] [70] Dachau was a political camp throughout its twelve years of existence. The positions occupied by prisoners remained in the hands of political prisoners; These had been imprisoned for the longest time since the beginning of the Nazi era .Warehouse terminologyThe 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 harsher and more threatening-sounding abbreviation “KZ” to the outside world. Since all concentration camps were under the control of the SS, the unusual abbreviation was memorized. [71]According to the official definition of the Nazi regime, only those that were under the command of the SS were considered concentration camps. [32] The SS ruled here arbitrarily and without legal restrictions. Other places of detention that were not under the jurisdiction of the SS were referred to in National Socialist terminology as labor education camps .propagandaHimmler and the NSDAP carried out calculated propaganda with the “ Dachau model camp ” in order to counteract the “atrocity propaganda from abroad” (→ Potemkin Village ). The SS later also carried out propaganda with the “model camp” Theresienstadt : prominent Jewish prisoners were forced to take part in propaganda films and then deported to extermination camps .The victimsPrisoner groupsidentification for prisoners; Training material for SS guards→ Main article : Identification system for prisoner groupsThe commander SS Oberführer Loritz systematized the identification of the prisoner groups . They were small triangles of fabric, called chevrons, that were sewn onto the prisoner's uniform. The main groups were distinguished by the color of the triangles.In addition, each prisoner had a number sewn onto their clothing. As for prisoner numbers, the first series 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.Prisoners→ Main article : Prisoners in the Dachau concentration campIn total, 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 prisoner list, as were well-known - and therefore influential - writers and aristocrats. Other high-profile professions were also affected: musicians, composers and lawyers. Another special position of the camp was that from the end of 1940, imprisoned clergy of various denominations from other camps were brought to Dachau and imprisoned in the pastor's block there .See also : Category:Prisoner in the Dachau concentration campFatalities→ Main article : Death figures from the Dachau concentration campGate in the Dachau concentration camp with the inscription Arbeit macht freiThe surviving documents from the registry offices and the special registry office in Bad Arolsen, which was set up after the end of the war , provide written evidence of 32,009 deaths. [72] However, it must be noted that the camp's 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, there were numerous deaths during the prisoners' marches out of the camp, which were also not officially registered. Current historical research assumes around 41,500 deaths. [3]Guards and commanders→ Main article : Personnel in the Dachau concentration campResponsibilitiesThe SS Totenkopf units 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 immediately adjacent SS compound. The SS-Totenkopf unit responsible for guarding the Dachau concentration camp was the SS-Totenkopf-Standarte I “Oberbayern” , from which the later Waffen-SS Division “Totenkopf” was set up in October 1939. After the reclassification, the SS standard in Dachau was renamed the SS Totenkopf recruit standard “Upper Bavaria”.Second in command, from the end of June 1933 to July 7, 1934, was Theodor Eicke . After his murder of the SA leader Röhm, he was promoted and became head of the SS Inspectorate of Concentration Camps (responsible for all concentration camps). He issued regulations that were implemented in practically all concentration camps. He was followed as commanders by Heinrich Deubel , Hans Loritz , Alex Piorkowski , Martin Weiß and Eduard Weiter (October 1, 1943 to April 26, 1945). After him, SS-Untersturmführer Heinrich Wicker (born 1921) [73] handed over the camp to the US troops on April 29th.Dachau trialsMain defendant in the Dachau main trial on November 15, 1945→ Main article : Dachau main trialThe US military used the former prisoner camp and the SS barracks to imprison NSDAP officials and members of the SS. A total of 489 trials were carried out in Dachau, the Dachau Trials being military trials.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 15th to December 13th, 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 main Dachau trial was followed by 121 follow-up trials with around 500 defendants.However, numerous SS men managed to escape abroad via the Rat Lines .Memorials and memorial workMemorial stone and inscription “Never again”Death March from the Dachau Concentration Camp (bronze sculpture by the sculptor Hubertus von Pilgrim )→ Main article : Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial (with religious memorials and memorial)  and Comité International de DachauIn 1963, Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle signed the Franco-German Friendship Treaty . The German federal government committed to preserving the gravesites of former prisoners.The Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial was built in 1965. With the exception of the various church-sponsored facilities on the site, the land and properties of the actual camp, some branch offices and extensive exhibition and archive holdings are sponsored by the Bavarian Memorials Foundation, which was set up in 2003 .After the war, the remaining buildings of the SS area were initially used by the US Army. 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 a national day of remembrance for the victims of National Socialism . Since 2005, January 27th has also been an international day of remembrance.On the night of September 15th to 16th, 2001, the entire length of the back and side walls of the two reconstructed prisoner barracks was daubed with numerous anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-American slogans. The perpetrators, who are still unknown to this day, were probably at work quietly throughout the night, as there was no night-time security service on the site and there were no alarm systems. [74] [75] [76]On May 2, 2010, on the 65th anniversary of the liberation, a sitting German Federal President ( Horst Köhler ) took part in the commemoration ceremony at the Dachau concentration camp memorial for the first time. [77] On the 70th anniversary, German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a speech on May 3, 2015.On the night of November 2, 2014, the original entrance door with the cynical inscription Arbeit Macht Frei was stolen by unknown perpetrators. Despite intensive search work, the thieves have not yet been identified, but the door was found in the Norwegian city of Bergen following an anonymous tip . [78] On February 22, 2017, the door returned to Dachau. It can be seen in the museum's permanent exhibition in an alarm-protected and air-conditioned display case. [79]medialiteratureWolfgang Benz , Angelika Königseder (eds.): The Dachau concentration camp. History and effects of National Socialist repression. Metropol Verlag, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-940938-10-7 , 460 pages.Wolfgang Benz, Barbara Distel (ed.): The place of terror . History of the National Socialist concentration camps. Volume 2: Early camps, Dachau, Emsland camp. CH Beck, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-52962-3 .Comité International de Dachau - Barbara Distel: Dachau concentration camp 1933 to 1945. Dachau 2005, ISBN 3-87490-750-3 .Barbara Distel, Wolfgang Benz: The Dachau concentration camp 1933–1945. History and meaning. Published by the Bavarian State Center for Political Education , Munich 1994 ( km.bayern.de ( Memento from December 3, 2005 in the Internet Archive )).Barbara Distel, Wolfgang Benz: Dachau books . Studies and documents on the history of the National Socialist concentration camps. Website of the Dachau books.Barbara Distel (arr.): Dachau concentration camp. 1933 to 1945; Text and image documents for the exhibition. Catalog for the exhibition “Dachau Concentration Camp 1933 to 1945”; Redesign of the exhibitions at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial. 4th edition. Munich 2005. ISBN 978-3-87490-750-7 .Johann Neuhäusler : What was it like in Dachau? An attempt to get closer to the truth . Board of Trustees for Atonement Dachau Concentration Camp 1960 (13th edition 1986)Hans-Günter Richardi : School of Violence. The beginnings of the Dachau concentration camp 1933–1934. Beck, Munich 1990, ISBN 3-406-09142-3 .Dirk Riedel : Dungeon in the Dachau concentration camp. The history of the three bunker buildings. Dachau 2002.Sabine Schalm: Surviving through work? External commands and subcamps of the Dachau concentration camp 1933 1945, Metropol Verlag, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-940938-45-9 .Sybille Steinbacher directed by Volker Schlöndorff.documentariesDachau concentration camp. Documentary, Germany. The film can be viewed, among other things, in the cinema hall of the Dachau concentration camp.The priest block. Documentary, Germany, 2005, directed by 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 . [80]Hafner's paradise . Documentary, Germany, 2007, directed by Günter Schwaiger. The film describes the encounter between former prisoner Hans Landauer and former SS man Paul Hafner .The white raven. Documentary, 2009, about the former prisoner Max Mannheimer .Born in a concentration camp. Documentary, 2010. Story of two Jewish women who gave birth to children in the Kaufering subcamp during the last winter of the war.Photo archive of the Bavarian State Trial of SS guards, December 1945.Identification of concentration camp personnel , crematorium ovens with wreathsWeb linksCommons : Dachau concentration camp  - collection of images, videos and audio filesDachau Concentration Camp MemorialDachau concentration camp – the first Nazi concentration camp – dossier on BR.deLink catalog on the topic of Dachau concentration camp at curlie.org (formerly DMOZ )(Educational) material on the Dachau concentration camp (learning from history)Michael Backmund, Thies Marsen: “The German people forget too quickly ,” Neues Deutschland, April 18, 2020End of horror? The p. 161.Dachau - Heinrich Himmler and the first concentration camp , September 1, 2015 WeltN24 , accessed September 25, 2016. Anna Andlauer: Claus Bastian - The prisoner with number 1. In: Hans-Günter Richardi (ed.): CVs - 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. Barbara Diestel, Wolfgang Benz: Das Konzentrationslager Dachau 1933–1945. Geschichte und Bedeutung. Hrsg.: Bayerische Landeszentrale für politische Bildungsarbeit. München 1994 (online [abgerufen am 17. April 2006]). Das Konzentrationslager Dachau 1933–1945. Geschichte und Bedeutung (Memento vom 3. Dezember 2005 im Internet Archive) Barbara Diestel, Wolfgang Benz: Das Konzentrationslager Dachau 1933–1945. Geschichte und Bedeutung. Hrsg.: Bayerische Landeszentrale für politische Bildungsarbeit. München 1994 (online [abgerufen am 17. April 2006]). Das Konzentrationslager Dachau 1933–1945. Geschichte und Bedeutung (Memento vom 11. März 2007 im Internet Archive) Hans Beimler: Im Mörderlager Dachau. Vier Wochen in den Händen der braunen Banditen. Moskau 1933 mit zahlreichen Nachdrucken und Übersetzungen unter anderem in englischer, französischer, jiddischer, polnischer und dänischer Sprache. Eine 1980 im Militärverlag der DDR erschienene kommentierte Neuausgabe enthält auch eine Biografie Beimlers mit Beiträgen von Karl Horn, Karl Pioch und Arthur Dorf. Zdenek Zofka: Die Entstehung des NS-Repressionssystems. (Memento vom 5. Januar 2007 im Internet Archive) Staatsanwalt Karl Wintersberger. (PDF; 103 kB) Geschichte 2 (Memento vom 24. Dezember 2008 im Internet Archive) Münchner Illustrierte Presse. Bericht vom 16. Juli 1933 Zámečník: Das war Dachau. Luxemburg 2002, S. 54–58. Am 2. Juli entdeckte der Häftling Hans Deller 17 mit Chlorkalk überschüttete Leichen. Die Zahl der Toten lag vermutlich etwas höher, in dem Buch Die Toten von Dachau sind für diese Tage höhere Todesfälle angeführt. Vgl. Zámečník: Das war Dachau. Luxemburg 2002, S. 70. Häftlinge hatten nachts eine Hinrichtung durch die Fenster der Baracken beobachtet; der Lagerverwalter hielt SS-Männer davon ab, in die Baracken zu stürmen und diese zu erschießen. Am nächsten Tag ordnete Eicke an, dass sie bei einer weiteren Hinrichtung durch den Drahtzaun zusehen mussten. Vgl. Zámečník: Das war Dachau. Luxemburg 2002, S. 69. Vgl. Zámečník: Das war Dachau. Luxemburg 2002, S. 90. Werbeplakat Reichstagswahl 29. März 1936 Vgl. auch Wolfgang Benz: Geschichte des Dritten Reiches. Beck, München 2000, ISBN 3-406-46765-2, S. 80–81. Am 16. Juli 1936 wurden unter der Propagandaparole „Berlin ohne Zigeuner“ rund 600 Sinti und Roma in Berlin verhaftet und in das dazu errichtete Gefangenenlager Berlin-Marzahn gesperrt, von den Nazis als Zigeunerrastplatz Marzahn bezeichnet. Von dort wurden später viele in die KZ deportiert. Vgl. Wolfgang Benz: Das Lager Marzahn. Zur nationalsozialistischen Verfolgung der Sinti und Roma und ihrer anhaltenden Diskriminierung. In: Helge Grabitz, Klaus Bästlein, Johannes Tuchel (Hrsg.): Die Normalität des Verbrechens. Bilanz und Perspektiven der Forschung zu den nationalsozialistischen Gewaltverbrechen. Berlin 1994, S. 260–279. Vgl. Wolfgang Ayaß: „Asoziale“ im Nationalsozialismus. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1995, S. 138–179. Zámečník: Das war Dachau. 2002, S. 98. Faksimile des Fernschreibens von Heydrich in der Pogromnacht 1938. NS-Archiv, Dokumente zum Nationalsozialismus, Stand: 6. Dezember 2008. Wolf-Arno Kropat: Kristallnacht in Hessen, Das Judenpogrom vom November 1938. Wiesbaden 1988, ISBN 3-921434-11-4, S. 167 ff. Schreiben des Auswärtigen Amtes Berlin 1939, Stand 9. Januar 2007. Die katholische Kapelle bildet einen aufgebrochenen Zylinder, der für den Architekten Josef Wiedemann ein Symbol für die Befreiung aus der Gefangenschaft durch Christus darstellen soll. Vor der Todesangst-Christi-Kapelle befindet sich noch eine Gedächtnisglocke, die täglich um 15:00 Uhr (nach biblischer Angabe die Todesstunde Jesu) läutet. Sie war das erste religiöses Mahnmal, das 1960 auf Initiative des ehemaligen Häftlings und späteren Münchner Weihbischofs Johannes Neuhäusler gebaut wurde. Ihre Weihe am 5. August 1960 im Rahmen des Eucharistischen Weltkongresses wurde zu einem wichtigen Signal für das Anliegen, am Ort des ehemaligen Konzentrationslagers eine Gedenkstätte zu errichten. Der Grundriss der aus Holzplanken errichteten russischen Kapelle ist ein Oktogon und steht auf einem Hügel, der teilweise aus Erde aus der ehemaligen Sowjetunion aufgeschüttet wurde. Die Hauptikone im Inneren der 1995 eingeweihten Kapelle zeigt den auferstandenen Christus, der die Insassen des Lagers aus ihren Baracken durch das von Engeln geöffnete Tor herausführt. „Möge das Vorbild derer, die hier von 1933 bis 1945 wegen ihres Kampfes gegen den Nationalsozialismus ihr Leben ließen, die Lebenden vereinen zur Verteidigung des Friedens und der Freiheit und in Ehrfurcht vor der Würde des Menschen.“ Inschrift des Internationalen Mahnmals von Nandor Glid. Die jüdische Gedenkstätte rechts neben der Todesangst-Christi-Kapelle wurde am 7. Mai 1967 eingeweiht. Der Bau des Architekten Zvi Guttmann ist aus schwarzem Lavabasaltstein und führt wie auf einer Rampe in die Tiefe. Am tiefsten Punkt dringt jedoch Licht durch eine Öffnung in der Decke. Überragt wird der Bau von einer siebenarmigen Menorah aus Marmor, der aus Peki'in in Israel stammt. Der Ort Peki'in soll im Verlauf der Jahrhunderte immer wenigstens von einem Juden bewohnt gewesen sein, wodurch eine Kontinuität des Judentums symbolisiert wird. Im Inneren leuchtet das „Ner Tamid“, das Ewige Licht. Die Geländer greifen das Bild des im Konzentrationslager allgegenwärtigen Stacheldrahtes auf und gemeinsam mit der Rampe stellt das Gebäude auf einer symbolischen Ebene eine Erinnerung an die Vernichtung der europäischen Juden dar. Grafik Arbeitslosigkeit zwischen 1921 und 1939 (Memento vom 4. Februar 2007 im Internet Archive) „Hitler kam (…) in „Mein Kampf“ zu dem Schluss, dass (…) ein politischer Einfluss der Religion – in Hitlers Augen ein Missbrauch – nicht zugelassen werden dürfe“. Textauszug aus: Zámečník: Das war Dachau. Luxemburg 2002, S. 170. Vgl. Quelle: Hitler: Mein Kampf. 1939, S. 292–294. Barbara Diestel, Wolfgang Benz: Das Konzentrationslager Dachau 1933–1945. Geschichte und Bedeutung. Hrsg.: Bayerische Landeszentrale für politische Bildungsarbeit. München 1994 (online [abgerufen am 17. April 2006]). Das Konzentrationslager Dachau 1933–1945. Geschichte und Bedeutung (Memento vom 3. Dezember 2005 im Internet Archive) Zámečník, S. 174. Dachauer Archiv, DA-36125. Zahlenangabe der Gedenkstätte (Memento vom 24. September 2010 im Internet Archive) Erst Klee: Deutsche Medizin im Dritten Reich. Karrieren vor und nach 1945. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt/M. 2001, ISBN 3-10-039310-4, S. 185. Versuche mit Unterdruck im Jahr 1942 (Memento vom 13. Februar 2009 im Internet Archive), Stand 9. Januar 2007. Laut Aussagen des Zeugen der Verteidigung H. Bickel (NOR 4, S. 5335–5359 G) und des Angeklagten Mummethey, leitender Geschäftsführer der DEST (NOR 4, S. 5588–5589 G). Zámečník: Das war Dachau. S. 257. Zámečník: Das war Dachau. Luxemburg 2002, S. 256 ff. KZ Dachau. Deutsches Historisches Museum Kupfer-Koberwitz: Die Mächtigen. Band II, S. 177. Im Frühjahr führten die Häftlinge auf einer improvisierten Freilichtbühne ein selbstgeschriebenes Theaterstück auf, der Text war zensiert worden, es kam dennoch zu Anspielungen auf Hitler: Eine Person hieß Adolar, ein anderer Schausteller sprach den Namen dann absichtlich als Adol-f-ar aus. Ab Ende April gestattete Redwitz wöchentlich sonntags auf dem Appellplatz ein Fußballspiel. Am 29. August durften polnische Volkstänze aufgeführt werden. laut Aussage von Häftling Emil Mahr, Case Dachau, Exhibit 93, S. 1–2. Zámečník: Das war Dachau. Luxemburg 2002, S. 259 ff. Nach französischen Quellen, von denen zum Beispiel auch Berben ausgeht, kam der Transport am 5. Juli mit 984 Toten an. – Die Quelle Dachauer Archiv DA-1042 nennt hingegen den 6. Juli mit 891 Toten. Auch so bei Zámečník: Das war Dachau. Luxemburg 2002, S. 346: er verwendet die niedrigere Zahl (6. Juli, 891 Tote). Zámečník: Das war Dachau. Luxemburg 2002, S. 323. Meerwasser-Versuche 1944 Zámečník: Das war Dachau. Luxemburg 2002, S. 348. Tabellen des ITS Arolsen. Zámečník, S. 399. Erinnerungsorte des Nationalsozialismus in Innsbruck und Seefeld. (Memento vom 14. Juli 2014 im Internet Archive) Institut für Zeitgeschichte der Universität Innsbruck 2004. History: Dachau: II. Dachau, concentration camp, OSS section, seventh army. Abgerufen am 13. Oktober 2014. Morris U. Schappes: The Editors Diary. In: Jewish Currents, Volume 47, 1993, S. 20 Michael Wiley Perry, US 7th Army: Dachau Liberated: The Official Report by U.S. Seventh Army Released Within Days of the Camp's Liberation by Elements of the 42nd and 45th Divisions, 2000, S. 2 John C. McManus: Hell Before Their Very Eyes: American Soldiers Liberate Concentration Camps in Germany, April 1945, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore 2015, ISBN 978-1-4214-1765-3, S. 138 Zit. n.: Benjamin Bauer: Arbeitszwang gegen „Asoziale“? Kontinuitäten des KZ Dachau in der unmittelbaren Nachkriegszeit. In: Wissen schafft Demokratie 7/2020 (Kontinuitäten), S. 158–169. Barbara Diestel, Wolfgang Benz: Das Konzentrationslager Dachau 1933–1945. Geschichte und Bedeutung. Hrsg.: Bayerische Landeszentrale für politische Bildungsarbeit. München 1994 (online [abgerufen am 31. Dezember 2006]). Das Konzentrationslager Dachau 1933–1945. Geschichte und Bedeutung (Memento vom 4. Dezember 2005 im Internet Archive) siehe farbige Umrandung (Memento vom 19. Juli 2011 im Internet Archive) Vgl. Zámečník: S. 298–300. IMT Nürnberg, Band 32 (Dokumentenband 8), ISBN 3-7735-2524-9, S. 62 = Dokument 3249 PS. Barbara Distel: Die Gaskammer in der „Baracke X“ des Konzentrationslagers Dachau. In: Günther Morsch, Bertrand Perz: Neue Studien zu nationalsozialistischen Massentötungen durch Giftgas. Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-940938-99-2, S. 339. Barbara Distel: Die Gaskammer in der „Baracke X“… S. 338/339. Sabine Schalm: Überleben durch Arbeit? Außenkommandos und Außenlager des KZ Dachau 1933–1945. In: Geschichte der Konzentrationslager 1933–1945. Band 10. Metropol, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-940938-45-9, S. 45–50 (zugleich Diss. an der TU Berlin 2008). Barbara Diestel, Wolfgang Benz: Das Konzentrationslager Dachau 1933–1945. Geschichte und Bedeutung. Hrsg.: Bayerische Landeszentrale für politische Bildungsarbeit. München 1994 (online [abgerufen am 17. April 2006]). Das Konzentrationslager Dachau 1933–1945. Dachauer Außenkommandos (Memento vom 11. März 2007 im Internet Archive) Karin Orth: Wie SS-Männer zu Mördern gedrillt wurden. In: Spiegel Online. 12. März 2008. Torsten Passie: Meskalinforschung in Deutschland 1887–1950: Grundlagenforschung, Selbstversuche und Missbrauch. Abgerufen am 10. Juli 2021. Karl-Heinz Roth: Strukturen, Paradigmen und Mentalitäten in der luftfahrtmedizinischen Forschung des „Dritten Reichs“ 1933–1941: Der Weg ins Konzentrationslager Dachau. In: 1999. Zeitschrift für Sozialgeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts 15 (2000), S. 49–77. Zámečník: Das war Dachau. Luxemburg 2002, S. 158. Henryk Maria Malak: Shavelings in Death Camps: A Polish Priest’s Memoir of Imprisonment by the Nazis, 1939–1945, S. 363. Eugen Kogon: Der SS-Staat. Das System der deutschen Konzentrationslager. Alber, München 1946. nach Dachauer Archiv DA-36125. Zámečník, S. 398. Vgl. KZ Bruttig-Treis (Juni–September 1944) und Hessentaler Todesmarsch.Stanislav Zámečník (Hrsg. Comité International de Dachau): Das war Dachau. Luxemburg 2002, S. 390–396.H. W. – Geboren am 30. Juni 1921 in Gausbach bei Gernsheim (Baden)KZ-Gedenkstätte Sandhofen: Die SS-Führer Ahrens und Wicker. (Memento vom 19. Juli 2011 im Internet Archive) Anschlag: KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau mit antisemitischen Parolen beschmiert.Propaganda photo: Heinrich Himmler (2nd from left) and - next to him - Rudolf Heß (2nd from right) during a camp inspection in 1936Concentration camp prisoners doing forced labor in the camp (pushing Loren) (July 20, 1938)The Dachau concentration camp , full name Dachau concentration camp , official abbreviation KL Dachau , existed from March 22, 1933 until it was taken over by soldiers of the 7th US Army on April 29, 1945 ( liberation of the Dachau concentration camp ). The Nazi regime built it just a few weeks after Adolf Hitler came to power . It was the first concentration camp to be built as a permanent facility , [1] and one of the best known due to the publication of the conditions in the camp immediately after the liberation. [2] It operated continuously for twelve years, twice as long as many of the other concentration camps .The site is approximately 20 kilometers northwest of Munich. The camp initially served to imprison political opponents of National Socialism. Heinrich Himmler , police chief of Munich and Reichsführer SS from 1934 , had it built east of the city of Dachau on the site of a former ammunition factory. It was used - especially in its early years, when the NSDAP wanted to consolidate its power - to imprison and intimidate political dissidents.After the dismantling of the SA in 1934, which was accompanied by the propaganda lie of an impending “ Röhm Putsch ,” Himmler planned to expand the Dachau concentration camp. In 1937, construction work began on the new prisoner area, which was connected to the former ammunition factory. The organization and spatial structure later served as a template for new concentration camps in the Reich. The Nazi regime presented it as a “model camp” for propaganda purposes , for example using euphemistic photographs.Dachau was a training location for concentration camp guards and SS leaders, who were also deployed in extermination camps after the start of the Second World War . The Dachau concentration camp was not an extermination camp; However, no other concentration camp saw so many political murders .After Kristallnacht , the SS increasingly imprisoned Jews and other persecuted people. After the start 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 occupied several special positions: The camp was the first place in the German Reich where an SS camp commander was assigned sole jurisdiction and applicable law was successfully repealed. The SS created a “ state within a state ”. The imprisonment and murder of political opponents were beyond the reach of the justice system.Of the total of at least 200,000 prisoners, around 41,500 died, of which around 14,500 died between June 1944 and April 1945 in the Kaufering subcamp complex alone. [3] In addition, the SS often deported prisoners to other camps with harsher conditions or even to the extermination camps in the East.The Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial has been located on the site since 1965 and was visited by around 800,000 people annually in 2008. [4]Table of contentsOriginPropaganda shot: Release of prisoners as part of a “mercy action” at Christmas 1933On the night of the Reichstag fire on February 27, 1933, the National Socialists began imprisoning their political opponents. [5] 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 places 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 places of detention. Dachau was the only one of the early concentration camps that was not dissolved until the beginning of the Second World War : Heinrich Himmler had it systematically expanded and used it as a model for concentration camps built later.StoryPolitical terror 1933–1934SS guards at the end of May 1933Newspaper clipping from the Dolomites from May 22, 1933, p. 2, with the explicit mention of the Dachau concentration campThe Dachau camp was built three weeks after the Reichstag fire. On March 13, 1933, Himmler, who had been in office as acting police chief of Munich for a week , arranged for the establishment of a political concentration camp near Dachau and announced this to journalists from Bavarian newspapers a week later, on March 20, 1933, at a press conference at the Munich police headquarters . [6] [7] On March 22nd, around 150 prisoners from the Landsberg correctional facility , the Neudeck prison and the Stadelheim prison were brought to the site of the disused Dachau Royal Powder and Ammunition Factory . The communist Claus Bastian received prison number one . [8] In the first few days they were guarded by the Bavarian State Police . [9] From April 11th, the police and SS shared the guarding of the camp; the SS was used as auxiliary police. The next day the first murders were committed, of the prisoners Rudolf Benario , Ernst Goldmann and Arthur Kahn. [10] Numerous other deaths followed, for example Fritz Dressel , Wilhelm Aron , Sebastian Nefzger .In May, Hans Beimler ( KPD ) managed to escape; He had been a member of the Reichstag until his imprisonment. Shortly afterwards, he published the brochure In the Dachau Murder Camp abroad . [11] The first commandant was Hilmar Wäckerle ; he wrote the first provisional camp regulations in May on Himmler's instructions. It stated that jurisdiction over the camp lay solely with the commandant. He could even sentence prisoners to death if two SS guards he appointed agreed. Reasons for death penalty were e.g. E.g. “acts of violence against camp staff”, “collective refusal to obey” or incitement to do so. At the beginning of June, the SS took over sole guarding. At the end of June , Theodor Eicke became camp commandant. Eicke aimed to completely seal off the camp from outsiders. Even the fire department was not allowed to enter the area to check compliance with fire regulations. [12] Karl Wintersberger from the Munich public prosecutor's office was investigating the first three prisoner shootings in Dachau during this time. [13] When all proceedings were stopped after a few months, the Dachau concentration camp had become a lawless area. [10]Concentration camp prisoner postcard from August 1933For example, members of the state parliament such as Alois Hundhammer ( BVP ) or members of the Reichstag such as Ernst Heilmann and Friedrich Puchta (both SPD ) were imprisoned. The numerous examples of imprisoned politicians or activists had an intimidating effect on the public. The NSDAP had already achieved many things with the help of the political police and judiciary: weakened the influence of trade unions, banned or dissolved parties, brought states and municipalities into line , and abolished democratic conditions. Radio and film were controlled. By controlling or taking over all existing associations and restricting freedom of speech , ideological control was gained over communication among the people. Forming 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 kept track of who was imprisoned. It was at the discretion of ambitious local Nazis to arrest or release anyone. Frictions soon arose over questions of jurisdiction and power struggles. At that time, SA group leader Schmid was the special commissioner of the Supreme SA leadership in the government of Upper Bavaria. On July 1, 1933, he wrote an incendiary letter to the Bavarian Prime Minister Siebert :“The authority of the state is at risk from the all-round, unauthorized interference of political officials in the wheels 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 command powers of the ministries, i.e. in the command powers of the district governments, district offices, down to the smallest gendarmerie station. Everyone arrests everyone (...), everyone threatens everyone with Dachau (...) Down to the smallest gendarmerie station, the best and most reliable officials have become insecure, which is bound to have devastating and state-destroying effects." [12]Prisoners eating (May 1933), propaganda photo by Friedrich BauerPropaganda photo: A group of around 50 prisoners being released at the camp gate (December 1933)On July 16, 1933, a propagandistic report about the camp appeared in the magazine Münchner Illustrierte Presse with the subtitle Early Appeal in the Education Camp . The cover picture showed prisoners dressed neatly and cleanly (see Fig. [14] ). Since July, a priest from the Dachau community appeared regularly and held a service on Sundays; An average of 20 people took part. At this time the prisoners still wore their own clothes. Camp meals on weekdays consisted, for example, of substitute coffee, bread, and stew; 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 or sent money , which they could use to buy bread, butter, sausage or fruit in the canteen at higher prices. A camp library was built in the fall; It contained, among other things, books by Karl May and Hitler's Mein Kampf . [15] By publicizing these initial living conditions, the SS combated the so-called atrocity propaganda from abroad ; The living conditions in the camp also changed within the twelve years.On October 1, 1933, Eicke presented the second camp regulations , which were much stricter than the previous ones. He also introduced mandatory guard duty where blank shots were prohibited and live fire should be carried out immediately. The Dachau camp became a “state within a state”: a place isolated from the outside world with its own laws and the threat of death. A ban on dismissals was ordered on October 20, 1933 and lasted two months. In November 1933, camp inmates were able to take part in the Reichstag election . During 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 of power in Bavaria. [10]The Dachau camp was planned from the start with a capacity of 5,000 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 imprisoned, about half were released, so that 2,425 were still imprisoned at the end of the year. [5] The released prisoners reported about the concentration camp. The camp slowly developed into a concept that spread terror among the population and prevented many dissidents from making public statements. [9] Long before the outbreak of war, the saying came up: “Dear God, make me dumb so that I don’t come to Dachau!”Closure of 48 concentration campsBy January 1934, SS leader Himmler had managed to increase his influence. He was commander of the political police in almost all German states. At that time , SA leader Ernst Röhm was considered the second most powerful man in the state. 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 organization, the SS. “Protective custody” should be restricted and the “wild” concentration camps should be dismantled. 34 concentration camps were cleared - 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 Empire ; Dachau was one of these few.Disempowerment of the SASS troopHimmler's SS, which was in competition with the SA, achieved the murder of Röhm and the disempowerment of the SA by the end of June 1934. In order to be able to show an official reason and not to antagonize the people, Hitler had the SA chief Röhm ( Röhm Putsch ) spread the rumor of an allegedly impending putsch . 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 [16] people in the camp on July 1st and 2nd: members of the huge SA party army as well as opponents of the regime who had nothing to do with the SA: For example, Fritz Gerlich , Bernhard Stempfle , Gustav von Kahr , who as General State Commissioner put down the Hitler putsch in 1923, as well as five prisoners from the Dachau concentration camp who had sat in the bunker. [17] 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 ( IKL ). His successor as commander from December 10th was Heinrich Deubel .After the SA was removed from power, Göring later managed to become the second man in the state by accumulating offices. Himmler was given the opportunity to separate his SS from the SA and build it up as a large organization. Those early, “wild” SA concentration camps were already feared by the people. Gradually, the government began to set up “systematic” camps in which order supposedly 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 build new concentration camps in the following years, such as Sachsenhausen (1936), Neuengamme (1938), Mauthausen (1938) and Auschwitz (1940).1935Starting around 1935, the government began increasingly deporting people who had been released from prison. [9] In addition to these prisoners, a few Sinti and Roma , Jews , Jehovah's Witnesses and homosexuals were imprisoned; these did not arrive in larger numbers until 1936. In September, the Nuremberg Racial Laws created a legal basis for the persecution and imprisonment of Jewish citizens.Transition period 1936–1938Propaganda photo: Himmler visits the Dachau concentration camp, 1936.The years 1936 to 1938 represented a transitional period. The first blow of political terror slowly subsided. The regime had consolidated and was now preparing for war. It had successfully found an “instrument of terror” in the concentration camps. A second phase of incarceration began in the camp after the start of World War II and intensified in 1942 and 1943. [18]1936Propaganda photo and propaganda campaign: BDM leaders visiting the camp (1936)Propaganda photo: construction work (1936)In March 1936, camp inmates were allowed to take part in the Reichstag election again . [19] Hans Loritz was promoted to camp commandant on April 1st. While the prisoner clothing previously indicated the reason for imprisonment using colored dots and stripes, a new identification system for prisoner groups was introduced under Loritz, as was the striped prisoner clothing .The 1936 Winter Olympics took place not far from Munich in February and the Summer Games in Berlin in August. The regime presented the Olympics as a festival of the peoples ; they became a major propaganda success for the “Third Reich”. In 1936, in connection with the large number of tourists expected to attend the Olympic Games, the Bavarian Political Police issued guidelines on the imposition of “protective custody” for “ public pests ”. Affected were so-called “beggars, tramps, gypsies, work-shy people, idlers, prostitutes, habitual drinkers, bullies, traffic offenders, troublemakers, psychopaths, mentally ill people”. Frick issued the circular to combat the “Gypsy plague” in 1936. [20]In Switzerland, Julius Zerfaß published the book Dachau - A Chronicle under the protective pseudonym Walter Hornung.The local press in Munich reported several times about the concentration camp until the start of the war, mostly with a derisive tone about political inmates and with warnings about the “dangerous Bolsheviks ” (see World Bolshevism ). At the end of the year, the Illustrierte Observer published a propaganda report about the Dachau camp.1937At the beginning of the year, construction work began on the larger, planned new prison area . New barracks were built. The new site measured 583 by 278 meters and was partially adjacent to the old camp, the former ammunition factory. A roll call area, wooden barracks, a bunker with 136 cells for solitary confinement, a farm building with a kitchen and other buildings were built. The new prisoner accommodation corresponded to the status of imperial barracks at the time. On the east side of the camp, the soil was cultivated to create a medicinal herb plantation (project of the German Research Institute for Nutrition and Catering ). The site was rebuilt and expanded by 1938. In 1937, 38 [5] people died in the camp.1938Propaganda photo: After the November pogrom, a column of Jews is taken to the concentration camp for so-called protective custody, Baden-Baden, November 1938.On April 1, 1938, three weeks after the annexation of Austria , the first 151 Austrians came to Dachau on the so-called celebrity transport . They were primarily media-effective opponents of various political directions. The Dachaulied was also written in the same year . In June, another wave of arrests took place with the “Workshy Reich” campaign , which affected people with “ anti-social ” behavior. [21] 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, as well as in relation to the living conditions "The material and hygienic facilities of the camp, as well as the treatment, nutrition and work of the prisoners, left me a very favorable impression." [22] The first Sudeten German prisoners arrived in October . Anti -Semitism had increased sharply, and in the course of Kristallnacht , 10,911 [10] Jews, including 3,700 from Vienna , were brought to the camp.In a telex sent on the night of the pogrom, SS group leader Reinhard Heydrich instructed the StaPo to “arrest as many Jews in all districts – especially wealthy ones – as can be accommodated in the existing detention rooms.” [23]Decaying greenhouse in the former Dachau herb gardenThese Jewish prisoners were gradually released until May 1939. Threats were used to put pressure on them and their families to immediately emigrate and Aryanize their assets . [24] In several cases, individual National Socialists succeeded in extorting houses, businesses or assets from the so-called “ Action Jews ” at far below their value. At Christmas, several prisoners were publicly whipped in the roll call area next to the Christmas tree.From May 1938 to 1942, concentration camp prisoners built a “ herb garden ” directly next to the concentration camp on behalf of the German Research Institute for Nutrition and Catering as a research facility for the use of plant-based active ingredients and organic-dynamic farming .1939Prisoner postcards were checked and censored by the SS for their content .On the night of January 24th, the painter Louis Übrig managed to escape. As a blanket punishment, the SS ordered the entire camp staff to stand in the freezing cold of the night, which resulted in deaths. [10]On January 25, 1939, a letter from the Berlin Foreign Office described the goal [25] of Germany's “Jewish policy” and pointed out in detail the ways and means of emigration and the whereabouts of property. On the anniversary of the annexation of Austria, some Austrian prisoners were given amnesty. A month later, a “jubilant amnesty” took place on Hitler’s 50th birthday . In the second half of 1939, the inmates of the Jewish block were punished with isolation several times.Catholic “Fear of Christ Chapel” [26]Russian Orthodox Church “Resurrection of Our Lord” [27]“Skeletons in Barbed Wire” monument by the Yugoslavian sculptor Nandor Glid, a Jew who lost most of his relatives in the Auschwitz concentration camp . [28]Jewish memorial [29]War begins in September 1939Propaganda photo: SS guards and prisoners, June 1938After the start of the Second World War, the SS filled the camp with prisoners from occupied countries. Originally, the concentration camps were places of harassment and deterrence for influential opponents of the regime. Now the arms industry was increasingly dependent on the cheap labor of prisoners to wage war (see graph on unemployment [30] ). Inmates were used in SS-owned companies, for example the German Earth and Stone Works ( DEST ) or the German Equipment Works ( DAW ), as well as in quarries, brickworks, gravel pits and various other professional sectors and companies. They were allocated by the government and used in the company cost-effectively and profitably. Prisoners were also used to build the Reichsautobahn . For local reasons, satellite camps and flexible work teams became necessary.Between September 27, 1939 and February 18, 1940, the prisoners were transferred to other camps. Meanwhile, 7,000 members of the SS Totenkopf units were trained in Dachau . The prisoners were relocated: 2,138 to Buchenwald , 1,600 to Mauthausen , 981 to Flossenbürg . Only a work detail of around 100 prisoners remained in the camp. [10]1940Camp fence and watchtower (photo from 1991, memorial)At New Year's Day 1940, the SS armaments company, the German Equipment Works (DAW) , took control of the concentration camp's workshops such as metalworking, carpentry and saddlery. At the end of April and beginning of May, transports with Polish prisoners from the Krakow special operation arrived . The film The Great Dictator , a satire on Hitler and National Socialism that dealt with the forced camps, was released abroad this year . Towards the end of the year, the priests and pastors from all the concentration camps began to be brought together in Dachau; [31] the prisoner barracks there were called the pastor's block . While extermination camps such as Chelmno , Auschwitz-Birkenau , Belzec , Sobibor , Treblinka and Majdanek emerged in the occupied territories of Poland, the use of violence also increased in the Dachau concentration camp. [32]1941In January 1941, on Himmler's orders, an improvised chapel was set up for the clergy in Block 26. From January 22nd onwards, the clergy were allowed to celebrate services there every day, under the supervision of an SS man. From April 11, all clergy received better food rations, financed by the Vatican . The privileged status of prisoners led to physical resentment from other prisoners and SS men; it was reversed in September. [33] This year, a prisoner music group was formed under Egon Zill , which had to play music on certain occasions. At the beginning of 1941, an experimental station was set up in the hospital ward in which 114 registered tuberculosis patients were treated homeopathically . The head doctor was von Weyherns. In February he tested biochemical agents on prisoners. From June 1st, a special camp registry office (Dachau II) was set up to register deaths . By then, according to the registry office of the city of Dachau, the number of deaths was 3,486 [34] 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 at the SS training shooting range in Hebertshausen . [35]1942Pick-up bus from the Hartheim Nazi killing center at Hartheim Castle: The “invalids” were led to believe that they were going to a sanatorium to recoverThe Wannsee Conference took place on January 20th, at which the Holocaust was coordinated. On January 2nd, the first transport, called “ Invalidentransport ” in Nazi cover language , started to the Nazi killing center in Hartheim . There the Dachau prisoners were killed by gas as part of Action 14f13 . Within a year, the SS brought undesirable concentration camp prisoners there in 32 transports [10] who were labeled mentally ill or unfit for work, a total of around 3,000 prisoners. These killings in Hartheim Castle took place as part of the Nazi murders .On February 22nd, the negative pressure test series began in the concentration camp, in which the aviation physicians Georg Weltz , Siegfried Ruff , Hans-Wolfgang Romberg and the SS-Hauptsturmführer Sigmund Rascher were involved. [36] The doctors were commissioned to determine people's ability to react and survive at high altitudes, during rapid ascents (at heights of up to 20 kilometers and more) and when suddenly falling from great heights. A Luftwaffe negative pressure chamber was delivered and set up between Block 5 and the adjacent barracks. [37] The series of experiments ended in the second half of May and cost the lives of 70 to 80 [10] of around 200 prisoners.On February 23, 1942, Claus Schilling began his first experiments to research drugs against the tropical disease malaria . 1100 [10] prisoners were infected and used as test subjects. Ten deaths were clearly proven in the Dachau trials . Schilling carried out these experiments until April 5, 1945. [10] While the medical experiments on pressure effects were intended to benefit pilots, this research was aimed at Wehrmacht soldiers deployed in the African campaign .In the first years of the war, the infirmary consisted of six barracks; the Kapo in the infirmary was Josef Heiden . A biochemical experimental station was set up in Block I in June. The director was Heinrich Schütz . The phlegmon (inflammation) test series began , carried out in Block 1, Room 3. By the time it was completed in the spring of 1943, this had cost the lives of at least 17 [10] prisoners.On August 15, hypothermia attempts began under the direction of doctors Holzlöhner , Finke and Rascher. Their purpose was to be able to better help pilots who got into distress at sea. The experiments officially ended in October 1942. Rascher extended the series of experiments on his own initiative until May 1943. The number of test subjects was between 220 and 240 people, of which around 65 to 70 prisoners died.On September 1st , Martin Weiß became the new commander. He had been sharply instructed by Pohl [38] to pay better attention to maintaining the prison labor force. During his command, the punishment of hanging on poles was abolished, harassment, beatings and roll calls became less frequent, and prisoners were allowed to go to their barracks more often. Above all, the weight and number of food shipments were no longer restricted. More packages arrived, some prisoners were now very well looked after, and a lively barter trade arose. A differentiation developed among the prisoners. [39] Soviet prisoners were unable to have any contact with their homeland and were not sent any packages. Anyone who received enough packages could now also get prison functionaries accepted into a good work detail. [40]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. [41]At the end of November, typhus and typhus broke out. Typhus, transmitted by lice, became 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, [42] a total of around eight more followed. Selected feature films and propaganda reports on German war successes were shown. The government wanted to use war propaganda to counteract the hopes of political opponents and resistance fighters in the camp. The situation in the Stalingrad pocket gave rise to suspicions that the war might not be won. A few weeks later, Goebbels publicly called for total war .1943Bunker (Dachau concentration camp)From January 1 to March 15, 1943, the entire camp was under quarantine because of a typhus epidemic. During this time, the prisoners lived in the prison area; SS men did not enter it. The prisoners were allowed to rest, occasionally they were allowed to make music and poems were also written. The camp library had expanded because books were now arriving in parcels. Cultural activities continued to a limited extent during the quarantine period. [43] At the same time, around 800 to 1000 inmates were executed for “sabotage” during these months. [44] On August 4th, 16 prisoners were beaten as a deterrent to the assembled camp inmates . Rascher and Schilling's series of experiments were also running. [45] In October , Eduard Weiter became the new and last commandant of the concentration camp.1944Death Notification (1944)In 1944, the first concentration camps in the East were evacuated due to the advancing front. Western camps were increasingly filling up with evacuated prisoners. On February 22nd, 31 Soviet officers were shot by the SS in the courtyard of the crematorium. [10]On May 11, a camp brothel was put into operation and six women from the Ravensbrück concentration camp arrived. It was related to Oswald Pohl's service regulations to reward and thus increase exceptional work performance among prisoners. It was dissolved again towards the end of the year. [5] On July 6th, the death transport from the Compiègne camp arrived in Dachau; out of 2,521 [10] prisoners, 984 [10] were already dead. [46]On the same day, prisoner Sepp Eberl managed to listen to the news about the Allies landing in Normandy on a radio in the SS rooms . [47] In the summer, Wilhelm Beiglböck attempted to use seawater as drinking water. [48]  His test subjects were 44 [10] imprisoned Sinti . From autumn onwards, the camps were completely overcrowded: the rooms planned for 52 people now had to be shared by 300 to 500 people. On September 4th and 6th, a further 92 [10] Soviet officers were shot in the courtyard of the crematorium, publicly to deter the prisoners. [49] In November, another typhus epidemic broke out, brought into the camp by an evacuation transport. Death rates increased, from 403 in October to 997 in November and 1,915 in December. [50] On December 17, deacon Karl Leisner was secretly ordained a priest in the camp chapel by the French bishop Gabriel Piguet .In September 1944, the Dachau Mass was composed by the church musician and composer Father Gregor Schwake as a prisoner in the Dachau concentration camp.1945Prisoner clothing, April 30, 1945From the beginning of the year until April, evacuation transports arrived from camps that had already been evacuated. In order to be able to continue using their labor, the prisoners were sent on long and costly transports to the west of the empire. Camp personnel also arrived, such as the later acquitted SS doctor Hans Münch in January 1945 . The overcrowding of the camp accelerated the typhus epidemic: the mortality rate was 2,903 deaths in January and increased in the following months. The crematorium was taken out of operation, from February 12th the deceased were buried in mass graves on the Leitenberg, and from 1949 the Dachau-Leitenberg concentration camp cemetery was built there. [51] A number of doctors and nurses also succumbed to the epidemic. Father Engelmar Unzeitig died of typhus during this time. Towards the end of March, hundreds of German clergy were dismissed; 170 [10] 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 . The prisoners Georg Elser and Charles Delestraint were shot on April 9th and 19th, respectively. At the beginning of April, the SS began burning papers and documents. In mid-April, the SS suspended Johan Meansarian and Albert Wernicke. She put the two prison functionaries, who were feared by the prisoners, in the bunker. [5] On April 14th, Himmler sent a radio message to the commandant's office in Dachau and Flossenbürg . He ordered a total evacuation, [10] which was later reduced to the removal of Germans, Soviet citizens, Poles and Jews. This marked the beginning of the evacuation and death marches . On April 17th and 24th, some prisoners, including Niemöller , Piquet and Schuschnigg , were transported towards Tyrol.On April 23, the work detail stopped leaving the camp for the first time. Another evacuation transport with 1,700 Jewish prisoners arrived on the Reichsbahn via Emmering-Munich- Wolfratshausen -Mittenwald on April 28th to Seefeld in Tyrol . The railway line was interrupted in Reith, so the prisoners had to march further into the Inn Valley on foot. In Mösern, the SS guards received the order from Gauleiter Franz Hofer to turn back, so that the next day the majority of the group was forced to return to Seefeld in order to be transported back to Mittenwald by train. Some prisoners did not survive the hardships. [52] Another transport with the Reichsbahn ran on April 25th from Emmering via Munich, Wolfratshausen and Kochel to Seeshaupt on Lake Starnberg. The 3,000 prisoners were freed on April 30th. The evacuation transport from April 26th via Emmering-Munich-Wolfratshausen-Penzberg-Staltach with 1,759 Jews was also freed on April 30th. On the same day, the Americans stopped a march of 6,887 [10] prisoners. It began on April 26th and led via Pasing, Wolfratshausen and Bad Tölz to Tegernsee. Many did not live to see liberation; they died of complete physical exhaustion or were murdered. 1000 more Russian prisoners were saved from the march by the camp committee through sabotage. [53] On April 27, 2,000 prisoners were sent on a transport from Emmering on 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.A day later, on April 28, German Major General Max Ulich, wanting to avoid unnecessary losses against the US forces , withdrew the 212th Volksgrenadier Division from the camp area. The Dachau Uprising also took place in the city on this day , led by former Dachau prisoners Walter Neff and Georg Scherer .Liberation in 1945Death train from Buchenwald (April 29, 1945)→ Main article : Liberation of the Dachau concentration campThe next day, April 29, 1945, the US Army marched in to liberate the main camp. She was completely unprepared for the death train from Buchenwald , which was standing next to the prisoner camp on the SS site and had around 2,300 corpses in its wagons. This shocking impression led to spontaneous vigilantism. The US soldiers executed SS men. The shootings, which were not necessary to liberate the camp - the men of the Waffen-SS had hardly offered any resistance - were later used as propaganda in right-wing extremist circles to offset them, and the event itself was spread as the so-called " Dachau massacre " .A day later the troops marched into Munich. Other nearby satellite camps were liberated; among the prisoners was, for example, Viktor Frankl , whose later book ... Still Saying Yes to Life about his experiences in the Dachau and Auschwitz camps achieved worldwide fame. Prisoner transports that were still in the Munich area were also released on April 30th.US administrationLiberated prisoners from the Dachau concentration camp greet US soldiersView of the camp barracks, a few days after the camp was liberated by the US ArmyInitially, Dachau was under quarantine due to a US order. Typhus and typhus were rampant on the site. The epidemic and the consequences of malnutrition during concentration camp imprisonment decimated the number of survivors by around 2,000 people. In the now liberated Dachau camp, between 100 and 300 dead had to be buried every day in May 1945. The formation of an international prisoners' committee ( CID ) was planned and announced. During the acute emergency, the camp area was temporarily used as accommodation for homeless and sick former prisoners. In July, U.S. military authorities established the Dachau internment camp on the site .Shortly after the liberation, Colonel William W. Quinn, then Assistant Chief of Staff of the military intelligence service G-2 Section of the 7th US Army, arrived at the camp. In view of the dramatic conditions and the enormous crimes, he decided to immediately form a larger investigative commission made up of employees from various military intelligence services who would create comprehensive documentation. After about one or two weeks [54] the 72-page report entitled Dachau was published , which soon reached the press. [55] It is considered one of the first publicly accessible studies of the German concentration camp complex. [56]Towards the end of 1945, the main Dachau trial took place as part of the Dachau Trials ; 36 of the 40 defendants were sentenced to death by hanging . In May 1946, 28 of the 36 death sentences in the Landsberg war crimes prison were carried out. In 121 follow-up proceedings, around 500 defendants had to answer before US military courts in the following years . The defendants were mostly SS members who had previously worked in the main camp and its satellite camps. The Dachau Trials, which concerned, among other things, the Holocaust , took place on the site until 1948 . The medical experiments on prisoners were also discussed in the Nuremberg medical trials and the Milch 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, CSU state parliament member Hans Hagn submitted a proposal to the Bavarian state parliament to build a labor camp on the site of the concentration camp as a “site for the re-education of anti-social elements”. The motion was passed unanimously; At the same time, the Bavarian Federation of Trade Unions crematoriumThe 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:•    Inmate compound•    SS area (west of the prisoner area)•    Herb plantation (east of the prison compound)•    Hebertshausen shooting range•    Leitenberg cemetery•    Grave complex in the forest cemetery•    With the start of the war, an increasing number of satellite camps were set up, most of which were located near armaments factories or important workplaces in the southern Reich.Inmate compound View from the roll call area onto Lagerstrasse and barracks, 2020Digging behind electric fenceThe first large section of the concentration camp was the prison camp, also euphemistically known as the 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 anyone approached the fence, the SS personnel fired from guard towers without warning. At night the fence was illuminated. There were a total of 34 barracks in two rows, with camp street in the middle . The Jourhaus formed the entrance to the prisoner area . The living barracks were given the name “blocks” under Commander Loritz. Each apartment block had two washing facilities, two toilets and four “stuben”. Each room had a living room and a bedroom. 52 people were to be accommodated in each room, which meant 208 prisoners per apartment block. In the last years of the war, up to 1,600 [58] prisoners had to share an apartment block.Stone surround of a former barracksThe roll call took place at the beginning and end of the day on the roll call square. If someone was missing, a penalty call was held all night or for half a day. Seven watchtowers surrounded the area, each of which was usually manned by two SS guards with two machine guns. The so-called infirmary initially consisted of two barracks, but was expanded in 1939. In the last years of the war it was 18 barracks in size. The “hospital” included a disinfection barracks and a mortuary chamber. There was a work barracks, another barrack formed the canteen , which was also used for propaganda purposes. The kitchen and also the infamous “bathroom” were located in the farm building . Behind it was the bunker , where camp arrests, camp punishments (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 monuments in the camp: From then on , prisoners passing by had to take off their caps in front of the Schlageter monument, as well as in front of the Wessel monument .Over the course of twelve years, various divisions of the apartment blocks were formed: The punishment blocks were surrounded by barbed wire: here were inmates who had been repeatedly imprisoned or who had been subjected to stricter imprisonment. Other blocks were: Interbrigadist Block , Jewish Block, Invalid Block , Celebrity Block and Pastor Block . From the beginning of the war there was a division according to nationalities (Polish bloc, Czech bloc, ...).SS compoundThe second large area of the camp was the SS area; it was a good twice as big as the prisoner area. Part of it was not officially a concentration camp because there was an SS training camp with barracks and training rooms here. [59] However, there were also workshops at the SS training camp in which prisoners had to work. There were also team barracks and officers' apartments, a bakery and the administration building in the area. Two crematorium buildings were added later.First crematoriumDouble muffle furnace of the first crematoriumForced laborers 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 brought to a crematorium in Munich for cremation, which meant that the number of deaths beyond the camp boundaries could be known. In 1940 the SS built its own crematorium on its SS premises. It was a very small building with only one room and a so-called double muffle furnace, set a little apart and hidden by trees.A special prisoner commando, who were not allowed to have any contact with other prisoners, now had to carry out the cremations. Only prisoners from the “Crematorium Work Squad” were allowed to enter this area. Inside the SS camp the path branched off to the crematorium. It was therefore strictly separated from the prisoner area and had little visibility. This is also why the SS carried out executions by hanging and shooting at this place.Barracks X (second crematorium with gas chamber room)Barracks X, also called Block XTransport list of 555 prisoners to Auschwitz , referred to in Nazi cover language as the “invalid transport”.From May 1942 to April 1943 , the camp administration had a larger building built opposite the first crematorium, the so-called Baracke 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 [5] . Afterwards, 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. Another room had the inscription “Brausebad” above the entrance. The room was tiled in white, had a peephole and 15 simple dummy shower heads. There were two metal flaps on the outer wall, which would also have allowed Zyklon B to be poured in . US troops identified this room as a gas chamber on April 29, 1945 .There were no mass killings by gas in the camp, even at the end of the war. This is also reported by former prisoners: “When the fears that there would be mass killings did not come true after the completion [of the gas chamber], […]”. [60]It cannot be proven whether individual people or a small group died from Zyklon B or other gas - for example combat gas ; because many documents were destroyed before the end of the war. An indication of experiments with combat gas is provided by the surviving letter from SS doctor Rascher to Himmler dated August 9, 1942: “As you know, the same facility is being built in KL Dachau as in Linz. Since the transports of invalids end up in certain chambers [meaning gas chambers] anyway , I ask whether the effects of our various combat gases can not be tested in these chambers on the people who are designated anyway." Another indication is the statement of the 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." [61]The historian Barbara Distel judges: “It is still not clear whether the combat gas testing proposed by Rascher was carried out, but according to the statements of former prisoners, such use cannot be ruled out.” [62]It is proven that there were no mass killings by gas in Dachau. [63] For murder by gas, the SS preferred to deport Dachau prisoners to the gas chamber in Hartheim or to Auschwitz.Concentration camp internal commandosThe concentration camp prisoners were used for forced labor not only in the concentration camp itself in 34 "internal commandos", but also in another type of "internal commandos" of very different sizes, from just a few to hundreds of prisoners, sent to different companies for daily work assignments for the respective shift , partly on foot, partly by train. After the shift, these prisoners from these 45 commandos returned to the Dachau concentration camp to spend the night. [64]See also : Section “Inner Command of the Dachau Concentration Camp” in the article “Subcamp of the Dachau Concentration Camp”Concentration camp subcamp→ Main article : Subcamp of the Dachau concentration campThe 169 satellite camps did not have a uniform appearance. [65] Many thousands of concentration camp prisoners were deployed in the Kaufering and Mühldorf concentration camp subcamp complexes or the large subcamps such as Allach or Lauingen , and only a few elsewhere. [32] Dachau was the most extensive camp system of the National Socialist regime. Forced labor in the concentration camp subcamps initially extended from construction work, such as in gravel pits, quarries and road construction (mostly for the SS-owned Deutsche Erd- und Steinwerke group ) or in the infrastructure measures of the Todt organization , to agricultural work such as cultivation from moors. Manual work was also carried out, mostly in SS-owned craft workshops. From 1942 onwards, sub-camps were created to build huge underground complexes as part of the so-called U-relocation , with the aim of continuing arms production underground in order to protect them from air raids. Upon request, concentration camp prisoners were also used as workers, among other things. Loaned to BMW , Messerschmitt AG , Reichsbahn , Luftschiffbau Zeppelin , Dyckerhoff & Widmann , Agfa and various government agencies. Around 37,000 prisoners worked in the satellite camps at that time.Organizational structurePrisoner work and selectionPropaganda photo: prisoners doing forced labor (1938)According to propaganda, work was primarily a means of political education so that reformable prisoners could be accepted into National Socialist society. However, the SS made more and more profit from prisoner work. The cultivation of the surrounding moors was the initial task of prisoners, but this quickly changed. The establishment of artisanal workplaces - road construction, bricklayers, carpenters, locksmiths, tailors, shoemakers, saddlers, bakers, butchers - promised more profit or self-sufficiency . Just a few months after the camp opened in 1933, 300 prisoners were already working for the SS. Housing 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 its fear that the camp represented untenable competition for other local craftsmen. The political police responded that production in the camp would definitely be be continued. Officially, the assets generated were part of state property, but in reality they benefited Himmler's SS by reducing dependence on the SA and the Reich Ministry of the Interior. Until 1940, the SS was able to use the full profits of prisoner labor. In numerous cases, forced labor resulted in humiliation, abuse and physical destruction, with prisoners being harassed or hunted to death. Later, v. a. in the large satellite camps, this number increased dramatically.Sick and physically weakened prisoners were moved to the invalids' block , from where they were transported to the killing sites.Training campPropaganda photo: Himmler in the SS area of the camp (1938)Since Dachau was the SS's first self-operated camp, the systematic expansion of the concentration camp system in the Reich took place from here. The training of SS personnel took place here, and numerous later concentration camp commanders were initially employed as guards in the Dachau concentration camp.On the adjacent 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 guards' accommodation were housed in the form of the SS barracks. Furthermore, the SS-Unterführerschule Dachau was located on the site of the training camp , the staff of which was housed in the headquarters building of the SS-Totenkopfverband. The junior non-commissioned officers of the “Camp SS” were brought in and trained there. The General SS also had its own “leader school” there. The neighboring SS Administrative School Dachau served to train the administrative cadre until autumn 1942 and was then partially relocated to the then SS barracks in Arolsen due to the course of the war .In the Dachau training camp, Dachau's later guard personnel were brutalized by being trained strictly according to Eicke's specifications ("Dachau School") and the SS men were encouraged to actively use violence on "camp duty" against the local "enemies of the state" in the form of the prisoners to act brutally against them (“tolerance means weakness”). The recruits learned to use corporal punishment and torture on a daily basis during their deployment as concentration camp guards . With what they learned there, the guards were then deployed to other Nazi camps. [66]Medical experimentsNegative pressure test for the Luftwaffe, 1942Since the SS also trained doctors to carry out operations on injured soldiers during wartime, operations were carried out several times for training purposes in the infirmary. In addition, numerous Dachau SS doctors carried out various experiments on prisoners , for example the TB series of experiments, liver punctures, Sigmund Rascher carried out high-altitude and hypothermia experiments, and Claus Schilling infected prisoners with malaria. Hubertus Strughold , Sigmund Ruff and Rascher also carried out mescaline experiments on inmates for interrogation purposes. [67] The experiments were part of the so-called “aviation medical experiments”, in which prisoners were “experimentally” exposed to various extreme physiological stresses until their (precisely measured) death occurred. [68]Camp regulationsThe whipping box on which the corporal punishment was carried outIn almost all early camps, camp regulations emerged that were derived from the common regulations of police and judicial prisons. Things were completely different in the Dachau camp. Here, in the first camp regulations, Commander Wäckerle assigned full jurisdiction to the office of camp commandant, which gave him sole legal authority and was therefore the most far-reaching change. Six months later, the second version was tightened by Commander Eicke on October 1, 1933, and corporal punishment was added as a further innovation. The camp regulations became valid for all SS concentration camps from 1934. The hierarchy of SS personnel was determined by the IKL . The IKL later also provided uniform guidelines for the procedure of the so-called criminal proceedings in the SS concentration camps. In the guard's duty , Himmler had it written down that prisoners had to be shot immediately without being called out and without a warning blank shot. In the case of the numerous unnatural deaths, the attempted explanation was often that prisoners had been shot in an alleged attempt to escape.prison functionariesThe “divide and rule” method was used through graduated prisoner self-management in the camp. The SS appointed prisoners to oversee duties. As soon as they did not complete their task satisfactorily, 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. Minor 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. [69] [70] Dachau was a political camp throughout its twelve years of existence. The positions occupied by prisoners remained in the hands of political prisoners; These had been imprisoned for the longest time since the beginning of the Nazi era .Warehouse terminologyThe 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 harsher and more threatening-sounding abbreviation “KZ” to the outside world. Since all concentration camps were under the control of the SS, the unusual abbreviation was memorized. [71]According to the official definition of the Nazi regime, only those that were under the command of the SS were considered concentration camps. [32] The SS ruled here arbitrarily and without legal restrictions. Other places of detention that were not under the jurisdiction of the SS were referred to in National Socialist terminology as labor education camps .propagandaHimmler and the NSDAP carried out calculated propaganda with the “ Dachau model camp ” in order to counteract the “atrocity propaganda from abroad” (→ Potemkin Village ). The SS later also carried out propaganda with the “model camp” Theresienstadt : prominent Jewish prisoners were forced to take part in propaganda films and then deported to extermination camps .The victimsPrisoner groupsidentification for prisoners; Training material for SS guards→ Main article : Identification system for prisoner groupsThe commander SS Oberführer Loritz systematized the identification of the prisoner groups . They were small triangles of fabric, called chevrons, that were sewn onto the prisoner's uniform. The main groups were distinguished by the color of the triangles.In addition, each prisoner had a number sewn onto their clothing. As for prisoner numbers, the first series 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.Prisoners→ Main article : Prisoners in the Dachau concentration campIn total, 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 prisoner list, as were well-known - and therefore influential - writers and aristocrats. Other high-profile professions were also affected: musicians, composers and lawyers. Another special position of the camp was that from the end of 1940, imprisoned clergy of various denominations from other camps were brought to Dachau and imprisoned in the pastor's block there .See also : Category:Prisoner in the Dachau concentration campFatalities→ Main article : Death figures from the Dachau concentration campGate in the Dachau concentration camp with the inscription Arbeit macht freiThe surviving documents from the registry offices and the special registry office in Bad Arolsen, which was set up after the end of the war , provide written evidence of 32,009 deaths. [72] However, it must be noted that the camp's 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, there were numerous deaths during the prisoners' marches out of the camp, which were also not officially registered. Current historical research assumes around 41,500 deaths. [3]Guards and commanders→ Main article : Personnel in the Dachau concentration campResponsibilitiesThe SS Totenkopf units 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 immediately adjacent SS compound. The SS-Totenkopf unit responsible for guarding the Dachau concentration camp was the SS-Totenkopf-Standarte I “Oberbayern” , from which the later Waffen-SS Division “Totenkopf” was set up in October 1939. After the reclassification, the SS standard in Dachau was renamed the SS Totenkopf recruit standard “Upper Bavaria”.Second in command, from the end of June 1933 to July 7, 1934, was Theodor Eicke . After his murder of the SA leader Röhm, he was promoted and became head of the SS Inspectorate of Concentration Camps (responsible for all concentration camps). He issued regulations that were implemented in practically all concentration camps. He was followed as commanders by Heinrich Deubel , Hans Loritz , Alex Piorkowski , Martin Weiß and Eduard Weiter (October 1, 1943 to April 26, 1945). After him, SS-Untersturmführer Heinrich Wicker (born 1921) [73] handed over the camp to the US troops on April 29th.Dachau trialsMain defendant in the Dachau main trial on November 15, 1945→ Main article : Dachau main trialThe US military used the former prisoner camp and the SS barracks to imprison NSDAP officials and members of the SS. A total of 489 trials were carried out in Dachau, the Dachau Trials being military trials.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 15th to December 13th, 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 main Dachau trial was followed by 121 follow-up trials with around 500 defendants.However, numerous SS men managed to escape abroad via the Rat Lines .Memorials and memorial workMemorial stone and inscription “Never again”Death March from the Dachau Concentration Camp (bronze sculpture by the sculptor Hubertus von Pilgrim )→ Main article : Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial (with religious memorials and memorial)  and Comité International de DachauIn 1963, Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle signed the Franco-German Friendship Treaty . The German federal government committed to preserving the gravesites of former prisoners.The Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial was built in 1965. With the exception of the various church-sponsored facilities on the site, the land and properties of the actual camp, some branch offices and extensive exhibition and archive holdings are sponsored by the Bavarian Memorials Foundation, which was set up in 2003 .After the war, the remaining buildings of the SS area were initially used by the US Army. 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 a national day of remembrance for the victims of National Socialism . Since 2005, January 27th has also been an international day of remembrance.On the night of September 15th to 16th, 2001, the entire length of the back and side walls of the two reconstructed prisoner barracks was daubed with numerous anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-American slogans. The perpetrators, who are still unknown to this day, were probably at work quietly throughout the night, as there was no night-time security service on the site and there were no alarm systems. [74] [75] [76]On May 2, 2010, on the 65th anniversary of the liberation, a sitting German Federal President ( Horst Köhler ) took part in the commemoration ceremony at the Dachau concentration camp memorial for the first time. [77] On the 70th anniversary, German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a speech on May 3, 2015.On the night of November 2, 2014, the original entrance door with the cynical inscription Arbeit Macht Frei was stolen by unknown perpetrators. Despite intensive search work, the thieves have not yet been identified, but the door was found in the Norwegian city of Bergen following an anonymous tip . [78] On February 22, 2017, the door returned to Dachau. It can be seen in the museum's permanent exhibition in an alarm-protected and air-conditioned display case. [79]medialiterature•    Wolfgang Benz , Angelika Königseder (eds.): The Dachau concentration camp. History and effects of National Socialist repression. Metropol Verlag, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-940938-10-7 , 460 pages.•    Wolfgang Benz, Barbara Distel (ed.): The place of terror . History of the National Socialist concentration camps. Volume 2: Early camps, Dachau, Emsland camp. CH Beck, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-52962-3 .•    Comité International de Dachau - Barbara Distel: Dachau concentration camp 1933 to 1945. Dachau 2005, ISBN 3-87490-750-3 .•    Barbara Distel, Wolfgang Benz: The Dachau concentration camp 1933–1945. History and meaning. Published by the Bavarian State Center for Political Education , Munich 1994 ( km.bayern.de ( Memento from December 3, 2005 in the Internet Archive )).•    Barbara Distel, Wolfgang Benz: Dachau books . Studies and documents on the history of the National Socialist concentration camps. Website of the Dachau books.•    Barbara Distel (arr.): Dachau concentration camp. 1933 to 1945; Text and image documents for the exhibition. Catalog for the exhibition “Dachau Concentration Camp 1933 to 1945”; Redesign of the exhibitions at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial. 4th edition. Munich 2005. ISBN 978-3-87490-750-7 .•    Johann Neuhäusler : What was it like in Dachau? An attempt to get closer to the truth . Board of Trustees for Atonement Dachau Concentration Camp 1960 (13th edition 1986)•    Hans-Günter Richardi : School of Violence. The beginnings of the Dachau concentration camp 1933–1934. Beck, Munich 1990, ISBN 3-406-09142-3 .•    Dirk Riedel : Dungeon in the Dachau concentration camp. The history of the three bunker buildings. Dachau 2002.•    Sabine Schalm: Surviving through work? External commands and subcamps of the Dachau concentration camp 1933 1945, Metropol Verlag, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-940938-45-9 .•    Sybille Steinbacher : Dachau - The city and the concentration camp during the Nazi era. Investigating a Neighborhood. Peter Lang, Frankfurt a. M. 1993, ISBN 3-631-46682-X .•    Nikolaus Wachsmann : KL: The history of the National Socialist concentration camps. Siedler Verlag, Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-88680-827-4 .•    Stanislav Zámečník (ed. Comité International de Dachau): That was Dachau. Luxembourg 2002, ISBN 2-87996-948-4 .•    Detailed list of further literature on hagalil.comGraphic novel•    Guy-Pierre Gautier, Tiburce Oger: Survival in Dachau , Bahoe Books, Vienna 2020, ISBN 978-3-903290-20-4FilmsFeature films with a historical reference•    The ninth day . Feature film, Germany, 2004, directed by Volker Schlöndorff.documentaries•    Dachau concentration camp. Documentary, Germany. The film can be viewed, among other things, in the cinema hall of the Dachau concentration camp.•    The priest block. Documentary, Germany, 2005, directed by 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 . [80]•    Hafner's paradise . Documentary, Germany, 2007, directed by Günter Schwaiger. The film describes the encounter between former prisoner Hans Landauer and former SS man Paul Hafner .•    The white raven. Documentary, 2009, about the former prisoner Max Mannheimer .•    Born in a concentration camp. Documentary, 2010. Story of two Jewish women who gave birth to children in the Kaufering subcamp during the last winter of the war.Photo archive of the Bavarian State Library•    Staged propaganda photos. Photographer: Heinrich Hoffmann , June 1933◦    Prisoners build a swimming pool , view of the Dachau camp , guards , prisoners curling , curling 2 , curling 3 , curling 4 , prisoner on the ice , building the Wessel monument•    Secret photography (photography ban), Dachau area, everyday war life in 1943.◦    Everyday war life in 1943 , + , + , + , + , + , + , +•    Photos: Trial of SS guards, December 1945.◦    Identification of concentration camp personnel , crematorium ovens with wreathsWeb linksCommons : Dachau concentration camp  - collection of images, videos and audio files•    Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial•    Dachau concentration camp – the first Nazi concentration camp – dossier on BR.de•    Link catalog on the topic of Dachau concentration camp at curlie.org (formerly DMOZ )•    (Educational) material on the Dachau concentration camp (learning from history)•    Michael Backmund, Thies Marsen: “The German people forget too quickly ,” Neues Deutschland, April 18, 2020•    End of horror? The liberation of the Flossenbürg and Dachau concentration camps , documentary, Bavarian features section•    Place of remembrance (website on the history of the Kaufering subcamp complex)Individual evidence1    ↑ Stanislav Zámečník : Early camps, Dachau, Emsland camp . In: Wolfgang Benz, Barbara Distel (ed.): The place of terror . tape 2 . C. H. Beck, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-52962-3 , p. 233 f .2    ↑ Barbara Distel : Early camps, Dachau, Emsland camp . In: Wolfgang Benz, Barbara Distel (ed.): The place of terror . tape 2 . C. H. Beck, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-52962-3 , p. 275 : “The catastrophic conditions […] were spread around .6    ↑ Peter Longerich : Heinrich Himmler. Biography. Siedler, Munich 2008, p. 161.7    ↑ Dachau - Heinrich Himmler and the first concentration camp Bayerische Landeszentrale für politische Bildungsarbeit. München 1994 (online [abgerufen am 17. April 2006]). Das Konzentrationslager Dachau 1933–1945. Geschichte und Bedeutung (Memento vom 11. März 2007 im Internet Archive)11    ↑ Hans Beimler: Im Mörderlager Dachau. Vier Repressionssystems. (Memento vom 5. Januar 2007 im Internet Archive)13    ↑ Staatsanwalt Karl Wintersberger. (PDF; 103 kB) Geschichte 2 (Memento vom 24. Dezember 2008 im Internet Archive)14    ↑ Münchner Illustrierte Presse. Bericht vom 16. Juli 193315    ↑ Zámečník: Das war Dachau. Luxemburg 2002, S. 54–58.16    ↑ Am 2. Juli entdeckte der Häftling Hans Deller 17 mit Chlorkalk überschüttete Leichen. Die Zahl der Toten lag vermutlich etwas höher, in dem Buch Die Toten von Dachau sind für diese Tage höhere Todesfälle angeführt. Vgl. Zámečník: Das war Dachau. Luxemburg 2002, S. 70.17    ↑ Häftlinge hatten nachts eine Hinrichtung durch die Fenster der Baracken beobachtet; der Lagerverwalter hielt SS-Männer davon ab, in die Baracken zu stürmen und diese zu erschießen. Am nächsten Tag ordnete Eicke an, dass sie bei einer weiteren Hinrichtung durch den Drahtzaun zusehen mussten. Vgl. Zámečník: Das war Dachau. Luxemburg 2002, S. 69.18    ↑ Vgl. Zámečník: Das war Dachau. Luxemburg 2002, S. 90.19    ↑ Werbeplakat Reichstagswahl 29. März 193620    ↑ Vgl. auch Wolfgang Benz: Geschichte des Dritten Reiches. Beck, München 2000, ISBN 3-406-46765-2, S. 80–81. Am 16. Juli 1936 wurden unter der Propagandaparole „Berlin ohne Zigeuner“ rund 600 Sinti und Roma in Berlin verhaftet und in das dazu errichtete Gefangenenlager Berlin-Marzahn gesperrt, von den Nazis als Zigeunerrastplatz Marzahn bezeichnet. Von dort wurden später viele in die KZ deportiert. Vgl. Wolfgang Benz: Das Lager Marzahn. Zur nationalsozialistischen Verfolgung der Sinti und Roma und ihrer anhaltenden Diskriminierung. In: Helge Grabitz, Klaus Bästlein, Johannes Tuchel (Hrsg.): Die Normalität des Verbrechens. Bilanz und Perspektiven der Forschung zu den nationalsozialistischen Gewaltverbrechen. Berlin 1994, S. 260–279.21    ↑ Vgl. Wolfgang Ayaß: „Asoziale“ im Nationalsozialismus. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1995, S. 138–179.22    ↑ Zámečník: Das war Dachau. 2002, S. 98.23    ↑ Faksimile des Fernschreibens von Heydrich in der Pogromnacht 1938. NS-Archiv, Dokumente zum Nationalsozialismus, Stand: 6. Dezember 2008.24    ↑ Wolf-Arno Kropat: Kristallnacht in Hessen, Das Judenpogrom vom November 1938. Wiesbaden 1988, ISBN 3-921434-11-4, S. 167 ff.25    ↑ Schreiben des Auswärtigen Amtes Berlin 1939, Stand 9. Januar 2007.26    ↑ Die katholische Kapelle bildet einen aufgebrochenen Zylinder, der für den Architekten Josef Wiedemann ein Symbol für die Befreiung aus der Gefangenschaft durch Christus darstellen soll. Vor der Todesangst-Christi-Kapelle befindet sich noch eine Gedächtnisglocke, die täglich um 15:00 Uhr (nach biblischer Angabe die Todesstunde Jesu) läutet. Sie war das erste religiöses Mahnmal, das 1960 auf Initiative des ehemaligen Häftlings und späteren Münchner Weihbischofs Johannes Neuhäusler gebaut wurde. Ihre Weihe am 5. August 1960 im Rahmen des Eucharistischen Weltkongresses wurde zu einem wichtigen Signal für das Anliegen, am Ort des ehemaligen Konzentrationslagers eine Gedenkstätte zu errichten.27    ↑ Der Grundriss der aus Holzplanken errichteten russischen Kapelle ist ein Oktogon und steht auf einem Hügel, der teilweise aus Erde aus der ehemaligen Sowjetunion aufgeschüttet wurde. Die Hauptikone im Inneren der 1995 eingeweihten Kapelle zeigt den auferstandenen Christus, der die Insassen des Lagers aus ihren Baracken durch das von Engeln geöffnete Tor herausführt.28    ↑ „Möge das Vorbild derer, die hier von 1933 bis 1945 wegen ihres Kampfes gegen den Nationalsozialismus ihr Leben ließen, die Lebenden vereinen zur Verteidigung des Friedens und der Freiheit und in Ehrfurcht vor der Würde des Menschen.“ Inschrift des Internationalen Mahnmals von Nandor Glid.29    ↑ Die jüdische Gedenkstätte rechts neben der Todesangst-Christi-Kapelle wurde am 7. Mai 1967 eingeweiht. Der Bau des Architekten Zvi Guttmann ist aus schwarzem Lavabasaltstein und führt wie auf einer Rampe in die Tiefe. Am tiefsten Punkt dringt jedoch Licht durch eine Öffnung in der Decke. Überragt wird der Bau von einer siebenarmigen Menorah aus Marmor, der aus Peki'in in Israel stammt. Der Ort Peki'in soll im Verlauf der Jahrhunderte immer wenigstens von einem Juden bewohnt gewesen sein, wodurch eine Kontinuität des Judentums symbolisiert wird. Im Inneren leuchtet das „Ner Tamid“, das Ewige Licht. Die Geländer greifen das Bild des im Konzentrationslager allgegenwärtigen Stacheldrahtes auf und gemeinsam mit der Rampe stellt das Gebäude auf einer symbolischen Ebene eine Erinnerung an die Vernichtung der europäischen Juden dar.30    ↑ Grafik Arbeitslosigkeit zwischen 1921 und 1939 (Memento vom 4. Februar 2007 im Internet Archive)31    ↑ „Hitler kam (…) in „Mein Kampf“ zu dem Schluss, dass (…) ein politischer Einfluss der Religion – in Geschichte und Bedeutung. Hrsg.: Bayerische Landeszentrale für politische Bildungsarbeit. München 1994 (online [abgerufen am 17. April 2006]). Das Konzentrationslager Dachau 1933–1945. Geschichte und Bedeutung (Memento vom 3. Dezember 2005 im Internet Archive)33    ↑ Zámečník, S. 174.34    ↑ Dachauer Archiv, DA-36125.35    ↑ Zahlenangabe der Gedenkstätte (Memento vom 24. September 2010 im Internet Archive)36    ↑ Erst Klee: Deutsche Medizin im Dritten Reich. Karrieren vor und nach 1945. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt/M. 2001, ISBN 3-10-039310-4, S. 185.37    ↑ Versuche mit Unterdruck im Jahr 1942 (Memento vom 13. Februar 2009 im Internet Archive), Stand 9. Januar 2007.38    ↑ Laut Aussagen des Zeugen der Verteidigung H. Bickel (NOR 4, S. 5335–5359 G) und des Angeklagten Mummethey, leitender Geschäftsführer der DEST (NOR 4, S. 5588–5589 G).39    ↑ Zámečník: Das war Dachau. S. 257.40    ↑ Zámečník: Das war Dachau. Luxemburg 2002, S. 256 ff.41    ↑ KZ Dachau. Deutsches Historisches Museum42    ↑ Kupfer-Koberwitz: Die Mächtigen. Band II, S. 177.43    ↑ Im Frühjahr führten die Häftlinge auf einer improvisierten Freilichtbühne ein selbstgeschriebenes Theaterstück auf, der Text war zensiert worden, es kam dennoch zu Anspielungen auf Hitler: Eine Person hieß Adolar, ein anderer Schausteller sprach den Namen dann absichtlich als Adol-f-ar aus. Ab Ende April gestattete Redwitz wöchentlich sonntags auf dem Appellplatz ein Fußballspiel. Am 29. August durften polnische Volkstänze aufgeführt werden.44    ↑ laut Aussage von Häftling Emil Mahr, Case Dachau, Exhibit 93, S. 1–2.45    ↑ Zámečník: Das war Dachau. Luxemburg 2002, S. 259 ff.46    ↑ Nach französischen Quellen, von denen zum Beispiel auch Berben ausgeht, kam der Transport am 5. Juli mit 984 Toten an. – Die Quelle Dachauer Archiv DA-1042 nennt hingegen den 6. Juli mit 891 Toten. Auch so bei Zámečník: Das war Dachau. Luxemburg 2002, S. 346: er verwendet die niedrigere Zahl (6. Juli, 891 Tote).47    ↑ Zámečník: Das war Dachau. Luxemburg 2002, S. 323.48    ↑ Meerwasser-Versuche 194449    ↑ Zámečník: Das war Dachau. Luxemburg 2002, S. 348.50    ↑ Tabellen des ITS Arolsen.51    ↑ Zámečník, S. 399.52    ↑ Erinnerungsorte des Nationalsozialismus in Innsbruck und Seefeld. (Memento vom 14. Juli 2014 im Internet Archive) Institut für Zeitgeschichte der Universität Innsbruck 2004.53    ↑ History: Dachau: II. Dachau, concentration camp, OSS section, seventh army. Abgerufen am 13. Oktober 2014.54    ↑ Morris U. Schappes: The Editors Diary. In: Jewish Currents, Volume 47, 1993, S. 2055    ↑ Michael Wiley Perry, US 7th Army: Dachau Liberated: The Official Report by U.S. Seventh Army Released Within Days of the Camp's Liberation by Elements of the 42nd and 45th Divisions, 2000, S. 256    ↑ John C. McManus: Hell Before Their Very Eyes: American Soldiers Liberate Concentration Camps in Germany, April 1945, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore 2015, ISBN 978-1-4214-1765-3, S. 13857    ↑ Zit. n.: Benjamin Bauer: Arbeitszwang gegen „Asoziale“? Kontinuitäten des KZ Dachau in der unmittelbaren Nachkriegszeit. In: Wissen schafft Demokratie 7/2020 (Kontinuitäten), S. 158–169.58    ↑ Barbara Diestel, Wolfgang Benz: Das Konzentrationslager Dachau 1933–1945. Geschichte und Bedeutung. Hrsg.: Bayerische Landeszentrale für politische Bildungsarbeit. München 1994 (online [abgerufen am 31. Dezember 2006]). Das Konzentrationslager Dachau 1933–1945. Geschichte und Bedeutung (Memento vom 4. Dezember 2005 im Internet Archive)59    ↑ siehe farbige Umrandung (Memento vom 19. Juli 2011 im Internet Archive)60    ↑ Vgl. Zámečník: S. 298–300.61    ↑ IMT Nürnberg, Band 32 (Dokumentenband 8), ISBN 3-7735-2524-9, S. 62 = Dokument 3249 PS.62    ↑ Barbara Distel: Die Gaskammer in der „Baracke X“ des Konzentrationslagers Dachau. In: Günther Morsch, Bertrand Perz: Neue Studien zu nationalsozialistischen Massentötungen durch Giftgas. Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-940938-99-2, S. 339.63    ↑ Barbara Distel: Die Gaskammer in der „Baracke X“… S. 338/339.64    ↑ Sabine Schalm: Überleben durch Arbeit? Außenkommandos und Außenlager des KZ Dachau 1933–1945. In: Geschichte der Konzentrationslager 1933–1945. Band 10. Metropol, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-940938-45-9, S. 45–50 (zugleich Diss. an der TU Berlin 2008).65    ↑ Barbara Diestel, Wolfgang Benz: Das Konzentrationslager Dachau 1933–1945. Geschichte und Bedeutung. Hrsg.: Bayerische Landeszentrale für politische Bildungsarbeit. München 1994 (online [abgerufen am 17. April 2006]). Das Konzentrationslager Dachau 1933–1945. Dachauer Außenkommandos (Memento vom 11. März 2007 im Internet Archive)66    ↑ Karin Orth: Wie SS-Männer zu Mördern gedrillt wurden. In: Spiegel Online. 12. März 2008.67    ↑ Torsten Passie: Meskalinforschung in Deutschland 1887–1950: Grundlagenforschung, Selbstversuche und Missbrauch. Abgerufen am 10. Juli 2021.68    ↑ Karl-Heinz Roth: Strukturen, Paradigmen und Mentalitäten in der luftfahrtmedizinischen Forschung des „Dritten Reichs“ 1933–1941: Der Weg ins Konzentrationslager Dachau. In: 1999. Zeitschrift für Sozialgeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts 15 (2000), S. 49–77.69    ↑ Zámečník: Das war Dachau. Luxemburg 2002, S. 158.70    ↑ Henryk Maria Malak: Shavelings in Death Camps: A Polish Priest’s Memoir of Imprisonment by the Nazis, 1939–1945, S. 363.71    ↑ Eugen Kogon: Der SS-Staat. Das System der deutschen Konzentrationslager. Alber, München August 2022]).75    ↑ Gregor Staltmaier: Von KZ-Schändern in Dachau fehlt noch jede Spur. In: DIE WELT. 17. September 2001 (welt.de [abgerufen am 26. August 2022]).76    ↑ KZ -Gedenkstätte Dachau geschändet. sub-bavaria.de. In: Aus Deutsch-Tschechische Nachrichten Nr. 33. Abgerufen am 26. August 2022.77    ↑ Gegen das Vergessen. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung. 2. Mai 2010.78    ↑ Tor von KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau in Norwegen entdeckt. In: Berliner Zeitung, 3. Dezember 2016, S. 4.79    ↑ Gestohlenes Tor ist zurück in Dachau. Spiegel Online, 22. Februar 2017, abgerufen am gleichen Tage80    ↑ Beiheft: Der Priesterblock. (Memento vom 5. November 2014 im Internet Archive) (PDF) FWU – Schule und Unterricht; abgerufen am 5. November 2014.Liste der KZ-StammlagerDeutsches Reich: KZ Arbeitsdorf | KZ Bergen-Belsen | KZ Buchenwald | KZ Dachau | KZ Flossenbürg | KZ Groß-Rosen | SS-Sonderlager Hinzert | KZ Mittelbau-Dora | KZ Mauthausen | KZ Neuengamme | KZ Ravensbrück | KZ Sachsenhausen | KZ Niederhagen-Wewelsburg | KZ Stutthof | Polen: KZ Auschwitz I | KZ Auschwitz-Monowitz | KZ Majdanek | KZ Warschau | KZ Plaszow | Estland: KZ Vaivara | Litauen: KZ Kauen | Lettland: KZ Riga-Kaiserwald | Frankreich: KZ Natzweiler-Struthof | Niederlande: KZ Herzogenbusch169 Außenlager und -kommandos des KZ DachauAußenlagerkomplexeDeutschlandAllachHauptlager München-Allach (BMW) • Außenlager Karlsfeld (OT) • RothschwaigeAllgäuAußenlager Kempten • Kottern • Fischen • Blaichach • KaufbeurenBodenseeHauptlager Friedrichshafen • Außenlager Überlingen-Aufkirch • SaulgauKaufering/LandsbergHauptlager Kaufering I – Landsberg • Außenlager Kaufering II – Igling • III – Kaufering • IV – Hurlach • V – Utting • VI – Türkheim • VII – Erpfting • VIII – Seestall • IX – Obermeitingen • X – Utting • XI – StadtwaldhofMühldorfHauptlager Mühldorf-Mettenheim (M 1) • Außenlager Mühldorf-Ampfing Waldlager V/VI • Mühldorf-Mittergars • Mühldorf-Thalham • Außenkommando Mühldorf-ZangbergSchwabenHauptlager Augsburg-Pfersee • Außenlager Gablingen • Horgau • BäumenheimDeutschlandMünchenAußenlager Agfa Kamerawerke • Neuaubing (Dornier) • Riem (OT, SS-Reit- & Fahrschule) • Außenkommando Bombensuche • 30 Münchner AußenkommandosOberbayernAußenlager Eching • Germering • Gendorf • Landsberg • Landshut • Neufahrn • Ottobrunn • Stephanskirchen • Trostberg • Außenkommando Hausham • Ingolstadt • Rosenheim • Sudelfeld (SS-Berghaus) • Sudelfeld (Luftwaffe) • Weitere AußenkommandosSchwabenAußenlager Augsburg-Kriegshaber • Augsburg-Haunstetten • Burgau • Lauingen • Riederloh • Außenkommando Oberstdorf-Birgsau • Schlachters • Weitere AußenkommandosÖsterreichAußenlager Mauthausen • Weißsee • Außenkommando Fischhorn • Hallein • concentration campNational Socialist concentration camp in Bavaria (1933–1945), with the main camp in the city of Dachau and 169 geographically widely distributed satellite campsCommunity-generated content on this topic is also available•    automatic translation•    ContributeDachau concentration campDachau concentration camp in GermanyWatchtower B of the Dachau concentration camp, April 1945Propaganda photo: Dachau concentration camp, prisoners at roll call (June 28, 1938). Photo by Friedrich BauerPropaganda photo: Heinrich Himmler (2nd from left) and - next to him - Rudolf Heß (2nd from right) during a camp inspection in 1936Concentration camp prisoners doing forced labor in the camp (pushing Loren) (July 20, 1938)The Dachau concentration camp , full name Dachau concentration camp , official abbreviation KL Dachau , existed from March 22, 1933 until it was taken over by soldiers of the 7th US Army on April 29, 1945 ( liberation of the Dachau concentration camp ). The Nazi regime built it just a few weeks after Adolf Hitler came to power . It was the first concentration camp to be built as a permanent facility , [1] and one of the best known due to the publication of the conditions in the camp immediately after the liberation. [2] It operated continuously for twelve years, twice as long as many of the other concentration camps .The site is approximately 20 kilometers northwest of Munich. The camp initially served to imprison political opponents of National Socialism. Heinrich Himmler , police chief of Munich and Reichsführer SS from 1934 , had it built east of the city of Dachau on the site of a former ammunition factory. It was used - especially in its early years, when the NSDAP wanted to consolidate its power - to imprison and intimidate political dissidents.After the dismantling of the SA in 1934, which was accompanied by the propaganda lie of an impending “ Röhm Putsch ,” Himmler planned to expand the Dachau concentration camp. In 1937, construction work began on the new prisoner area, which was connected to the former ammunition factory. The organization and spatial structure later served as a template for new concentration camps in the Reich. The Nazi regime presented it as a “model camp” for propaganda purposes , for example using euphemistic photographs.Dachau was a training location for concentration camp guards and SS leaders, who were also deployed in extermination camps after the start of the Second World War . The Dachau concentration camp was not an extermination camp; However, no other concentration camp saw so many political murders .After Kristallnacht , the SS increasingly imprisoned Jews and other persecuted people. After the start 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 occupied several special positions: The camp was the first place in the German Reich where an SS camp commander was assigned sole jurisdiction and applicable law was successfully repealed. The SS created a “ state within a state ”. The imprisonment and murder of political opponents were beyond the reach of the justice system.Of the total of at least 200,000 prisoners, around 41,500 died, of which around 14,500 died between June 1944 and April 1945 in the Kaufering subcamp complex alone. [3] In addition, the SS often deported prisoners to other camps with harsher conditions or even to the extermination camps in the East.The Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial has been located on the site since 1965 and was visited by around 800,000 people annually in 2008. [4]Table of contentsOriginPropaganda shot: Release of prisoners as part of a “mercy action” at Christmas 1933On the night of the Reichstag fire on February 27, 1933, the National Socialists began imprisoning their political opponents. [5] 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 places 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 places of detention. Dachau was the only one of the early concentration camps that was not dissolved until the beginning of the Second World War : Heinrich Himmler had it systematically expanded and used it as a model for concentration camps built later.StoryPolitical terror 1933–1934SS guards at the end of May 1933Newspaper clipping from the Dolomites from May 22, 1933, p. 2, with the explicit mention of the Dachau concentration campThe Dachau camp was built three weeks after the Reichstag fire. On March 13, 1933, Himmler, who had been in office as acting police chief of Munich for a week , arranged for the establishment of a political concentration camp near Dachau and announced this to journalists from Bavarian newspapers a week later, on March 20, 1933, at a press conference at the Munich police headquarters . [6] [7] On March 22nd, around 150 prisoners from the Landsberg correctional facility , the Neudeck prison and the Stadelheim prison were brought to the site of the disused Dachau Royal Powder and Ammunition Factory . The communist Claus Bastian received prison number one . [8] In the first few days they were guarded by the Bavarian State Police . [9] From April 11th, the police and SS shared the guarding of the camp; the SS was used as auxiliary police. The next day the first murders were committed, of the prisoners Rudolf Benario , Ernst Goldmann and Arthur Kahn. [10] Numerous other deaths followed, for example Fritz Dressel , Wilhelm Aron , Sebastian Nefzger .In May, Hans Beimler ( KPD ) managed to escape; He had been a member of the Reichstag until his imprisonment. Shortly afterwards, he published the brochure In the Dachau Murder Camp abroad . [11] The first commandant was Hilmar Wäckerle ; he wrote the first provisional camp regulations in May on Himmler's instructions. It stated that jurisdiction over the camp lay solely with the commandant. He could even sentence prisoners to death if two SS guards he appointed agreed. Reasons for death penalty were e.g. E.g. “acts of violence against camp staff”, “collective refusal to obey” or incitement to do so. At the beginning of June, the SS took over sole guarding. At the end of June , Theodor Eicke became camp commandant. Eicke aimed to completely seal off the camp from outsiders. Even the fire department was not allowed to enter the area to check compliance with fire regulations. [12] Karl Wintersberger from the Munich public prosecutor's office was investigating the first three prisoner shootings in Dachau during this time. [13] When all proceedings were stopped after a few months, the Dachau concentration camp had become a lawless area. [10]Concentration camp prisoner postcard from August 1933For example, members of the state parliament such as Alois Hundhammer ( BVP ) or members of the Reichstag such as Ernst Heilmann and Friedrich Puchta (both SPD ) were imprisoned. The numerous examples of imprisoned politicians or activists had an intimidating effect on the public. The NSDAP had already achieved many things with the help of the political police and judiciary: weakened the influence of trade unions, banned or dissolved parties, brought states and municipalities into line , and abolished democratic conditions. Radio and film were controlled. By controlling or taking over all existing associations and restricting freedom of speech , ideological control was gained over communication among the people. Forming 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 kept track of who was imprisoned. It was at the discretion of ambitious local Nazis to arrest or release anyone. Frictions soon arose over questions of jurisdiction and power struggles. At that time, SA group leader Schmid was the special commissioner of the Supreme SA leadership in the government of Upper Bavaria. On July 1, 1933, he wrote an incendiary letter to the Bavarian Prime Minister Siebert :“The authority of the state is at risk from the all-round, unauthorized interference of political officials in the wheels 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 command powers of the ministries, i.e. in the command powers of the district governments, district offices, down to the smallest gendarmerie station. Everyone arrests everyone (...), everyone threatens everyone with Dachau (...) Down to the smallest gendarmerie station, the best and most reliable officials have become insecure, which is bound to have devastating and state-destroying effects." [12]Prisoners eating (May 1933), propaganda photo by Friedrich BauerPropaganda photo: A group of around 50 prisoners being released at the camp gate (December 1933)On July 16, 1933, a propagandistic report about the camp appeared in the magazine Münchner Illustrierte Presse with the subtitle Early Appeal in the Education Camp . The cover picture showed prisoners dressed neatly and cleanly (see Fig. [14] ). Since July, a priest from the Dachau community appeared regularly and held a service on Sundays; An average of 20 people took part. At this time the prisoners still wore their own clothes. Camp meals on weekdays consisted, for example, of substitute coffee, bread, and stew; 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 or sent money , which they could use to buy bread, butter, sausage or fruit in the canteen at higher prices. A camp library was built in the fall; It contained, among other things, books by Karl May and Hitler's Mein Kampf . [15] By publicizing these initial living conditions, the SS combated the so-called atrocity propaganda from abroad ; The living conditions in the camp also changed within the twelve years.On October 1, 1933, Eicke presented the second camp regulations , which were much stricter than the previous ones. He also introduced mandatory guard duty where blank shots were prohibited and live fire should be carried out immediately. The Dachau camp became a “state within a state”: a place isolated from the outside world with its own laws and the threat of death. A ban on dismissals was ordered on October 20, 1933 and lasted two months. In November 1933, camp inmates were able to take part in the Reichstag election . During 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 of power in Bavaria. [10]The Dachau camp was planned from the start with a capacity of 5,000 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 imprisoned, about half were released, so that 2,425 were still imprisoned at the end of the year. [5] The released prisoners reported about the concentration camp. The camp slowly developed into a concept that spread terror among the population and prevented many dissidents from making public statements. [9] Long before the outbreak of war, the saying came up: “Dear God, make me dumb so that I don’t come to Dachau!”Closure of 48 concentration campsBy January 1934, SS leader Himmler had managed to increase his influence. He was commander of the political police in almost all German states. At that time , SA leader Ernst Röhm was considered the second most powerful man in the state. 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 organization, the SS. “Protective custody” should be restricted and the “wild” concentration camps should be dismantled. 34 concentration camps were cleared - 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 Empire ; Dachau was one of these few.Disempowerment of the SASS troopHimmler's SS, which was in competition with the SA, achieved the murder of Röhm and the disempowerment of the SA by the end of June 1934. In order to be able to show an official reason and not to antagonize the people, Hitler had the SA chief Röhm ( Röhm Putsch ) spread the rumor of an allegedly impending putsch . 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 [16] people in the camp on July 1st and 2nd: members of the huge SA party army as well as opponents of the regime who had nothing to do with the SA: For example, Fritz Gerlich , Bernhard Stempfle , Gustav von Kahr , who as General State Commissioner put down the Hitler putsch in 1923, as well as five prisoners from the Dachau concentration camp who had sat in the bunker. [17] 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 ( IKL ). His successor as commander from December 10th was Heinrich Deubel .After the SA was removed from power, Göring later managed to become the second man in the state by accumulating offices. Himmler was given the opportunity to separate his SS from the SA and build it up as a large organization. Those early, “wild” SA concentration camps were already feared by the people. Gradually, the government began to set up “systematic” camps in which order supposedly 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 build new concentration camps in the following years, such as Sachsenhausen (1936), Neuengamme (1938), Mauthausen (1938) and Auschwitz (1940).1935Starting around 1935, the government began increasingly deporting people who had been released from prison. [9] In addition to these prisoners, a few Sinti and Roma , Jews , Jehovah's Witnesses and homosexuals were imprisoned; these did not arrive in larger numbers until 1936. In September, the Nuremberg Racial Laws created a legal basis for the persecution and imprisonment of Jewish citizens.Transition period 1936–1938Propaganda photo: Himmler visits the Dachau concentration camp, 1936.The years 1936 to 1938 represented a transitional period. The first blow of political terror slowly subsided. The regime had consolidated and was now preparing for war. It had successfully found an “instrument of terror” in the concentration camps. A second phase of incarceration began in the camp after the start of World War II and intensified in 1942 and 1943. [18]1936Propaganda photo and propaganda campaign: BDM leaders visiting the camp (1936)Propaganda photo: construction work (1936)In March 1936, camp inmates were allowed to take part in the Reichstag election again . [19] Hans Loritz was promoted to camp commandant on April 1st. While the prisoner clothing previously indicated the reason for imprisonment using colored dots and stripes, a new identification system for prisoner groups was introduced under Loritz, as was the striped prisoner clothing .The 1936 Winter Olympics took place not far from Munich in February and the Summer Games in Berlin in August. The regime presented the Olympics as a festival of the peoples ; they became a major propaganda success for the “Third Reich”. In 1936, in connection with the large number of tourists expected to attend the Olympic Games, the Bavarian Political Police issued guidelines on the imposition of “protective custody” for “ public pests ”. Affected were so-called “beggars, tramps, gypsies, work-shy people, idlers, prostitutes, habitual drinkers, bullies, traffic offenders, troublemakers, psychopaths, mentally ill people”. Frick issued the circular to combat the “Gypsy plague” in 1936. [20]In Switzerland, Julius Zerfaß published the book Dachau - A Chronicle under the protective pseudonym Walter Hornung.The local press in Munich reported several times about the concentration camp until the start of the war, mostly with a derisive tone about political inmates and with warnings about the “dangerous Bolsheviks ” (see World Bolshevism ). At the end of the year, the Illustrierte Observer published a propaganda report about the Dachau camp.1937At the beginning of the year, construction work began on the larger, planned new prison area . New barracks were built. The new site measured 583 by 278 meters and was partially adjacent to the old camp, the former ammunition factory. A roll call area, wooden barracks, a bunker with 136 cells for solitary confinement, a farm building with a kitchen and other buildings were built. The new prisoner accommodation corresponded to the status of imperial barracks at the time. On the east side of the camp, the soil was cultivated to create a medicinal herb plantation (project of the German Research Institute for Nutrition and Catering ). The site was rebuilt and expanded by 1938. In 1937, 38 [5] people died in the camp.1938Propaganda photo: After the November pogrom, a column of Jews is taken to the concentration camp for so-called protective custody, Baden-Baden, November 1938.On April 1, 1938, three weeks after the annexation of Austria , the first 151 Austrians came to Dachau on the so-called celebrity transport . They were primarily media-effective opponents of various political directions. The Dachaulied was also written in the same year . In June, another wave of arrests took place with the “Workshy Reich” campaign , which affected people with “ anti-social ” behavior. [21] 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, as well as in relation to the living conditions "The material and hygienic facilities of the camp, as well as the treatment, nutrition and work of the prisoners, left me a very favorable impression." [22] The first Sudeten German prisoners arrived in October . Anti -Semitism had increased sharply, and in the course of Kristallnacht , 10,911 [10] Jews, including 3,700 from Vienna , were brought to the camp.In a telex sent on the night of the pogrom, SS group leader Reinhard Heydrich instructed the StaPo to “arrest as many Jews in all districts – especially wealthy ones – as can be accommodated in the existing detention rooms.” [23]Decaying greenhouse in the former Dachau herb gardenThese Jewish prisoners were gradually released until May 1939. Threats were used to put pressure on them and their families to immediately emigrate and Aryanize their assets . [24] In several cases, individual National Socialists succeeded in extorting houses, businesses or assets from the so-called “ Action Jews ” at far below their value. At Christmas, several prisoners were publicly whipped in the roll call area next to the Christmas tree.From May 1938 to 1942, concentration camp prisoners built a “ herb garden ” directly next to the concentration camp on behalf of the German Research Institute for Nutrition and Catering as a research facility for the use of plant-based active ingredients and organic-dynamic farming .1939Prisoner postcards were checked and censored by the SS for their content .On the night of January 24th, the painter Louis Übrig managed to escape. As a blanket punishment, the SS ordered the entire camp staff to stand in the freezing cold of the night, which resulted in deaths. [10]On January 25, 1939, a letter from the Berlin Foreign Office described the goal [25] of Germany's “Jewish policy” and pointed out in detail the ways and means of emigration and the whereabouts of property. On the anniversary of the annexation of Austria, some Austrian prisoners were given amnesty. A month later, a “jubilant amnesty” took place on Hitler’s 50th birthday . In the second half of 1939, the inmates of the Jewish block were punished with isolation several times.Catholic “Fear of Christ Chapel” [26]Russian Orthodox Church “Resurrection of Our Lord” [27]“Skeletons in Barbed Wire” monument by the Yugoslavian sculptor Nandor Glid, a Jew who lost most of his relatives in the Auschwitz concentration camp . [28]Jewish memorial [29]War begins in September 1939Propaganda photo: SS guards and prisoners, June 1938After the start of the Second World War, the SS filled the camp with prisoners from occupied countries. Originally, the concentration camps were places of harassment and deterrence for influential opponents of the regime. Now the arms industry was increasingly dependent on the cheap labor of prisoners to wage war (see graph on unemployment [30] ). Inmates were used in SS-owned companies, for example the German Earth and Stone Works ( DEST ) or the German Equipment Works ( DAW ), as well as in quarries, brickworks, gravel pits and various other professional sectors and companies. They were allocated by the government and used in the company cost-effectively and profitably. Prisoners were also used to build the Reichsautobahn . For local reasons, satellite camps and flexible work teams became necessary.Between September 27, 1939 and February 18, 1940, the prisoners were transferred to other camps. Meanwhile, 7,000 members of the SS Totenkopf units were trained in Dachau . The prisoners were relocated: 2,138 to Buchenwald , 1,600 to Mauthausen , 981 to Flossenbürg . Only a work detail of around 100 prisoners remained in the camp. [10]1940Camp fence and watchtower (photo from 1991, memorial)At New Year's Day 1940, the SS armaments company, the German Equipment Works (DAW) , took control of the concentration camp's workshops such as metalworking, carpentry and saddlery. At the end of April and beginning of May, transports with Polish prisoners from the Krakow special operation arrived . The film The Great Dictator , a satire on Hitler and National Socialism that dealt with the forced camps, was released abroad this year . Towards the end of the year, the priests and pastors from all the concentration camps began to be brought together in Dachau; [31] the prisoner barracks there were called the pastor's block . While extermination camps such as Chelmno , Auschwitz-Birkenau , Belzec , Sobibor , Treblinka and Majdanek emerged in the occupied territories of Poland, the use of violence also increased in the Dachau concentration camp. [32]1941In January 1941, on Himmler's orders, an improvised chapel was set up for the clergy in Block 26. From January 22nd onwards, the clergy were allowed to celebrate services there every day, under the supervision of an SS man. From April 11, all clergy received better food rations, financed by the Vatican . The privileged status of prisoners led to physical resentment from other prisoners and SS men; it was reversed in September. [33] This year, a prisoner music group was formed under Egon Zill , which had to play music on certain occasions. At the beginning of 1941, an experimental station was set up in the hospital ward in which 114 registered tuberculosis patients were treated homeopathically . The head doctor was von Weyherns. In February he tested biochemical agents on prisoners. From June 1st, a special camp registry office (Dachau II) was set up to register deaths . By then, according to the registry office of the city of Dachau, the number of deaths was 3,486 [34] 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 at the SS training shooting range in Hebertshausen . [35]1942Pick-up bus from the Hartheim Nazi killing center at Hartheim Castle: The “invalids” were led to believe that they were going to a sanatorium to recoverThe Wannsee Conference took place on January 20th, at which the Holocaust was coordinated. On January 2nd, the first transport, called “ Invalidentransport ” in Nazi cover language , started to the Nazi killing center in Hartheim . There the Dachau prisoners were killed by gas as part of Action 14f13 . Within a year, the SS brought undesirable concentration camp prisoners there in 32 transports [10] who were labeled mentally ill or unfit for work, a total of around 3,000 prisoners. These killings in Hartheim Castle took place as part of the Nazi murders .On February 22nd, the negative pressure test series began in the concentration camp, in which the aviation physicians Georg Weltz , Siegfried Ruff , Hans-Wolfgang Romberg and the SS-Hauptsturmführer Sigmund Rascher were involved. [36] The doctors were commissioned to determine people's ability to react and survive at high altitudes, during rapid ascents (at heights of up to 20 kilometers and more) and when suddenly falling from great heights. A Luftwaffe negative pressure chamber was delivered and set up between Block 5 and the adjacent barracks. [37] The series of experiments ended in the second half of May and cost the lives of 70 to 80 [10] of around 200 prisoners.On February 23, 1942, Claus Schilling began his first experiments to research drugs against the tropical disease malaria . 1100 [10] prisoners were infected and used as test subjects. Ten deaths were clearly proven in the Dachau trials . Schilling carried out these experiments until April 5, 1945. [10] While the medical experiments on pressure effects were intended to benefit pilots, this research was aimed at Wehrmacht soldiers deployed in the African campaign .In the first years of the war, the infirmary consisted of six barracks; the Kapo in the infirmary was Josef Heiden . A biochemical experimental station was set up in Block I in June. The director was Heinrich Schütz . The phlegmon (inflammation) test series began , carried out in Block 1, Room 3. By the time it was completed in the spring of 1943, this had cost the lives of at least 17 [10] prisoners.On August 15, hypothermia attempts began under the direction of doctors Holzlöhner , Finke and Rascher. Their purpose was to be able to better help pilots who got into distress at sea. The experiments officially ended in October 1942. Rascher extended the series of experiments on his own initiative until May 1943. The number of test subjects was between 220 and 240 people, of which around 65 to 70 prisoners died.On September 1st , Martin Weiß became the new commander. He had been sharply instructed by Pohl [38] to pay better attention to maintaining the prison labor force. During his command, the punishment of hanging on poles was abolished, harassment, beatings and roll calls became less frequent, and prisoners were allowed to go to their barracks more often. Above all, the weight and number of food shipments were no longer restricted. More packages arrived, some prisoners were now very well looked after, and a lively barter trade arose. A differentiation developed among the prisoners. [39] Soviet prisoners were unable to have any contact with their homeland and were not sent any packages. Anyone who received enough packages could now also get prison functionaries accepted into a good work detail. [40]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. [41]At the end of November, typhus and typhus broke out. Typhus, transmitted by lice, became 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, [42] a total of around eight more followed. Selected feature films and propaganda reports on German war successes were shown. The government wanted to use war propaganda to counteract the hopes of political opponents and resistance fighters in the camp. The situation in the Stalingrad pocket gave rise to suspicions that the war might not be won. A few weeks later, Goebbels publicly called for total war .1943Bunker (Dachau concentration camp)From January 1 to March 15, 1943, the entire camp was under quarantine because of a typhus epidemic. During this time, the prisoners lived in the prison area; SS men did not enter it. The prisoners were allowed to rest, occasionally they were allowed to make music and poems were also written. The camp library had expanded because books were now arriving in parcels. Cultural activities continued to a limited extent during the quarantine period. [43] At the same time, around 800 to 1000 inmates were executed for “sabotage” during these months. [44] On August 4th, 16 prisoners were beaten as a deterrent to the assembled camp inmates . Rascher and Schilling's series of experiments were also running. [45] In October , Eduard Weiter became the new and last commandant of the concentration camp.1944Death Notification (1944)In 1944, the first concentration camps in the East were evacuated due to the advancing front. Western camps were increasingly filling up with evacuated prisoners. On February 22nd, 31 Soviet officers were shot by the SS in the courtyard of the crematorium. [10]On May 11, a camp brothel was put into operation and six women from the Ravensbrück concentration camp arrived. It was related to Oswald Pohl's service regulations to reward and thus increase exceptional work performance among prisoners. It was dissolved again towards the end of the year. [5] On July 6th, the death transport from the Compiègne camp arrived in Dachau; out of 2,521 [10] prisoners, 984 [10] were already dead. [46]On the same day, prisoner Sepp Eberl managed to listen to the news about the Allies landing in Normandy on a radio in the SS rooms . [47] In the summer, Wilhelm Beiglböck attempted to use seawater as drinking water. [48]  His test subjects were 44 [10] imprisoned Sinti . From autumn onwards, the camps were completely overcrowded: the rooms planned for 52 people now had to be shared by 300 to 500 people. On September 4th and 6th, a further 92 [10] Soviet officers were shot in the courtyard of the crematorium, publicly to deter the prisoners. [49] In November, another typhus epidemic broke out, brought into the camp by an evacuation transport. Death rates increased, from 403 in October to 997 in November and 1,915 in December. [50] On December 17, deacon Karl Leisner was secretly ordained a priest in the camp chapel by the French bishop Gabriel Piguet .In September 1944, the Dachau Mass was composed by the church musician and composer Father Gregor Schwake as a prisoner in the Dachau concentration camp.1945Prisoner clothing, April 30, 1945From the beginning of the year until April, evacuation transports arrived from camps that had already been evacuated. In order to be able to continue using their labor, the prisoners were sent on long and costly transports to the west of the empire. Camp personnel also arrived, such as the later acquitted SS doctor Hans Münch in January 1945 . The overcrowding of the camp accelerated the typhus epidemic: the mortality rate was 2,903 deaths in January and increased in the following months. The crematorium was taken out of operation, from February 12th the deceased were buried in mass graves on the Leitenberg, and from 1949 the Dachau-Leitenberg concentration camp cemetery was built there. [51] A number of doctors and nurses also succumbed to the epidemic. Father Engelmar Unzeitig died of typhus during this time. Towards the end of March, hundreds of German clergy were dismissed; 170 [10] 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 . The prisoners Georg Elser and Charles Delestraint were shot on April 9th and 19th, respectively. At the beginning of April, the SS began burning papers and documents. In mid-April, the SS suspended Johan Meansarian and Albert Wernicke. She put the two prison functionaries, who were feared by the prisoners, in the bunker. [5] On April 14th, Himmler sent a radio message to the commandant's office in Dachau and Flossenbürg . He ordered a total evacuation, [10] which was later reduced to the removal of Germans, Soviet citizens, Poles and Jews. This marked the beginning of the evacuation and death marches . On April 17th and 24th, some prisoners, including Niemöller , Piquet and Schuschnigg , were transported towards Tyrol.On April 23, the work detail stopped leaving the camp for the first time. Another evacuation transport with 1,700 Jewish prisoners arrived on the Reichsbahn via Emmering-Munich- Wolfratshausen -Mittenwald on April 28th to Seefeld in Tyrol . The railway line was interrupted in Reith, so the prisoners had to march further into the Inn Valley on foot. In Mösern, the SS guards received the order from Gauleiter Franz Hofer to turn back, so that the next day the majority of the group was forced to return to Seefeld in order to be transported back to Mittenwald by train. Some prisoners did not survive the hardships. [52] Another transport with the Reichsbahn ran on April 25th from Emmering via Munich, Wolfratshausen and Kochel to Seeshaupt on Lake Starnberg. The 3,000 prisoners were freed on April 30th. The evacuation transport from April 26th via Emmering-Munich-Wolfratshausen-Penzberg-Staltach with 1,759 Jews was also freed on April 30th. On the same day, the Americans stopped a march of 6,887 [10] prisoners. It began on April 26th and led via Pasing, Wolfratshausen and Bad Tölz to Tegernsee. Many did not live to see liberation; they died of complete physical exhaustion or were murdered. 1000 more Russian prisoners were saved from the march by the camp committee through sabotage. [53] On April 27, 2,000 prisoners were sent on a transport from Emmering on 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.A day later, on April 28, German Major General Max Ulich, wanting to avoid unnecessary losses against the US forces , withdrew the 212th Volksgrenadier Division from the camp area. The Dachau Uprising also took place in the city on this day , led by former Dachau prisoners Walter Neff and Georg Scherer .Liberation in 1945Death train from Buchenwald (April 29, 1945)→ Main article : Liberation of the Dachau concentration campThe next day, April 29, 1945, the US Army marched in to liberate the main camp. She was completely unprepared for the death train from Buchenwald , which was standing next to the prisoner camp on the SS site and had around 2,300 corpses in its wagons. This shocking impression led to spontaneous vigilantism. The US soldiers executed SS men. The shootings, which were not necessary to liberate the camp - the men of the Waffen-SS had hardly offered any resistance - were later used as propaganda in right-wing extremist circles to offset them, and the event itself was spread as the so-called " Dachau massacre " .A day later the troops marched into Munich. Other nearby satellite camps were liberated; among the prisoners was, for example, Viktor Frankl , whose later book ... Still Saying Yes to Life about his experiences in the Dachau and Auschwitz camps achieved worldwide fame. Prisoner transports that were still in the Munich area were also released on April 30th.US administrationLiberated prisoners from the Dachau concentration camp greet US soldiersView of the camp barracks, a few days after the camp was liberated by the US ArmyInitially, Dachau was under quarantine due to a US order. Typhus and typhus were rampant on the site. The epidemic and the consequences of malnutrition during concentration camp imprisonment decimated the number of survivors by around 2,000 people. In the now liberated Dachau camp, between 100 and 300 dead had to be buried every day in May 1945. The formation of an international prisoners' committee ( CID ) was planned and announced. During the acute emergency, the camp area was temporarily used as accommodation for homeless and sick former prisoners. In July, U.S. military authorities established the Dachau internment camp on the site .Shortly after the liberation, Colonel William W. Quinn, then Assistant Chief of Staff of the military intelligence service G-2 Section of the 7th US Army, arrived at the camp. In view of the dramatic conditions and the enormous crimes, he decided to immediately form a larger investigative commission made up of employees from various military intelligence services who would create comprehensive documentation. After about one or two weeks [54] the 72-page report entitled Dachau was published , which soon reached the press. [55] It is considered one of the first publicly accessible studies of the German concentration camp complex. [56]Towards the end of 1945, the main Dachau trial took place as part of the Dachau Trials ; 36 of the 40 defendants were sentenced to death by hanging . In May 1946, 28 of the 36 death sentences in the Landsberg war crimes prison were carried out. In 121 follow-up proceedings, around 500 defendants had to answer before US military courts in the following years . The defendants were mostly SS members who had previously worked in the main camp and its satellite camps. The Dachau Trials, which concerned, among other things, the Holocaust , took place on the site until 1948 . The medical experiments on prisoners were also discussed in the Nuremberg medical trials and the Milch 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, CSU state parliament member Hans Hagn submitted a proposal to the Bavarian state parliament to build a labor camp on the site of the concentration camp as a “site for the re-education of anti-social elements”. The motion was passed unanimously; At the same time, the Bavarian Federation of Trade Unions also called for “all anti-social elements to be sent to a work camp”. The implementation failed because a new vote in April 1948 voted in favor of using the concentration camp as a refugee camp . [57]In late post-war investigations, for example the 1960 trial of Karl Kapp , prison functionaries were also brought to trial.Spatial 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:•    Inmate compound•    SS area (west of the prisoner area)•    Herb plantation (east of the prison compound)•    Hebertshausen shooting range•    Leitenberg cemetery•    Grave complex in the forest cemetery•    With the start of the war, an increasing number of satellite camps were set up, most of which were located near armaments factories or important workplaces in the southern Reich.Inmate compound View from the roll call area onto Lagerstrasse and barracks, 2020Digging behind electric fenceThe first large section of the concentration camp was the prison camp, also euphemistically known as the 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 anyone approached the fence, the SS personnel fired from guard towers without warning. At night the fence was illuminated. There were a total of 34 barracks in two rows, with camp street in the middle . The Jourhaus formed the entrance to the prisoner area . The living barracks were given the name “blocks” under Commander Loritz. Each apartment block had two washing facilities, two toilets and four “stuben”. Each room had a living room and a bedroom. 52 people were to be accommodated in each room, which meant 208 prisoners per apartment block. In the last years of the war, up to 1,600 [58] prisoners had to share an apartment block.Stone surround of a former barracksThe roll call took place at the beginning and end of the day on the roll call square. If someone was missing, a penalty call was held all night or for half a day. Seven watchtowers surrounded the area, each of which was usually manned by two SS guards with two machine guns. The so-called infirmary initially consisted of two barracks, but was expanded in 1939. In the last years of the war it was 18 barracks in size. The “hospital” included a disinfection barracks and a mortuary chamber. There was a work barracks, another barrack formed the canteen , which was also used for propaganda purposes. The kitchen and also the infamous “bathroom” were located in the farm building . Behind it was the bunker , where camp arrests, camp punishments (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 monuments in the camp: From then on , prisoners passing by had to take off their caps in front of the Schlageter monument, as well as in front of the Wessel monument .Over the course of twelve years, various divisions of the apartment blocks were formed: The punishment blocks were surrounded by barbed wire: here were inmates who had been repeatedly imprisoned or who had been subjected to stricter imprisonment. Other blocks were: Interbrigadist Block , Jewish Block, Invalid Block , Celebrity Block and Pastor Block . From the beginning of the war there was a division according to nationalities (Polish bloc, Czech bloc, ...).SS compoundThe second large area of the camp was the SS area; it was a good twice as big as the prisoner area. Part of it was not officially a concentration camp because there was an SS training camp with barracks and training rooms here. [59] However, there were also workshops at the SS training camp in which prisoners had to work. There were also team barracks and officers' apartments, a bakery and the administration building in the area. Two crematorium buildings were added later.First crematoriumDouble muffle furnace of the first crematoriumForced laborers 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 brought to a crematorium in Munich for cremation, which meant that the number of deaths beyond the camp boundaries could be known. In 1940 the SS built its own crematorium on its SS premises. It was a very small building with only one room and a so-called double muffle furnace, set a little apart and hidden by trees.A special prisoner commando, who were not allowed to have any contact with other prisoners, now had to carry out the cremations. Only prisoners from the “Crematorium Work Squad” were allowed to enter this area. Inside the SS camp the path branched off to the crematorium. It was therefore strictly separated from the prisoner area and had little visibility. This is also why the SS carried out executions by hanging and shooting at this place.Barracks X (second crematorium with gas chamber room)Barracks X, also called Block XTransport list of 555 prisoners to Auschwitz , referred to in Nazi cover language as the “invalid transport”.From May 1942 to April 1943 , the camp administration had a larger building built opposite the first crematorium, the so-called Baracke 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 [5] . Afterwards, 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. Another room had the inscription “Brausebad” above the entrance. The room was tiled in white, had a peephole and 15 simple dummy shower heads. There were two metal flaps on the outer wall, which would also have allowed Zyklon B to be poured in . US troops identified this room as a gas chamber on April 29, 1945 .There were no mass killings by gas in the camp, even at the end of the war. This is also reported by former prisoners: “When the fears that there would be mass killings did not come true after the completion [of the gas chamber], […]”. [60]It cannot be proven whether individual people or a small group died from Zyklon B or other gas - for example combat gas ; because many documents were destroyed before the end of the war. An indication of experiments with combat gas is provided by the surviving letter from SS doctor Rascher to Himmler dated August 9, 1942: “As you know, the same facility is being built in KL Dachau as in Linz. Since the transports of invalids end up in certain chambers [meaning gas chambers] anyway , I ask whether the effects of our various combat gases can not be tested in these chambers on the people who are designated anyway." Another indication is the statement of the 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." [61]The historian Barbara Distel judges: “It is still not clear whether the combat gas testing proposed by Rascher was carried out, but according to the statements of former prisoners, such use cannot be ruled out.” [62]It is proven that there were no mass killings by gas in Dachau. [63] For murder by gas, the SS preferred to deport Dachau prisoners to the gas chamber in Hartheim or to Auschwitz.Concentration camp internal commandosThe concentration camp prisoners were used for forced labor not only in the concentration camp itself in 34 "internal commandos", but also in another type of "internal commandos" of very different sizes, from just a few to hundreds of prisoners, sent to different companies for daily work assignments for the respective shift , partly on foot, partly by train. After the shift, these prisoners from these 45 commandos returned to the Dachau concentration camp to spend the night. [64]See also : Section “Inner Command of the Dachau Concentration Camp” in the article “Subcamp of the Dachau Concentration Camp”Concentration camp subcamp→ Main article : Subcamp of the Dachau concentration campThe 169 satellite camps did not have a uniform appearance. [65] Many thousands of concentration camp prisoners were deployed in the Kaufering and Mühldorf concentration camp subcamp complexes or the large subcamps such as Allach or Lauingen , and only a few elsewhere. [32] Dachau was the most extensive camp system of the National Socialist regime. Forced labor in the concentration camp subcamps initially extended from construction work, such as in gravel pits, quarries and road construction (mostly for the SS-owned Deutsche Erd- und Steinwerke group ) or in the infrastructure measures of the Todt organization , to agricultural work such as cultivation from moors. Manual work was also carried out, mostly in SS-owned craft workshops. From 1942 onwards, sub-camps were created to build huge underground complexes as part of the so-called U-relocation , with the aim of continuing arms production underground in order to protect them from air raids. Upon request, concentration camp prisoners were also used as workers, among other things. Loaned to BMW , Messerschmitt AG , Reichsbahn , Luftschiffbau Zeppelin , Dyckerhoff & Widmann , Agfa and various government agencies. Around 37,000 prisoners worked in the satellite camps at that time.Organizational structurePrisoner work and selectionPropaganda photo: prisoners doing forced labor (1938)According to propaganda, work was primarily a means of political education so that reformable prisoners could be accepted into National Socialist society. However, the SS made more and more profit from prisoner work. The cultivation of the surrounding moors was the initial task of prisoners, but this quickly changed. The establishment of artisanal workplaces - road construction, bricklayers, carpenters, locksmiths, tailors, shoemakers, saddlers, bakers, butchers - promised more profit or self-sufficiency . Just a few months after the camp opened in 1933, 300 prisoners were already working for the SS. Housing 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 its fear that the camp represented untenable competition for other local craftsmen. The political police responded that production in the camp would definitely be be continued. Officially, the assets generated were part of state property, but in reality they benefited Himmler's SS by reducing dependence on the SA and the Reich Ministry of the Interior. Until 1940, the SS was able to use the full profits of prisoner labor. In numerous cases, forced labor resulted in humiliation, abuse and physical destruction, with prisoners being harassed or hunted to death. Later, v. a. in the large satellite camps, this number increased dramatically.Sick and physically weakened prisoners were moved to the invalids' block , from where they were transported to the killing sites.Training campPropaganda photo: Himmler in the SS area of the camp (1938)Since Dachau was the SS's first self-operated camp, the systematic expansion of the concentration camp system in the Reich took place from here. The training of SS personnel took place here, and numerous later concentration camp commanders were initially employed as guards in the Dachau concentration camp.On the adjacent 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 guards' accommodation were housed in the form of the SS barracks. Furthermore, the SS-Unterführerschule Dachau was located on the site of the training camp , the staff of which was housed in the headquarters building of the SS-Totenkopfverband. The junior non-commissioned officers of the “Camp SS” were brought in and trained there. The General SS also had its own “leader school” there. The neighboring SS Administrative School Dachau served to train the administrative cadre until autumn 1942 and was then partially relocated to the then SS barracks in Arolsen due to the course of the war .In the Dachau training camp, Dachau's later guard personnel were brutalized by being trained strictly according to Eicke's specifications ("Dachau School") and the SS men were encouraged to actively use violence on "camp duty" against the local "enemies of the state" in the form of the prisoners to act brutally against them (“tolerance means weakness”). The recruits learned to use corporal punishment and torture on a daily basis during their deployment as concentration camp guards . With what they learned there, the guards were then deployed to other Nazi camps. [66]Medical experimentsNegative pressure test for the Luftwaffe, 1942Since the SS also trained doctors to carry out operations on injured soldiers during wartime, operations were carried out several times for training purposes in the infirmary. In addition, numerous Dachau SS doctors carried out various experiments on prisoners , for example the TB series of experiments, liver punctures, Sigmund Rascher carried out high-altitude and hypothermia experiments, and Claus Schilling infected prisoners with malaria. Hubertus Strughold , Sigmund Ruff and Rascher also carried out mescaline experiments on inmates for interrogation purposes. [67] The experiments were part of the so-called “aviation medical experiments”, in which prisoners were “experimentally” exposed to various extreme physiological stresses until their (precisely measured) death occurred. [68]Camp regulationsThe whipping box on which the corporal punishment was carried outIn almost all early camps, camp regulations emerged that were derived from the common regulations of police and judicial prisons. Things were completely different in the Dachau camp. Here, in the first camp regulations, Commander Wäckerle assigned full jurisdiction to the office of camp commandant, which gave him sole legal authority and was therefore the most far-reaching change. Six months later, the second version was tightened by Commander Eicke on October 1, 1933, and corporal punishment was added as a further innovation. The camp regulations became valid for all SS concentration camps from 1934. The hierarchy of SS personnel was determined by the IKL . The IKL later also provided uniform guidelines for the procedure of the so-called criminal proceedings in the SS concentration camps. In the guard's duty , Himmler had it written down that prisoners had to be shot immediately without being called out and without a warning blank shot. In the case of the numerous unnatural deaths, the attempted explanation was often that prisoners had been shot in an alleged attempt to escape.prison functionariesThe “divide and rule” method was used through graduated prisoner self-management in the camp. The SS appointed prisoners to oversee duties. As soon as they did not complete their task satisfactorily, 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. Minor 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. [69] [70] Dachau was a political camp throughout its twelve years of existence. The positions occupied by prisoners remained in the hands of political prisoners; These had been imprisoned for the longest time since the beginning of the Nazi era .Warehouse terminologyThe 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 harsher and more threatening-sounding abbreviation “KZ” to the outside world. Since all concentration camps were under the control of the SS, the unusual abbreviation was memorized. [71]According to the official definition of the Nazi regime, only those that were under the command of the SS were considered concentration camps. [32] The SS ruled here arbitrarily and without legal restrictions. Other places of detention that were not under the jurisdiction of the SS were referred to in National Socialist terminology as labor education camps .propagandaHimmler and the NSDAP carried out calculated propaganda with the “ Dachau model camp ” in order to counteract the “atrocity propaganda from abroad” (→ Potemkin Village ). The SS later also carried out propaganda with the “model camp” Theresienstadt : prominent Jewish prisoners were forced to take part in propaganda films and then deported to extermination camps .The victimsPrisoner groupsidentification for prisoners; Training material for SS guards→ Main article : Identification system for prisoner groupsThe commander SS Oberführer Loritz systematized the identification of the prisoner groups . They were small triangles of fabric, called chevrons, that were sewn onto the prisoner's uniform. The main groups were distinguished by the color of the triangles.In addition, each prisoner had a number sewn onto their clothing. As for prisoner numbers, the first series 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.Prisoners→ Main article : Prisoners in the Dachau concentration campIn total, 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 prisoner list, as were well-known - and therefore influential - writers and aristocrats. Other high-profile professions were also affected: musicians, composers and lawyers. Another special position of the camp was that from the end of 1940, imprisoned clergy of various denominations from other camps were brought to Dachau and imprisoned in the pastor's block there .See also : Category:Prisoner in the Dachau concentration campFatalities→ Main article : Death figures from the Dachau concentration campGate in the Dachau concentration camp with the inscription Arbeit macht freiThe surviving documents from the registry offices and the special registry office in Bad Arolsen, which was set up after the end of the war , provide written evidence of 32,009 deaths. [72] However, it must be noted that the camp's 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, there were numerous deaths during the prisoners' marches out of the camp, which were also not officially registered. Current historical research assumes around 41,500 deaths. [3]Guards and commanders→ Main article : Personnel in the Dachau concentration campResponsibilitiesThe SS Totenkopf units 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 immediately adjacent SS compound. The SS-Totenkopf unit responsible for guarding the Dachau concentration camp was the SS-Totenkopf-Standarte I “Oberbayern” , from which the later Waffen-SS Division “Totenkopf” was set up in October 1939. After the reclassification, the SS standard in Dachau was renamed the SS Totenkopf recruit standard “Upper Bavaria”.Second in command, from the end of June 1933 to July 7, 1934, was Theodor Eicke . After his murder of the SA leader Röhm, he was promoted and became head of the SS Inspectorate of Concentration Camps (responsible for all concentration camps). He issued regulations that were implemented in practically all concentration camps. He was followed as commanders by Heinrich Deubel , Hans Loritz , Alex Piorkowski , Martin Weiß and Eduard Weiter (October 1, 1943 to April 26, 1945). After him, SS-Untersturmführer Heinrich Wicker (born 1921) [73] handed over the camp to the US troops on April 29th.Dachau trialsMain defendant in the Dachau main trial on November 15, 1945→ Main article : Dachau main trialThe US military used the former prisoner camp and the SS barracks to imprison NSDAP officials and members of the SS. A total of 489 trials were carried out in Dachau, the Dachau Trials being military trials.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 15th to December 13th, 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 main Dachau trial was followed by 121 follow-up trials with around 500 defendants.However, numerous SS men managed to escape abroad via the Rat Lines .Memorials and memorial workMemorial stone and inscription “Never again”Death March from the Dachau Concentration Camp (bronze sculpture by the sculptor Hubertus von Pilgrim )→ Main article : Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial (with religious memorials and memorial)  and Comité International de DachauIn 1963, Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle signed the Franco-German Friendship Treaty . The German federal government committed to preserving the gravesites of former prisoners.The Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial was built in 1965. With the exception of the various church-sponsored facilities on the site, the land and properties of the actual camp, some branch offices and extensive exhibition and archive holdings are sponsored by the Bavarian Memorials Foundation, which was set up in 2003 .After the war, the remaining buildings of the SS area were initially used by the US Army. 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 a national day of remembrance for the victims of National Socialism . Since 2005, January 27th has also been an international day of remembrance.On the night of September 15th to 16th, 2001, the entire length of the back and side walls of the two reconstructed prisoner barracks was daubed with numerous anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-American slogans. The perpetrators, who are still unknown to this day, were probably at work quietly throughout the night, as there was no night-time security service on the site and there were no alarm systems. [74] [75] [76]On May 2, 2010, on the 65th anniversary of the liberation, a sitting German Federal President ( Horst Köhler ) took part in the commemoration ceremony at the Dachau concentration camp memorial for the first time. [77] On the 70th anniversary, German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a speech on May 3, 2015.On the night of November 2, 2014, the original entrance door with the cynical inscription Arbeit Macht Frei was stolen by unknown perpetrators. Despite intensive search work, the thieves have not yet been identified, but the door was found in the Norwegian city of Bergen following an anonymous tip . [78] On February 22, 2017, the door returned to Dachau. It can be seen in the museum's permanent exhibition in an alarm-protected and air-conditioned display case. [79]medialiterature•    Wolfgang Benz , Angelika Königseder (eds.): The Dachau concentration camp. An historical overview On March 22 1933, the Nazi regime opened a concentration camp on the grounds of the disused Koniglich Bayerische Pulver- und Munitionsfabrik Da- chau, a defunct factory complex that once produced gunpowder and am- munition. This prison and place of terror existed for twelve years. More than 200,000 prisoners from over 40 nations were imprisoned in the Dachau con- centration camp and its subcamps; at least 41,500 persons died here of hun- ger and illness, from the torture they suffered, were murdered, or perished from the consequences of their imprisonment. After U.S. Army units had liberated the prisoners on April 29 1945, the American military government used the former prisoner camp as a Displaced Persons camp. From July 1945, the grounds served as an internment camp for suspected Nazi perpetrators; in 1948, the Bavarian state government set up a refugee camp. Thanks to the initiative of the survivors, who had joined forces in 1955 to form the Comité International de Dachau (CID), itproved possible to turn the onetime prisoner camp into a place of commemoration and remembrance. The Dachau Con- centration Camp Memorial Site, featuring a documentary exhibition, opened in May 1965. To the present day, itisthe goal of the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site to remember the suffering and death of the prisoners, and to facilitate and foster analysis and discussion of Nazi crimes. In the following, a chronological survey presents the most important events in the history of the Dachau concentration camp and the various uses of the grounds after 1945. 4 HISTORY AT A GLANCE The grounds of the disused gunpowder and munitions factory, 1933 Detained in an area not under legal jurisdiction: the establishment of the Dachau concentration camp as a prison for political opponents After the appointment of Adolf Hitler to the position of Reich Chancellor on January 30 1933, the National Socialists, tolerated by their coalition part- ners, immediately set upon undermining the rule of law and unleashing a wave of terror, needing only a few weeks to achieve their goal of establishing a dictatorship in Germany. The systematic persecution and elimination of po- litical opponents, especially those organized in the labor movement, played a decisive role. Following the Reichstag fire on the night of February 27-28 1933, which the Nazis blamed on the Communists, Reich President Paul von Hindenburg issued the “Reichstag Fire Decree”. The regulations of this decree suspended key basic rights and legalized the imposition of “protec- tive custody” as a preventive measure to suppress political resistance. The Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei/Secret State Police) - in Bavaria until 1936 the Bavarian Political Police (BPP) - were empowered with immediate effect to incarcerate persons in concentration camps without needing a court or- der and for an unlimited period. Beginning on March 10 1933, waves of arrests were launched in Bavaria, targeting Communists, Social Democrats, Socialists, trade unionists, and specific members of the conservative Bavar- ian People’s Party. Under the command of the Nazi Party’s paramilitary organizations, the Schutzstaffel (SS) and the Sturmabteilung (SA), acting together with region- The first prisoner transport at the gatehouse of the former factory grounds, March 22 1933 al civilian authorities, more than 80 concentration camps were opened throughout the Reich in 1933. The goal was to eliminate political opponents and detain them in an area that was not subject to legal jurisdiction. The Nazi leadership was looking for suitable locations to set up “protective cus- tody camps” where they could imprison political opponents on a mass scale. In Bavaria, Heinrich Himmler chose Dachau. Himmler was the head of the SS and appointed commissarial police president of Munich in March 1933. Located close to the town of Dachau was the grounds of a disused gun- powder and ammunition factory. The expansive compound with production buildings and workers’ barracks was largely abandoned. The first convoy of prisoners arrived at the grounds on March 22 1933. The Dachau concentration camp was the first state-run concentration camp in Bavaria and one of the first concentration camps established in the Reich. Unlike smaller camps elsewhere however, the Dachau concentration camp remained in operation until the end of the war and was developed into the model for the Nazi concentration camp system. On April 11 1933, Heinrich Himmler, meanwhile also Chief of the Bavarian Political Police, handed authority over the Dachau concentration camp to the SS. This signaled the actual beginning of the brutal regime of terror. Himmler 6 HISTORY AT A GLANCE installed the SS colonel Theodor Eicke as camp commandant in June 1933. Eicke set about reorganizing the camp and introduced a tightly organized administrative and command structure. He issued a set of “disciplinary and punishment regulations” to be enforced on the prisoners. These regulations ranged from detention for days at a time and “hard labor” through to floggings and execution by shooting. A catalogue of “service regulations” inculcated SS guards to proceed “without tolerance, with the upmost, irreconcilable, disci- plined severity” and to be ruthless in their use of firearms. Outwardly, these regulations signalized a set of binding rules for all; in reality however, they hardly did anything to curb the despotic violence the SS inflicted on the pris- oners. The life and death of the prisoners lay in the hands of the camp SS. Another aspect of the “Dachau model” was the indoctrination of the SS men on site at the camp. Located next to the prisoner camp was an extensive garrison area in which the SS leadership and guard troops were drilled ideo- logically and militarily. Antisemitism, racism, and hate for political opponents were the main foundation of this training. Appointed to the post of chief of the “Concentration Camps Inspectorate” in 1934, Eicke institutionalized and systematized the use of violence against prisoners. The “Dachau model” was installed in all subsequently established concentration camps. This “Dachau school of violence” produced several concentration camp commandants. Political prisoners in the Dachau concentration camp, SS propaganda photo, May 24 1933 Heinrich Himmler (I.)and Theodor Eicke (r.), ©Roma from the Burgenland, SS propaganda photo, around 1941/42 SS propaganda photo, July 20 1938 The imprisonment of so-called “community aliens” German political opponents to the Nazi regime formed the largest prisoner group until 1938. Besides members of the labor movement, conservatives and representatives of various Christian faiths, in particular members of the Jehovah's Witness, were the targets of political persecution. Jews were also imprisoned in the Dachau concentration camp, at this stage for alleged po- litical offenses and not because of their background. Increasingly, more and more groups who failed to fit the Nazi ideal of the “Volk community” were exposed to intensified discrimination and persecution. From the fall of 1933, alongside regime opponents, persons were also imprisoned for “reasons” of racial ideology and “social hygiene”. Sexual and ethnic minorities like homo- sexuals and Sinti and Roma were regarded as “alien to the community”. Per- sons who had repeatedly committed criminal offences or led anonconformist life were stigmatized as “professional criminals” and “asocials”, and placed in concentration camps. The issuing of the directive on “preventive crime combating by the police” in 1937 systematized this course of action. Follow- ing an order from Himmler, meanwhile the Chief of German Police, in 1938 the Criminal Police rounded up thousands of persons without any judicial warrant and detained them in preventive custody as part of “Operation Work- 8 HISTORY ATAGLANCE Deportation of Jewish citizens from Baden-Baden to the Dachau concentration camp, November 10 1938 Shy Reich”. These included persons with previous convictions, prostitutes, beggars, the homeless and unemployed as well as addicts and persons with sexually transmitted diseases. Scores of Sinti and Roma were also impris- oned. The expansion of the Dachau concentration camp As part of the preparations for war, the concentration camp system was con- siderably expanded to serve as an instrument of domestic terror between 1936 and 1939. With the exception of the Dachau concentration camp, all the camps of the early years were abandoned. At the same time, new and far larger concentration camps based on the “Dachau model” were built. It was in this context that in Dachau the prisoner camp was newly built and the SS camp expanded in 1937/38. The SS had the old barracks demolished and forced the prisoners to perform the extremely arduous building work under harsh conditions. Completed within a year, the new prisoner camp was planned to hold 6,000 prisoners. Between the spring of 1936 and early 1938, prisoner numbers remained roughly between 1,700 and 2,500 persons. After German troops occupied Austria and the Sudetenland in 1938, thousands of political prisoners, Jews, and Sinti and Roma were first transported to the Dachau concentration camp from the German-occupied territories. The Nazi regime was pursuing a poli- tics of violent expansionism in Europe: itemployed “protective custody” as an instrument to eliminate opponents and pacify captured territory. In May and June 1938, two prisoner transports, each with 600 Jews from Vienna, arrived at the Dachau concentration camp. In the aftermath of the anti-Semitic pogroms of November 1938, around almost 11,000 Jewish men were transported to the camp. The SS extorted and abused them to force them into giving up their assets and to emigrate. At least 190 Jews died in the ensuing months as a direct result of the terror of the camp SS. Most of those sent to the Dachau camp in November 1938 were released. In mid-1939, a few hundred Jews were still being held in the Dachau con- centration camp. Jews were the most frequently mistreated prisoners by the SS guards, bullied, abused, and murdered. At the end of September 1939, the prisoner camp of the Dachau concen- tration camp was temporarily vacated. The SS required the grounds to train the SS division “Death’s Head” and therefore transferred the almost 5,000 prisoners to the concentration camps Buchenwald, Mauthausen, and Flos- senburg. At these camps, their imprisonment and living conditions deterio- rated so severely that many of the prisoners died before relocation back to Dachau began in the spring of 1940. The escalation of SS terror in the Dachau concentration camp during the Second World War Whereas at first mainly Germans were imprisoned, from 1940 onwards more and more prisoners were sent to the Dachau concentration camp from coun- tries occupied by the German Army. From the ca. 200,000 persons impris- oned in Dachau between 1933 and 1945, some 40,700 came from Poland, more than 32,000 from the German Reich, ca. 25,000 from the Soviet Union, ca. 21,300 from Hungary, ca. 14,100 from France, and ca. 9,600 from Italy. Besides these six largest national prisoner groups, prisoners from numerous other occupied countries were incarcerated in the Dachau concentration camp. In summer 1940, the number of prisoners rose to ca. 10,000. At the same time, the death rate escalated. In 1939, the registry offices listed 183 deaths in the Dachau concentration camp; a year later, the figure was 1,575. The SS 10 HISTORY AT A GLANCE had two crematoria built in the commandant’s headquarters area to cremate the bodies and erase all traces of their crimes. Scores of clergy were imprisoned in the Dachau concentration camp, most of them Polish priests who were arrested as representatives of their country’s Catholic elite. From the end of 1940, the Dachau concentration camp func- tioned as a collection camp for Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox clergy. Of the 2,729 imprisoned clergy, 1,780 were Polish. Once the war began, the SS escalated the terror in the concentration camps and living conditions for the prisoners deteriorated dramatically. Working conditions were murderous. Bullying, severe punishments, torture, and other violent excesses were the order of the day. Food, hygienic conditions, and clothing were all fully inadequate. The prisoners were helplessly exposed to the elements, unprotected from the cold, wet, and heat. The Nazi regime began to use the concentration camps as execution sites. After the attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941, the Gestapo ordered the shooting of Soviet POWs in the Dachau concentration camp. These men were “segregated” after being categorized as Jews, intellectuals, or Commu- nist functionaries in the Red Army. Violating international law, the SS mur- dered over 4,000 POWs at the SS shooting range Hebertshausen in 1941/42. Political opponents were murdered in the bunker courtyard and the crematorium area. Beginning in 1941, SS and mental hospital doctors began to murder con- centration camp prisoners categorized as unfit for work as part of the Nazi regimes “euthanasia” program. Every concentration camp was set a number that corresponded to around one-fifth of their respective prisoner contingent. In 1942, in so-called “invalid transports”, 2,524 prisoners, both illand those deemed no longer capable of work, were sent from the Dachau concentration camp to Hartheim Castle inAustria. Anursing home for mentally handicapped persons, Hartheim Castle was converted into a killing facility for the “eutha- nasia” program in 1940. Using poison gas, facility personnel murdered il and handicapped persons as well as forced laborers and concentration camp prisoners. In the Dachau concentration camp, SS doctors killed illand dis- abled prisoners with phenol injections. From 1942, prisoners were the victims of cruel pseudo medical experiments. These included malaria experiments considered relevant for the planned settlement of the southern regions of the Soviet Union, as well as “biochem- 11 Prisoners stacking bricks, Prisoners working in the SS armory, SS propaganda photo, July 20 1938 SS propaganda photo, around 1942 ical” and sulfonamide experiments to treat infected wounds. In addition, medical experiments serving research on survival chances at high.altitudes or distress at sea, commissioned by the German Air Force, were carried out. Hundreds of prisoners died because of these horrific experiments performed by the camp doctors. The deportation of Jews and Sinti and Roma to the extermination camps After the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, paramilitary death squads (“Einsatzgruppen”) of the Security Police (Sipo), the Security Service of the Reich Leader SS (SD), and other SS and police units murdered more than 500,000 persons in the conquered territories up until 1942. In February 1942, “Operation Reinhardt” was launched, the systematic murder of Polish Jews in the extermination camps of southeastern Poland. Jews from the Ger- man Reich and the occupied territories of Europe were deported to the Ausch- witz extermination camp from the end of 1942. After the occupation of Hungary in March 1944, the SS deported 430,000 Jews to Auschwitz. Beginning in 1941, paramilitary death squads of the Sipo and SD, along with units from the Order Police and the German Army, also murdered thousands of Sinti and Roma in occupied Poland, the occupied territories of the Soviet Union, and Serbia. Following orders by Heinrich Himmler, from February 1943 through to the summer of 1944, the SS deported some 22,600 Sinti and Roma from the German Reich and the occupied territories to the ex- termination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, 19,300 ofwhom died. 12 HISTORY AT A GLANCE The development of a system of subcamps for forced labor In the early years of the Dachau concentration camp, the work imposed on the prisoners often served as harassment and punishment. Jewish prisoners and inmates accused of some offense had to do extremely grueling work in the gravel pit. Beginning in 1938, the work of the prisoners was used for specific building projects of the SS and its expanding economic enterprises. The SS continued however to use exhausting manual labor as an instrument to punish and terrorize the prisoners. After the so-called “Blitzkrieg strategy” against the Soviet Union failed, the Nazi regime adjusted to the demands of a protracted war. In the spring of 1942, the regime decided to deploy concentration camp prisoners as forced laborers in war production on a large scale. Armaments workshops were set up in the concentration camps, but primarily external work details and sub- camps were located near armament manufacturers. The Dachau concentra- tion camp had under its authority a vast network of 140 subscamps, predom- inantly in southern Bavaria. The prisoners were forced to work mainly in the air armaments sector. The SS “hired out” prisoners to economic enterprises crucial to the war effort in exchange for payment, while the companies profited from the labor of the prisoners. The SS transported the prisoners to the work site and was mostly responsible for guarding, providing rations and living quarters, as well as medical care. For many prisoners, working in fac- tories meant improved imprisonment and living conditions. Adeployment at an outdoor site however, particularly in the construction work details, equat- ed to “extermination through work”. An enormous number of prisoners died due to the inhuman working conditions and lack of food, as well as assaults by the guard personnel. The actual number of victims is difficult to ascertain because prisoners unable to work were returned to the main Dachau camp, from where they were then sent to the extermination camps to be murdered. The Dachau concentration camp developed into a collection and distribution point that arranged for the necessary replenishment of new work slaves and replaced those prisoners no longer able to endure the murderous conditions. In 1941/42, the murder and terror in the Dachau concentration camp reach- ed an initial peak. Hunger and disease aggravated the situation further, in particular a tyohus epidemic in the winter of 1942/42. In 1944, with Allied air raids increasingly inflicting damage on and severely hampering armaments production, the Armaments Ministry planned to build bombproof, underground manufacturing sites. The two largest subcamp 13 Prisoners in front of the bunker construction site at the Landsberg subcamp, around 1945 14 HISTORY AT A GLANCE In the Hurlach subcamp (Landsberg- Kaufering complex) prisoners had to live in earth huts, April 28 1945 In the Ampfing subcamp (MUuhldorf com- plex) the SS quartered the prisoners in primitive fiberboard structures called “Finn tents” in the woodlands, May 7 1945 complexes of the Dachau concentration camp, in Muhidorf and Landsberg- Kaufering, were set up. This undertaking demanded an enormous labor force. In the summer of 1944, Adolf Hitler thus ordered the deportation of Jewish prisoners from the concentration camps at Auschwitz, Kaunas, and Warsaw, as well as from Hungary, occupied by Germany since March 1944, to the Reich. In the subcamps of Muhldorf and Landsberg-Kaufering, a large number of Jewish prisoners were forced to build enormous bunkers that were to house production facilities for fighter planes. More than 30,000 pris- oners had to endure murderous imprisonment and working conditions; over one-third of them did not survive the ordeal. “Evacuation transports” and “death marches” in the final phase of the Dachau concentration camp Originally built to hold 6,000 persons, the prisoner camp was permanently overcrowded from the summer of 1940 to the end of 1942, with up to 11,000 prisoners incarcerated. The prisoner numbers continued to rise even further however — in the final months before the end of the war, the number of pris- oners in the main Dachau camp was far in excess of 30,000. In these months “evacuation transports” from other concentration camps arrived continuously in Dachau. The overcrowding of the camp became dramatic; the hygiene conditions and the supply situation were catastrophic. From 1944, the impending defeat of the German Armed Forces was becom- ing increasingly apparent, with the Red Army and the Western Allies advanc- ing relentlessly towards the borders of the German Reich. The SS responded by disbanding all the concentration camps close to the frontline, in the Baltic countries, in occupied Poland, and in Western Europe. In the summer of 1944, the SS began transporting prisoners under disastrous conditions from the abandoned camps to concentration camps within the Reich, including Dachau. Crammed into overcrowded freight wagons, a large number of pris- oners died during these transports. The death rate in the Dachau concentration camp rose dramatically in the final months of the war. Between 1933 and 1945, ca. 41,500 persons lost their lives here; more than one-third died in the final six months. Due to the overcrowding - and because the SS did nothing to alleviate the situation - infectious diseases like tyohus and spotted fever spread, causing the death of thousands of prisoners. Towards the end of April 1945, the SS then began to transport prisoners from the Dachau concentration camp to prevent their liberation by Allied troops. On April 26, a goods train with more than 2,000 15 Prisoners greet their liberators, May 1945 Jewish prisoners left the camp. On the same day, almost 7,000 prisoners, arranged into columns of ca. 1,500 persons, were forced to depart Dachau on “evacuation marches” — which the prisoners themselves called “death marches” — in the direction of Tyrol. Prisoners who from sheer exhaustion collapsed or could not keep up were either shot by SS guards or beaten and left on the side of the road. Several thousands of prisoners failed to survive the “evacuation transports” and the forced marches. The liberation of the prisoners and the prosecution of the perpetrators On April 29 1945, two separately arriving units of the U.S. Army - the 45th infantry division Thunderbird and the 42nd infantry division Rainbow - lib- erated the Dachau concentration camp. Over 32,000 prisoners were in the main camp at the time. Jubilant, they swarmed to meet their liberators. Amer- ican soldiers liberated the survivors of the “death marches” in southern Ba- varia, the last on May 2 1945. On the very same day as liberation, survivors of different nationalities founded an international camp committee. Thou- 16 HISTORY AT A GLANCE | Typhus Ward - 6.\'s aw U.S. soldiers look after former prisoners suffering from typhus, April/May 1945 sands of prisoners lay dead between the barrack blocks and in front of the crematorium. They had to be interred. Up until the end of June 1945, the camp grounds were used as quarters for former prisoners who were ill,had no place to return to, or were waiting to be repatriated. They were supplied with food and medicine by the U.S. troops. For thousands of former prison- ers, helo came too late however. They died of exhaustion, from diseases, and the consequences of concentration camp imprisonment. The prisoner committee supported the American military government in organizing the running of the camp and functioned as the self-administrative body of the liberated prisoners. There was no return home for most of the Jewish survi- vors: their family members were murdered, the basis for any kind of livelihood destroyed In July 1945, the American military government converted the former pris- oner camp and the SS camp into an internment camp for suspected Nazi offenders with a capacity to hold 30,000 persons. Members of the Nazi Party and the SS, members of the German Armed Forces, war criminals, and civillans were imprisoned here. Attracting considerable public interest, the Dachau Trials took place on the grounds of the former SS camp between 1945 and 1948. These trials in- volved 489 proceedings in front of American military courts. The first trial focused on crimes committed in the Dachau concentration camp. Many of the accused pleaded the need to act under superior orders as a means to avoid admitting individual guilt. They presented themselves as merely sub- ordinates obeying orders — ifthey had not carried out these orders, so their argument, they would have risked life and limb. In fact, members of the SS on alllevels ofthe hierarchical command chain inthe camp had considerable room for maneuver. Many of the offenders were directly involved in the crimes and they not only bullied, abused, and killed prisoners under orders — they also acted on their own initiative. The military courts based their judge- ments on the Anglo-American legal tradition of “common design”. The prosecution had to prove that all of the accused had collectively run and willingly supported the criminal camp system. All of the 40 indicted were found guilty; 36 were of them were sentenced to death, with 28 of these sentences carried out. This main trial was followed by 121 trials involving around 500 defendants. These trials were also concerned with crimes committed in the Dachau sub- camps and other concentration camps. In 1949, the West German judiciary assumed responsibility for the criminal prosecution of Nazi crimes. The subsequent use of the grounds — from internment camp to residential estate for expellees In January 1948, the U.S. authorities handed over a large part of the former prisoner camp to the Bavarian state. Due to the acute lack of living space available after the war, the state government decided to use itto accom- modate ca. 2,300 ethnic German expellees from Eastern Europe. The bar- racks were altered to fit their new purpose and given new interiors. Busi- nesses covering everyday needs opened, so too inns, medical practices, a primary school, a kindergarten, and a post office. Over the years, the recep- tion camp was referred to as the “Residential Estate Dachau East”. The last residents left the estate in 1965. The crematorium area was the only place on the grounds dedicated to com- memorating the victims of the Dachau concentration camp in the immediate postwar years. Accessible to the public, the area was cared for as amemorial site. Postwar society in Germany and Dachau generally sought to pass over the crimes committed in the Nazi years and repress the memory of what hap- 18 HISTORY AT A GLANCE USES Courtroom during the Dachau Trials, December 1945 Children playing inthe “Residential Estate Dachau East”, 1963 Visitors in the crematorium area, 1963 19 The former prisoner Adi Maislinger guides visitors through the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, 1980s pened. Although the town had close economic, administrative, legal, and personal ties to the concentration camp, the population of Dachau asserted to the U.S. military government that they “knew nothing” about the crimes committed in the camp. The residents claimed that they themselves had been victims of the Nazis and had tried to resist the regime. As everywhere in Germany, this refusal to face up to questions of guilt and responsibility went hand in hand with a relativizing construction of the “other Dachau”, a town that had nothing to do with the atrocities perpetrated in its direct vicin- ity. As a result, interest in the history of the Dachau concentration camp and the fate of those persecuted was limited at first. Itwas thus left to the sur- vivors organized in the International Dachau Committee to make the decisive contributions on the path to the founding of a memorial site. 20 HISTORY AT A GLANCE The founding of the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site A supplementary agreement to the Paris Treaties signed in 1954 between West Germany and France placed the gravesites of victims of the Nazi re- gime under special protection. In 1955, the Comité International de Dachau (CID) was founded in Brussels as the successor organization to the Interna- tional Camp Committee. The principal goal of the survivors’ association was to create a memorial site on the grounds of the former prisoner camp. In 1956, the CID succeeded in convincing the Bavarian state government of the necessity of a dignified place of remembrance. The Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site was then opened on May 9 1965, the twentieth anni- versary of the liberation of the concentration camp. From now on, visitors could inspect the building remnants of the concentration camp and a highly- regarded documentary exhibition in the former maintenance building. Itisthanks to the initiative of the CID that an International Monument could be unveiled on the Memorial Site grounds in 1968. In keeping with the po- litical and social conditions in Bavaria, a Christian interpretation of the histor- ical site predominated. In the years before, a Catholic chapel, a convent, a Protestant church, and a Jewish memorial had already been erected on the grounds. Until 1972, the U.S. Army used the onetime SS camp, the former Jourhaus, and the western wing of the former maintenance building as a garrison headquarters. The former detention building served as a prison for military personnel. In 1972, the Bavarian Riot Police took over the area once covered by the SS camp. The presence and engagement of survivors strongly shaped the work at the Dachau Memorial Site in the years immediately after its opening. At first, only a few youth groups and school classes visited the Memorial Site. From the mid-1970s onwards, the Dachau Memorial Site developed more and more into a place of historical and civic education. “Forgotten” victim groups like Sinti and Roma, homosexuals, and Jehovah's Witnesses made their voices heard in the 1980s. Visitor numbers from Germany and abroad rose steadily. Soon, school classes made up the majority of visitors. Since the 1980s, history associations formed by engaged Dachau citizens have actively campaigned for and fostered commemorative work in their town. As public interest in the fate of the victims and the work of the Memo- 2| ee Pa The survivors Bogdan Debowski, Jerzy Wojciewski, and Andrzej Korczak-Branecki (left to right) from Poland commemorate the dead on the 65th anniversary of liberation, May 2 2010 rial Site increased, in particular with the fiftieth anniversary of liberation in 1995, the negative attitude of the town authority to the Memorial Site began to change gradually, and itis meanwhile a key player in historical work on site. After decades of effort by civic initiatives and fierce controversies amongst local interest groups, in the spring of 1998 the Jugendgastehaus Dachau, an international meeting place under the trusteeship of the Free State of Bavaria, the City of Dachau, and Dachau District, was finally opened. Redevelopment work on the Dachau Memorial Site began in 1997. A new main exhibition was opened in 2003. The leitmotif of the exhibition, still to be seen today, isthe “Path of the Prisoners”. Itdocuments the fate of those persecuted, from their arrival at the camp, their life, suffering, and dying he- re, through to liberation. The historical education revolves around presenting biographies of prisoners and using an array of literary and artistic contem- porary testimonies from prisoners, as well.as the historical sites themselves. Since May 20085, visitors can enter the grounds via the historical path through the Jourhaus, the entrance gate to the onetime prisoner camp. This enables visitors to gain a better overall understanding of the topography of the earlier concentration camp. 22 HISTORY AT A GLANCE The survivor Dr. h.c. Max Mannheimer at a contemporary witness talk in the Visitors’ Center, February 7 2013 In 2003, the Bavarian state government handed over responsibility for both the Dachau and FlossenbUrg Concentration Camp Memorial Sites to a new foundation, the Stiftung Bayerische Gedenkstatten. The task of the foundation is to maintain and foster the Memorial Sites as places of international learn- ing and remembrance for future generations. Today, up to a million people from around the world visit the Dachau Con- centration Camp Memorial Site annually. The former prisoners still alive are meanwhile elderly. The current challenge facing the Memorial Site and its work is to keep alive knowledge about Nazi crimes and foster historical awareness of their importance — even ifitis becoming less and less possible to hear firsthand accounts of the fate of the prisoners. 23 i Aerial shot of the Dachau concentration camp, April 20 1945 24 TOPOGRAPHICAL LOCALIZATION A TOPOGRAPHICAL LOCALIZATION BACK THEN . This aerial photograph shows the Dachau concentration camp on April 20 1945. The color markings highlight sections of the concentration camp, each of which fulfilled different functions. The green area covers the prisoner camp. The 34 symmetrically arranged barracks are clearly visible. Prisoners were quartered in 30 of them. The orange area marks agricultural land the SS euphemistically called the “herb garden”. The area was part of the “Deutsche Versuchsanstalt fur Er- nahrung und Verpflegung GmbH” (DVA), an institute established by the SS for the purpose of cultivating and researching medicinal plants. From 1938 onwards, prisoners carried out forced labor here. Due to the brutal working conditions enforced to cultivate the land, the prisoners named itthe “planta- tion”. The area of the commandant’s headquarters of the camp SS is marked blue. Located here were the offices of the camp commandant, the quarters of the SS men assigned to guard the prisoners, as well as the crematorium area. The yellow area is the SS training camp. Here SS men were indoctrinated ideologically and drilled militarily. Also located in this area were administra- tive, residential, and various storage buildings as well as workshops in which concentration camp prisoners were forced to work. Towards the end of the war, the grounds of the Dachau concentration camp covered more than two square kilometers. 25 A TOPOGRAPHICAL LOCALIZATION .AND TODAY This aerial photograph shows the grounds of the former Dachau concen- tration camp in 2006. The area of the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site is marked green. The Memorial Site covers the area of the former pris- oner camp, the crematorium grounds, and other smaller sections of the former commandant’s headquarters. Also located in the latter and marked purple isthe Carmelite Convent. On a large part of the former concentration camp, once the grounds of the SS, are buildings and facilities of the Bavarian Riot Police. The marked yellow area is separated from the Memorial Site by a fence and not accessi- ble to the public. After the war, the American military government used the former SS area as an internment camp and garrison base. In 1972, the Ba- varian state government took over the area and based a division of the Ba- varian Riot Police there. The grounds of the former SS experimental agriculture facility/”herb gar- den” istoday largely overbuilt with commercial and industrial firms, but the main ensemble of buildings remains. Today itisowned by the City of Dachau. 26 TOPOGRAPHICAL LOCALIZATION Aerial shot of the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, September 13 2006 Pal HISTORICAL LOCATION AND MEMORIAL SITE As a comparison of the two aerial photographs from 1945 and 2006 shows, the Memorial Site does not exactly cover the geographical expanse and structural makeup of the concentration camp. After the war, a diverse va- riety of reuses reshaped and changed the grounds and its building struc- tures. Numerous historical structures were modified, demolished, or de- stroyed. In some cases only traces and relicts remain. The development of the grounds into the Dachau Concentration Memorial Site, opened in 1965, followed the principles advocated by the involved survivors, to renovate and preserve the historical building substance consid- ered especially relevant and significant for representing the suffering of the prisoners. Other building remnants were deliberately removed. Today, the physical remains of the camp's grounds serve as the starting point for presenting the historical repercussions of the politics of persecution and extermination pursued by the Nazi regime. The methodological guide- line for developing and arranging the grounds is to secure the relicts and mark them as such. Subsequent reshaping and changing is identified and marked as an added historical layer. As a place of learning and critical discussion about the history of National Socialism, the Memorial Site has the character of amuseum. Exhibitions in the historical buildings meet this task, while in outdoor areas information panels provide orientation for visitors. Numerous monuments, memorial stones, commemorative plaques, and grave- sites are also located on the grounds. As a place of remembrance for the victims of the Nazi regime, the Memorial Site has a particularly important and significant role to play in international commemorative culture. 28 HISTORICAL LOCATION AND MEMORIAL SITE STATIONS ON THE GROUNDS OF THE DACHAU CONCENTRATION CAMP MEMORIAL SITE AN OVERVIEW RELICTS 1 Main SS guardhouse 2 Political department wo Remnants of the first camp and the connecting road to the SS area SS camp Jourhaus with camp gate Roll call area ONfOMaintenancebuilding(mainexhibition) 7.1 Shunt room 7.2 Prisoner baths (ee) Camp prison (exhibition) Barracks (exhibition) Sickbay area 11 Functional buildings area (2 Guard installations 13 Crematorium area PLACES OF REMEMBRANCE 14 International Monument 15Memorialroom(mainexhibition) 16 Mortal Agony of Christ Chapel ty, Carmelite Convent 18 Protestant Church of Reconciliation 19 Jewish memorial 20 Russian Orthodox chapel 29 STATIONS ON THE GROUNDS OF THE DACHAU CONCENTRATION CAMP MEMORIAL SITE RELICTS OF THE CONCENTRATION CAMP ASS ee. aef\ oc Zags ¥Pe) q Ns : i Relicts of the foundations of the main SS guardhouse in front of the Visitors’ Center, 2010 30 STATIONS ON THE GROUNDS /RELICTS age The staff car of Heinrich Himmler passes through the gate of the main SS guardhouse, met by a guard of honor of SS men, January 20 1941 1 Main SS guardhouse Main SS guardhouse, SS propaganda photo, around 1939 Located to the west of the Visitors’ Center are the remnants of the founda- tions of the main SS guardhouse. From 1936, the gate building formed the main entrance to the commandant’s headquarters on the SS grounds. This is where the camp SS, responsible for guarding the prisoners, was quartered. The main SS guardhouse was the place where the arriving prisoners first entered the concentration camp. After arriving at the Dachau railway station, the prisoners were forced to march to the camp under the watch of the SS guards. Buses and trucks were also used to bring the inmates to the camp. Prisoner transports reached the SS camp via the train track that led directly from Dachau station. 31 Police file photo of Benno Oppenheimer, taken by the political department in the Dachau concentration camp, 1937 2 Political department Along the path leading from the Visitors’ Center to the Jourhaus, eight angle irons mark the onetime position of a historical building: the elongated struc- ture where the offices of the political department of the Secret State Police (Gestapo) were located. The traumatic registration procedure for the newly arrived prisoners usually began in the rooms of this building. The political department recorded per- sonal information, took police photographs, compiled prisoner files, and as- signed numbers to the prisoners. For every prisoner they registered the date of admission, transfer to another camp, release, or death. The political de- partment also interrogated prisoners, often using torture. 32 STATIONS ON THE GROUNDS /RELICTS Ae545% COTO CEES Former location of the political department ' marked by iron angles 2017 33 Embankment wall made of demolition material and the relicts of a section of rail track on the left side of the former connecting road to the SS camp, in the background is the former camp bakery, 2017 3 Remnants of the first camp (1933-1937) and the connecting road to the SS area In front of the entrance to the former prisoner camp, the Jourhaus, is the connecting road to the former SS camp. To the left and right are sections of an embankment wall that is made of materials from demolished buildings. The SS used the existing structures of the gunpowder and munitions facto- ry in the earlier camp as the prisoner kitchen, mess hall, and admission room for prisoners (wall to the left), as well as workshops for Carpentry, metal- working, and tailoring operations (wall to the right). In the later expanded camp, SS-owned companies were located in these buildings, for instance the SS Clothing Works and the German Equipment Works. 34 STATIONS ON THE GROUNDS /RELICTS View of the connecting road between the prisoner camp and the SS camp, on the left the section of rail track, May 1945 Aerial shot with a view of 1 Main SS guardhouse (1936-1945) 2 Camp bakery (1933-1945), Main SS guardhouse and SS mess hall and kitchen (1933-1935) 3 Kitchen and dining hall (1933-1937/38), later: SS Clothing Works a section of the former SS grounds, 1950s 4 Political department 5 Commandant’s headquarters (1933-1945) 6 Jourhaus (1936-1945) 7 Carpentry, metalwork, and tailoring operations (1933-1938), later: German Equipment Works The structures were torn down in the 1980s. A continuous wall, separating the Memorial Site grounds from those of the Bavarian Riot Police, was built out of the rubble. During modification work to the Memorial Site in 2004, this wall was broken through and the former connecting road uncovered. In the course of this work, remnants of a section of rail track emerged. This track was used to deliver materials to the SS businesses in which prisoners performed forced labor. This section of track was not used for prisoner trans- ports. Located in the factory halls visible today was the camp bakery. Until 1935, the main SS guardhouse as well as the SS mess hall and kitchen were also housed there. The commandant’s headquarters of the Dachau concentration camp, March 1933 : Prisoners pull a roller to surface the road in front of the camp bakery, ’ SS propaganda photo, May 27 1933 The SS guard unit of the Dachau concen- tration camp, SS propaganda photo, 1933 4 SS camp Robert Ley, head of the “German Labor Front” (c.), during an inspection tour of the Dachau concentration camp, SS propaganda photo, February 11 1936 The earlier SS grounds, which made up the largest section of the Dachau concentration camp, are not accessible to the public. The Bavarian Riot Po- lice use this area. The demolishing of sections of the embankment wall allows visitors to view important sections of the topography of the former concen- tration camp. A section of the former commandant’s headquarters, once located directly adjacent to the prisoner camp, can be seen. Still standing today are the for- mer camp bakery (left) and the commandant’s headquarters (right). From this office, the commandant issued orders for the guard troops and pre- sided over the main administrative and organizational unit of the concentration camp, the headquarters staff. These leadership ranks were mainly responsible for the crimes committed in the concentration camp. Also located in the 36 STATIONS ON THE GROUNDS /RELICTS View of the former camp bakery (I.) and former commandant’s headquarters (r.), 2017 area of the commandant’s headquarters were the living quarters of the armed SS men who manned the towers and kept guard over the prisoner work details, so too, from 1940, the crematorium grounds. The SS training camp was behind the commandant’s headquarters. Stationed here were SS units sent to Dachau for basic and advanced military and ideo- logical training. The Nazi regime developed the SS into an elite organization and military strike force. The grounds were home to a diverse array of facil- ities for instruction and indoctrination, residential and administrative build- ings, as well as maintenance and provision operations. Concentration camp prisoners were forced to work on the building sites and in the various com- pany workshops located in the SS camp. 37 The Jourhaus with the gate to the prisoner camp, 2010 5 Jourhaus with camp gate The Jourhaus was the entrance and exit of the prisoner camp, which the SS officially called the “protective custody camp”. Located in the Jourhaus were the duty rooms of the camp SS and the staff of the political department. Pris- oners were forced to construct the building in 1936 as part of the rebuilding of the camp. ‘Jourhaus” is a military term. “Jour” is French for “day”. Hence, the Jourhaus was where the officer of the day and his staff were stationed. From here, they organized the prisoner work details, controlled the barracks, wrote applications for imposing punishments, and arranged the guarding of the prisoners. From the perspective of their prisoners, the Jourhaus was the center of SS power. Installed and controlled by the SS, and hence dependent on them, the “pris- oner functionaries” assumed a series of guard, supervisory, and administra- 38 STATIONS ON THE GROUNDS /RELICTS bat ae “In the gateway a wrought-iron trellis was opened. [...] The barracks shimmered green through the barbed wire. Even from faraway one could see that everything was kept scrupulously clean and not even the smallest scrap of paper lay on the ground. But something grim, something awful, something ice cold hung over everything. Never before in my life have | felt a setting to be so unconditionally dangerous and hostile.” Contemporary witness account of arriving in front of the Jourhaus at the Dachau concentration camp; Edgar Kupfer-Koberwitz, prisoner in the Dachau concentration camp 1940-1945 tive tasks. These prisoners were forced to carry out the orders issued by the SS, even ifthese orders threatened the health or life of their fellow prison- ers — otherwise they could expect to be punished. Many of them used their position to protect their fellow prisoners. Deploying prisoner functionaries was an instrument of SS control. Every newly arrived prisoner passed through the wrought-iron gate of the Jourhaus with the inscription “Arbeit macht frei” (“Work sets you free”). This saying reflected how the Nazi propaganda aimed to downplay what took place in the concentration camp, presenting it as a “work and education camp”. Italso revealed the cynical debasing attitude towards the prisoners, for forced labor was one of the main instruments of extermination and terror used by the SS. The Jourhaus shortly after liberation with former prisoners and U.S. soldiers, May 1945 SiS) Ate] at: Depiction of a nighttime roll call; an ink drawing by the survivor Karl Freund, finished on December 17 1939 6 Roll call area The roll call area was located between the maintenance building and the barracks complex. The SS carried out the roll call and the punishments on this vast open space. The prisoners had to assemble in front of the barracks for the morning headcount. From there they marched to the roll call area, where they had to stand at attention in rows of ten. The SS forced the pris- oners to remain stockstill in this position no matter what the weather was like. Following roll call, which usually lasted an hour, but frequently took much longer, the prisoners had to line up in their work details. This whole proce- dure was repeated in the evening after work. Ifthe number of persons count- ed and reported did not match the official figure, then all the prisoners had to remain standing at attention until the reason for the diverging numbers was found. Only then did the SS allow the prisoners to return to barracks. Iland frail prisoners often collapsed from exhaustion during roll call. The other prisoners were not permitted to go to their aid. Another collective pun- ishment was drill exercises on the roll call area. The SS forced the prisoners to do physical exercises in the disciplined order of a military drill until they were completely exhausted. Prisoners were also flogged openly in front of their fellow inmates on the roll call area, a punishment that humiliated the victim and intimidated those forced to look on. The Dachau concentration camp was filled to overflowing in the final months of the war. The continually arriving prisoners from the evacuated concen- tration camps were first assembled on the roll call area. Many of the iland exhausted prisoners died on the spot. 40 STATIONS ON THE GROUNDS /RELICTS The former roll call area, with the former maintenance building on the right, 2017 “For more than three hours we stood on the roll call area and waited for the whistle that was to signal our return to the barracks. A fine rain, cold and penetrating, transformed our wet things into heavy rags. One saw the drops dance in the yellow light of the searchlights over the rigid mass of prisoners, around which the eternally cursing SS men circled like fierce dogs.” Contemporary witness account of standing at attention on the roll call area; Edmond Michelet, prisoner in the Dachau concentration camp 1943-1945 4) The former maintenance building, in front the International Monument, 2017 7 Maintenance building (main exhibition) Today, the main exhibition of the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site is located in the former maintenance building. The exhibition presents the history of the Dachau concentration camp and the fate of the prisoners. Also in the building are the memorial room, the special exhibition room, adminis- tration offices, as well as the archive and library. The SS had the structure built as part of the expansion of the prisoner camp in 1937/38. The maintenance building contained various workshops, storage and functional rooms. There the SS deployed the prisoners as metalworkers, electricians, painters, and installers. Inmates had to work in the laundry and the prisoner kitchen. While the kitchen was fitted with modern appliances, provisions were chronically insufficient and the prisoners suffered great hun- ger. In the maintenance building the SS continued the humiliating procedure for the newly arrived prisoners. The prisoners were registered in the so-called 42 STATIONS ON THE GROUNDS /RELICTS Maintenance building with the quote from Heinrich Himmler on the roof, SS propaganda photo, around 1939/41 ww Sw! Prisoners carry pails of soup from the kitchen to the barracks, SS propaganda photo, June 28 1938 Steamers and soup pails in the prisoner kitchen, SS propaganda photo, June 28 1938 “shunt room”. There they had to hand over their clothes and personal items. After having all their body hair shaven, the prisoners were disinfected and showered. They received prisoner uniforms that rarely fitted. The SS admin- istration kept the prisoners’ possessions in the effects storeroom, located in the attic of the building. On the side of the maintenance building roof that faced the roll call area and the barracks, a quote from Heinrich Himmler in large white letters could be read from 1939 onwards: “There is one path to freedom. Its milestones are: obedience, honesty, cleanliness, sobriety, diligence, orderliness, self-sacrifice, truthfulness, love of the fatherland.” Given their desperate situation, this say- ing openly mocked the prisoners. Hardly any prisoners were released from the concentration camp once the war began. 43 Main exhibition in the former shunt room, 2017 7.1 Shunt room After arriving in the prisoner camp, the inmates were first taken by the SS to the shunt room in the maintenance building. “Shunt” is a term from the pe- nal system and means a “prisoner transport”. The new arrivals were subjected to a degrading procedure, forced to endure the violent deprivation of their personal rights and liberties. A row of tables was set up between the pillars in the shunt room, dividing the room in the middle. Standing behind the tables were prisoners who the SS forced to work in the so-called “prisoner possession administration”. The SS ordered the newly arrived prisoners to strip naked and hand over their clothes and personal possessions. The prisoners at the desks listed these items. The new arrivals then had to move on to the prisoner baths close by, fully naked. 44 STATIONS ON THE GROUNDS /RELICTS Jurij Piskunov, Ukraine, undated, prisoner inthe Dachau concentration camp 1943-1945 Stanistaw Krzystolik, Poland, 1930s, prisoner in the Dachau concentration camp 1940-1942 Wilhelm Heckmann, German Reich, 1936, prisoner in the Dachau concentration camp 9871939 “We'd stopped being a person. Everything focused on killing off your sense of shame, breaking your will, and forcing the prisoner into pitiful blind obedience. It wasn’t about if one was an intellectually or morally valuable human being, everyone was equal and everyone was judged to be criminal.” Contemporary witness account of the humiliating arrival procedure; Hans Carls, prisoner in the Dachau concentration camp 1942-1945 The layout of the exhibition room today takes up the spatial arrangement of the historical shunt room. Today, display cases are located where the desks once were, containing original personal items of former prisoners. The sign “Rauchen verboten” (“Smoking prohibited”) on the wall of the former shunt room was uncovered in2000. 45 Richard Blumel (second from the left) with his family, Czechoslovakia, 1930, prisoner in the Dachau concentration camp 1941 Johann Eckstein (second from the right) with his family, German Reich, 1939, prisoner in the Dachau concentration camp 1942 Giovanni Cipollaro (on the right) with his family, Italy, 1938, prisoner in the Dachau concentration camp 1944 The private photos of the inmates reflect their different social backgrounds and personal circumstances. With their arrest and transportation to a con- centration camp, they were forcibly cut off from their private, family, and work- ing lives. 46 STATIONS ON THE GROUNDS / RELICTS 7.2 Prisoner baths Main exhibition in the former prisoner baths, 2017 In the prisoner baths, the new arrivals had their heads and bodies shaven, were disinfected and showered. The SS imposed this procedure not only for reasons of hygiene — itwas also designed to deprive the prisoners of a sphere of intimacy and humiliate them. Prisoners were then brought to the baths to shower once a week at first, later less frequently. After showering, the newly arrived prisoners, harassed by the SS, hastily received a prisoner uniform that in most cases was ilfitting. From 1938 on- wards, the uniform comprised a jacket, a pair of pants, and a cap of blue- and-white striped drill fabric. The shoes were made of wood and in part linen. The inmates had to sew their prisoner number and a triangular patch onto their uniform. As of 1938, the SS used these variously colored triangular patch- es of cloth to divide the prisoners into categories. The classification into prisoner groups was based on the ‘reason’ for imprisonment given by the Gestapo or the Criminal Police. The triangular patches were symbols of terror in the concentration camps, used by the SS to stigmatize the prisoners and subject them to a hierarchy that meant the chances of survival varied greatly. The SS used the categories intentionally to sow discord amongst the differ- ent prisoner groups. 47 The carrying out of corporeal punishment on the trestle in the prisoner baths, watercolor by the survivor Georg Tauber, 1945 Prisoners were tortured in the baths with “oole hanging”, watercolor by the survivor Albert Kerner, 1945 A red patch was used to categorize political prisoners. Jewish prisoners were Issued a color patch in addition to a yellow one, so that the two sewn together formed a Star of David. So-called “professional criminals” were forced to wear a green patch. Returned German emigrants were issued a blue patch. Members of the Jehovah's Witness — called the “Bible students” — were marked with the purple triangle. The SS stigmatized the so-called “asocials” with a black patch. In the prisoner baths the SS punished the prisoners for “violations” of the camp regulations. Bound to a trestle, the prisoners were subjected to vicious beatings. In 1941/42, the SS introduced the torture of “pole hanging”. The former prisoner baths remains unchanged today in terms of its basic layout. The original tub was uncovered during work on the new exhibition, whereas the wooden lattice planks are a reconstruction. The fittings of the beams attached to the pillars, used for the “pole hanging”, were discovered while compiling a report on the historical building substance. The main ob- ject is a replica of the trestle used for floggings from 1945, which served as evidence at the Dachau Trials. 48 STATIONS ON THE GROUNDS /RELICTS Form undFarbeJerfeunseichen, poutBett be ca # soa a Panel showing the prisoner categories, around 1940 49 View of the former “bunker courtyard” and the “bunker” (on the right), 2017 8 Camp prison (exhibition) Located in the former camp prison is an exhibition devoted to the history of the building. For the prisoners, the detention building was one of the main sites of terror, the SS carrying out harsher punishments here. The SS named the building the “garrison detention”; the prisoners called itthe “bunker”. The prison facility visible today was built in 1937/38. Located in the square central section were the offices of the guard personnel as well as an examination and an admission room. The interrogation room was insulated to prevent screams from being heard. The SS recorded the personal details of the prisoners and questioned them. In the east and west wings were single cells where the prisoners were locked away under con- stant surveillance for weeks and months with a minimal supply of rations. The SS mishandled and tortured the prisoners inthe camp prison, extracting confessions. Many prisoners died. In 1944, the SS installed four tiny standing cells in the “bunker”, measuring a mere 80 cm x 80 cm. The prisoners had to 50 STATIONS ON THE GROUNDS /RELICTS View of the western “bunker courtyard”. Depiction of the standing cells, woodcut The wall is visible in the middle that divi- by the survivor Bogdan Boréié, 1959 ded the yard into two sections, May 1945 “Four months bunker, four months confinement in the dark, four months of getting something warm to eat only every fourth day. Time crawls. |count only every fourth day and am astonished when the food comes and wakes me up. Because |’m in a trance.” Contemporary witness account on solitary confinement in a darkened cell of the camp prison; Erwin Gostner, prisoner in the Dachau concentration camp 1938-1939 endure several days in these extremely cramped, bricked cells, with insuffi- cient air to breathe properly and meagre food rations. From 1941, so-called “special prisoners” were also transferred to the detention cells of the camp prison. These prisoners were prominent public figures the SS kept as hos- tages, looking to gain some tactical advantage for the war. In 1941/42, a punishment compound for SS men, police officers, and air defense personnel was set up in the east wing of the prison and an annex structure. The latter no longer exists. The SS used the courtyard between the maintenance building and the camp prison to abuse and murder prisoners. Separated by a wall, the SS set up a shooting stand with stakes and a bullet catcher in the eastern “bunker cour- tyard”. At the end of August 1941, the SS began to execute Soviet POWs there. For reasons of secrecy, these mass executions were then moved to the close-by “SS shooting range Hebertshausen”. 51 Former prisoners In bunk beds immediately Prisoners on the camp road between the after their liberation, May 1945 rows of barracks, SS propaganda photo, June 28 1938 9 Barracks (exhibition) As part of the expansions made to the camp in 1937/38, the SS had a com- plex of 34 barracks built. Comprised of four functional and 30 accommoda- tion barracks, the complex was then demolished in 1964/65. The two struc- tures today located where the former camp road began are replicas erected in 1965. The reconstructed barrack on the eastern side features an exhibition on the accommodation and living conditions of the prisoners. Concrete foundations cast in 1965 mark the positions of the other 32 barracks. Each of the prisoner barracks, also known as “block” in the language of the camp, was divided into four “rooms”. Each of these “rooms” was in turn made up of day quarters furnished with tables, stools, and lockers, as well as sleeping quarters with wooden bunk beds. The prisoners were defenseless against the brutal despotism of the SS block leaders who bullied them with strict and minute regulations on the cleanliness of the floors, how things were to be arranged in the lockers, or how the beds were to be made. Even the slightest of deviations from the draconian standards was severely punished. Each of the accommodation barracks was designed to hold 200 persons: towards the end of the war, the barracks were full to overflowing however, with up to 2,000 prisoners crammed into a barrack. Located in the first bar- rack on the left of the camp road were the canteen, the camp orderly room, the library, and the SS museum, as well as instruction rooms for the prisoner personnel. On the right of the camp road was the sickbay, which was con- tinually extended to include more barracks given the disastrous state of the prisoners’ health. Behind the sickbay were the punishment blocks and quar- antine barracks for the newly arrived prisoners. 52 STATIONS ON THE GROUNDS /RELICTS 1 hsme amTTR View of the former camp road and the reconstructed barracks, 2017 “Make the beds! Oh, what a dreadful order, mirroring the whole bloody stupidity of camp discipline. A straw sack is naturally round. But it has to have corners! Like a cigar box. [...] Planks and /ittle boards surface out of hiding places, specially carved for this purpose. Through a slit in the sack the straw is bulked up with a stick and stuffed against the edge, then a little board is held against it to press it flat. The sheet is carefully spanned over it and a sharp edge Is !roned in on the side.” Contemporary witness account of “camp discipline” in the barracks; Jean Bernard, prisoner in the Dachau concentration camp 1941-1942 53 View of the former location of the sickbay, 2017 10 Sickbay The sickbay functioned as a kind of camp hospital and was initially located in the first two functional barracks on the right of the camp road. These barracks were modern and very well equipped. The SS used the sickbay for propaganda purposes: itserved as a showpiece for visiting delegations. The sickbay had two surgeries, a medical dispensary, a laboratory, various casu- alty clinics, and a morgue. In reality however, the illprisoners had to endure disastrous conditions. The SS doctors generally neglected them. There was, moreover, a blatant shortage of medicine and bandaging materials. Itwas not until 1943 that prisoners who themselves were doctors were first allowed to care for their illcomrades. The living conditions of the prisoners worsened rapidly once the war began. Due to malnourishment, lack of hygiene facilities, and physical exhaustion, they were in a terrible state of health. The sickbay was therefore gradually 54 STATIONS ON THE GROUNDS /RELICTS “The sickbays of the concentration camps, and without fail that of Dachau, had nothing to do with what one imagined [...] hospitals to be. It was an inhospitable place that had no helpful medical atmosphere [...]. Underneath the sham of the surface view was a complete indifference towards the most primitive rules of hygiene and asepsis, and betrayed precisely the state of mind of the SS doctors, who had the task of caring for the inferior cattle which we were.” Contemporary witness account on the sickbay; Edmond Michelet, prisoner in the Dachau concentration camp 1943-1945 A prisoner istreated inthe dental surgery of the sickbay, SS propaganda photo, around 1938/41 SS doctor Sigmund Rascher (center) during a hypothermia experiment, photographic documentation filed by the SS, 1941 extended to five barracks. Itcomprised seven “sick quarter blocks” which were connected to one another through a roofed-over passageway. Because of the rapid spreading of infectious diseases, particularly towards the end of the war, the sickbay became a place of mass dying. Beginning in 1941, SS doctors carried out horrific medical experiments on prisoners there. Commissioned by the German Air Force, they oversaw ex- periments on the impact of exposure, altitude, and seawater. Prisoners were subjected to life-threatening hypothermic conditions in a water basin, expos- ed to extreme pressure fluctuations in an altitude chamber, and forced to drink chemically-treated saltwater. Others were infected with malaria patho- gens and phlegmon to test medical drugs. Hundreds died during these in- human experiments. 55 Aerial shot of the functional buildings in the northern end of the camp, May 1945 11 Functional buildings Behind the accommodation barracks was a fenced-off area with functional buildings and production facilities where prisoner details were deployed to perform forced labor. The complex was demolished bit by bit in the 1950s and 1960s. Religious sites of remembrance are now located there. Behind the western row of barracks was the camp nursery (area in red). Sap- lings and seedlings were grown in the greenhouses that were then later plan- ted in the SS experimental agricultural facility /“herb garden”. Adjacent to the eastern row of barracks, stalls for Angora rabbits were built in 1940 (purple). The breeding station was constantly expanded; by 1944, more than 4,000 animals were being kept there. The wool and fur of the rabbits was used as lining for the uniforms of the German Air Force. 56 STATIONS ON THE GROUNDS /RELICTS A prisoner at the stalls feeding the Angora rabbits, SS propaganda photo, around 1940/41 A prisoner on the roof of a greenhouse in the camp nursery, secretly taken photo, 1944 On the left, behind the fence, the bordello barrack; on the right, behind the horse cart, the disinfection barrack, May 1945 Disinfection barrack, 1941 In 1941, a disinfection barrack was added (orange) where inmates disinfect- ed prisoner clothing and blankets. Because the SS avoided the building in fear of becoming infected, the prisoners used itto hold secret meetings. They also hid a radio receiver there, enabling them to listen to international broadcasters. In the spring of 1944, the SS opened a camp bordello (green). Designated a “special building”, here women prisoners from the Ravensbruck concen- tration camp were forced into prostitution. Using a bonus coupon issued by the SS for their rate of work, prisoners could request to visit the bordello. A large majority of the prisoners boycotted the bordello. The SS closed itat the end of 1944. 5/ mb View of the western guard installation with Guard installation in the south, behind the tower, May 3 1945 former camp prison, 1945 12 Guard installations Part of the extension work on the camp in 1937/38 included guard installa- tions designed to make escape from the prisoner camp impossible. As the grounds were turned into a refugee camp in 1948, the camp fence and one guard tower were removed. In the 1960s, with the developing of the area into the Memorial Site, the missing guard tower was reconstructed, while the remaining towers, in part in a state of dilapidation, were restored. Sec- tions of the camp fencing were rebuilt to provide visitors with an idea of what the guard installations were like. These reconstructed sections are lo- cated to the east of the former maintenance building and at the entrance to the crematorium area. The prisoner camp was surrounded in the north, east, and south by a three meter-high perimeter wall fitted with barbed wire. Inthe west, the River Wurm served as a natural boundary between the prisoner camp and the SS com- 58 STATIONS ON THE GROUNDS /RELICTS Reconstructed guard installation in front of the entrance to the crematorium area, 2017 pound. Located on the campside of the perimeter wall and the Wurm was an electrified barbed-wire fence, a barbed-wire obstacle, a two meter-deep ditch, and a grass area. The SS cynically called this strip the “neutral zone”. lfa prisoner entered this area, he was considered to be trying to escape and was shot without warning by the guards. The guard installations included seven guard towers, fitted with machineguns and manned by SS sentries around the clock. In their absolute desperation, those prisoners no longer able to endure living in constant fear under the SS regime of terror chose to die — they deliberately entered the “neutral zone” or threw themselves against the high-voltage bar- bed-wire fence. Sometimes the SS guards forced prisoners onto the prohib- ited area and then shot them because they were allegedly “trying to es- cape”. 59 New crematorium with gas chamber, called “barrack X”, built in 1942/43, 2017 13 Crematorium area The crematorium area is the main place of remembrance in the Memorial Site. The area was already being used to remember the dead immediately upon liberation. In the 1960s, itunderwent a cemetery-like redevelopment. Today, access to the crematorium area is via a bridge from the former prison- er camp. This does not correspond to the historical situation; the area, partly covered by trees, was in fact located in the SS camp, was bounded by a wall, and strictly separated from the prisoner camp. Only SS men responsi- ble for running the facility and prisoners forced to cremate the bodies were allowed to enter. At first, the SS sent the ashes of the prisoners who perished in the camp to the family concerned, buried the body not far from the camp, or took itto Munich’s East Cemetery for cremation. As the prisoner numbers and the death rate rose dramatically with the outbreak of war, in the summer of 1940 the SS had a first crematorium fitted with a furnace built. Just a year later, the capacity of this crematorium was insufficient. In the spring of 1942, work began on building “barrack X”, which was then put into operation a year later. This was a crematorium with four furnaces, a disinfection cham- ber for clothing, dayrooms and sanitary facilities, as well as morgues anda gas chamber disguised as a “shower bath”. There can be no doubt that 60 STATIONS ON THE GROUNDS /RELICTS “Barrack X” in use, secretly taken photo, SS men hang prisoners in the summer 1944 crematorium, watercolor by the survivor Georg Tauber, 1945 “The crematorium can hardly cope with the heaps of corpses laden stark naked like logs on carts, which resemble dung carts, and driven through the gate to be thrown to the embers without a prayer and chiming bells. Even the barbarians were not guilty of displaying such disrespect to the dead.” Contemporary witness account of the conditions prevailing in “barrack X” in January 1945: Karl Adolf Gross, prisoner in the Dachau concentration camp 1940-1945 “barrack X” was designed for the mass extermination of prisoners. Killing people on a mass scale through poison gas never took place in the Dachau concentration camp. Itremains unexplained as to why the SS never used the operational gas chamber for this purpose. According to one contemporary witness account, some prisoners were killed by poison gas in 1944. Some- what secluded from the rest of the camp complex, the SS used the cre- matorium area as an execution site. Here prisoners were hung or shot in the back of the neck. The victims were mainly members of resistance organiza- tions. Acommemorative “path of death” takes visitors past the execution sites and the graves with the ashes. Between 1933 and 1945, around 41,500 persons died of hunger, exhaustion, and disease, or were brutally murdered inthe Dachau concentration camp and itssubcamps. 61 STATIONS ON THE GROUNDS OF THE DACHAU CONCENTRATION CAMP MEMORIAL SITE PLACES OF REMEMBRANCE Relief with the triangles linked together in Survivor associations attend the laying the form of a chain, 2017 of the foundation stone for an international monument, September 9 1956 14 International Monument The International Monument was inaugurated on September 8 1968. Itwas designed by Nandor Glid, who himself was persecuted as a Jew by the Na- zis in his home country of Yugoslavia and had joined the resistance to the German occupation forces at the end of 1944. The sculptor won a competi- tion organized by the CID, the association representing the survivors, in 1959. TheInternationalMonument canbewalkedthroughandismade upofdiffer- ent elements. It is based on the idea of a path of education and catharsis. Coming from the Jourhaus, visitors to the Memorial Site face an entry wall. Its inscription calls the visitors to follow the example of the prisoners and actively defend a society without terror and tyranny. The path leads to the lowest point of the Monument, representing the despair and suffering of the prisoners. The central bronze sculpture shows human figures entangled in barbed wire. Itisframed by stylized concrete pillars, which symbolize the guard installations. 62 STATIONS ON THE GROUNDS /PLACES OF REMEMBRANCE The International Monument in front of the former maintenance building, 2017 Opposite the sculpture, a relief in the form of a chain symbolizes the solidari- ty between the prisoners in the concentration camp. The relief features triangles in different colors, recalling how the SS categorized the prisoners. The black triangle for the so-called “asocials”, the green triangle for the so- called “professional criminals, and the pink triangle for homosexuals are not represented. These victim groups were not recognized as persons perse- cuted by the Nazis at the time the Monument was erected. Their fate has only first gradually attracted public interest since the 1980s. At the end of the ascending path, a tomb contains the ashes of an unknown prisoner. Inscribed into the wall behind the tomb in five languages is the exhortation “Never Again”. 63 Memorial plaque for Cséri Lajos, prisoner in the Dachau concentration camp 1944-1945, donated 2016 SOMOSEXUT i) NATIONA The “pink triangle memorial stone” for homosexuals, donated 1985 15 Memorial room (main exhibition) Currently more than 130 commemorative plaques and stones are in the me- morial room at the end of the main exhibition. The room serves to remember individuals and groups imprisoned in the Dachau concentration camp. Pri- vate persons and institutions are able to donate plaques commemorating victims of the Dachau concentration camp. In 2011, three terminals were installed in the memorial room that allow vis- itors to view the “Book of Remembrance for the Dead of the Dachau Con- centration Camp” in digital and printed versions. The remembrance book gives the prisoners who died from the torture inflicted, the inhuman living conditions, or were murdered, their names again, enabling individual com- memoration in dignity. Visitors can use the terminals to research the name, nationality, profession, place and date of birth as well as the date of death of the prisoners. The remembrance book contains the names of 33,205 dead. Ithas proven impossible to identify the names of 8,300 men and women killed in the Dachau concentration camp. 64 STATIONS ON THE GROUNDS /PLACES OF REMEMBRANCE Terminals enable visitors access to the “Book of Remembrance for the Dead of the Dachau Concentration Camp”, 2017 View of the memorial room, 2017 65 Mortal Agony of Christ Chapel and Consecration of the Mortal Agony of Christ memorial bell, 2017 Chapel, August 5 1960 16 Mortal Agony of Christ Chapel The Catholic Mortal Agony of Christ Chapel was the first religious memorial erected at the northern end of the former camp grounds. The functional build- ings of the concentration camp located here were demolished in the 1950s and 1960s. The Dachau survivor and later auxiliary bishop of Munich, Johannes Neu- hausler, initiated the building of the Mortal Agony of Christ Chapel. The chapel was consecrated on August 5 1960 during the Eucharistic World Congress. Designed by the architect Josef Wiedemann, the open cylindrical structure faces the central axis of the former camp. Above the entrance is a crown of thorns made of copper. Symbolically, the structure stands for the liberation from captivity through Christ. The memorial bell in front of the chapel rings out once a day shortly before 3 p.m., the hour of Jesus’s death as depicted in the Bible. On August 20 1962, the Dachau survivor and later archbishop of Szczecin- Kamien, Kazimierz Majdanski, unveiled a bronze likeness of Christ and a tri- lingual dedication honoring the Polish prisoners, the largest prisoner group in the Dachau concentration camp. 66 STATIONS ON THE GROUNDS /PLACES OF REMEMBRANCE Carmelite nuns building the convent, 1963 Entrance to the Carmelite Convent, 2017 17 Carmelite Convent Beyond the northern wall of the Memorial Site, behind the Mortal Agony of Christ Chapel, is the Carmelite Convent of the Precious Blood. The order of the Discalced Carmelites was founded by Saint Teresa of Avila in the six- teenth century. The Carmelite nun Sister Maria Theresia deliberately chose the former Dachau concentration camp because of the horrors that took place here — itwas to become a place of offering and prayer, and so establish a living symbol of hope. The convent was consecrated on November 22 1964 by Johannes Neuhdaus- ler. Josef Wiedemann designed the plan, which takes the form of a cross. The courtyard, the gate, and the church of the convent are publicly accessible through an aperture in a former guard tower. The final resting place of Jo- hannes Neuhdusler islocated inthe church. Inthe convent’s courtyard, litur- gical objects from the camp chapel are exhibited in a vitrine. 67 The architect Helmut Striffler hands over the key to the Protestant Church of Reconciliation to Bishop Kurt Scharf (center), vice chairman of the Council of Evangelical Churches in Germany, April 30 1967 18 Protestant Church of Reconciliation The initiative to build a Protestant church came from Dutch survivors, sup- ported by the World Council of Churches. The Evangelical Church in Germany built the Protestant Church of Reconciliation, consecrated on April 30 1967 by the regional bishop of Bavaria, Hermann Dietzfelbinger. The dedication service was led by the retired church president and former Dachau prisoner, Martin Nieméoller. The architect Helmut Striffler designed the building with the church and meeting room to represent a counterpoint to the symmetrical, angular struc- tures and layout of the former concentration camp. 68 STATIONS ON THE GROUNDS /PLACES OF REMEMBRANCE 19 Jewish memorial On May 7 1967, the regional association of the Israelite Communities in Ba- varia unveiled a Jewish memorial. Designed by Zvi Guttmann, the parabola- shaped structure features a ramp that leads downward, reminding visitors of the extermination of European Jews. At its lowest point, light shines into the memorial through an opening. A menorah — a seven-branched candelabrum — made of marble from Peki’in is positioned on the top of the structure. The town of Peki’in in Israel sym- bolizes the continuity of Jewish life. Jewish memorial, 2017 Rabbi David Spiro (center) recites prayers for the dead at the consecration of the Jewish memorial, May 7 1967 69 Russian Orthodox chapel, 2017 Russian soldiers building the Russian Orthodox chapel, June 1994 20 Russian Orthodox chapel Upon the end of the Cold War, public attention began to turn to the fate of Soviet prisoners, the third largest victim group of the Dachau concentration camp. The initiative to erect the memorial chapel “Resurrection of Our Lord” came from the leaderships of the Russian Orthodox Church in Germany and Russia together with the embassy of the Russian Federation. The architect Valentin Utkin created the design. The octagonal wooden structure was prebuilt in Moscow and erected in Da- chau by soldiers of the Russian Armed Forces in 1994. The metropolitan of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas, Nicolai Kutepov, dedicated the chapel on April 29 1995. Itsits on a mound, partly comprised of earth from the repub- lics of the former Soviet Union. 70 STATIONS ON THE GROUNDS /PLACES OF REMEMBRANCE STATIONS NEAR THE DACHAU CONCENTRATION AN OVERVIEW CAMP MEMORIAL SITE RELICTS PLACES OF REMEMBRANCE 4 Concentration Camp Memorial Cemetery Leitenberg 5 Concentration camp graves at the woodlands cemetery 6 Death march monument Weg INoG Rep @ 1 SS experimental agricultural facility/ “herb garden” 2 SS shooting range Hebertshausen (outdoor exibition) 3 Path of Remembrance 3.1 Line section leading to the SS camp 3.2 SS residential estate % ee ral e “oO a9 DACHAU CONCENTRATION |‘CAMP MEMORIAL SITE cS 2 ° et Sy, ° 3.2) . @eee00@ @ bg8 = My 2) eANy x o~ S7, cc e 845 & e Sen -om %= e ‘Oo Pe a e Ww @5 x 7\ STATIONS NEAR THE DACHAU CONCENTRATION CAMP MEMORIAL SITE RELICTS OF THE CONCENTRATION CAMP RS Ans The shop (I.)and greenhouses inthe The shot prisoner Abraham Borenstein on “herb garden”, SS propaganda photo, 1941 ___the grounds of the “herb garden”, SS doc- umentation of the “suicides” of prisoners, May 15 1941 1 SS experimental agricultural facility/“herb garden”/“plantation” Located outside the prisoner camp was a large nursery with areas of cultivat- ed land that, from 1938 onwards, the prisoners were forced to lay out and work on. The SS described this agricultural operation euphemistically as the “herb garden”. Today, the area is mostly overbuilt with industrial buildings. The complex comprised numerous structures, including a maintenance build- ing, a teaching and research institute, ashop, an equipment shed, a bee house, greenhouses, as well as large sections of productive land. Itwas Heinrich Himmler’s idea that by cultivating and studying medicinal and aro- matic herbs the Nazi state could itself independent of its reliance on foreign medicines and herbs. Establishing a “Volk medicine” in close touch with na- ture was a prestige project of Nazi health policy and was avidly supported by the leader of the SS. Responsible for selling the produce from the exper- iments and testing was the SS-owned company “Deutsche Versuchsanstalt fur Ernaéhrung und Verpflegung GmbH” (DVA). 72 STATIONS NEAR THE GROUNDS /RELICTS Former administration and institute building, 2017 The residents of Dachau and neighboring areas could purchase the produce of the “herb garden” in a shop. There individual prisoners succeeded in se- cretly establishing contact with the civillan population who helped them, at the risk of death, to smuggle goods and information in and out of the camp. The prisoners called the feared deployment to the outdoor areas of the “herb garden” the “plantation” work detail. They were forced to do the extremely arduous and exhausting work no matter the weather. Inadequate clothing, malnutrition, bullying and abuse by the SS turned the already hard outdoor work into a perilous torture. The working conditions in the buildings and greenhouses were less brutal. A work detail of illustrators had to compile a herbarium. The former administrative and institute building as well as rem- nants of three greenhouses with added end structures have survived. There are plans to restore the building ensemble, which is in the possession of the City of Dachau authority. Based on a new utilization concept, the historical structures are to be integrated into the Memorial Site and become part of its ‘space of memory’. 73 In the foreground the installation “Memorial for the Victims” (2014); behind itthe commemorative monument for the murdered Soviet POWs (1964), located in front of the former machinegun and pistol shooting stands, 2017 2 SS shooting range Hebertshausen (outdoor exhibition) Around two kilometers to the north of the Dachau concentration camp, in the municipality of Hebertshausen, the SS constructed a shooting range in 1937/38. SS units and other military organizations received weapons training there. The facility had five shooting lanes, two shooting stands, a grenade- throwing stand, and a maintenance building. The SS began using itas an execution site in 1941. On June 22 1941, the war of extermination against the Soviet Union began with the invasion by the German Army. Captured Red Army soldiers were sent to POW camps located in the territory of the German Reich. Together with the German Army, the Gestapo “segregated” 33,000 POWs based on racist and ideological criteria. In violation of international law, Communist functionaries, intellectuals, and Jews were transported to concentration camps and murdered by the SS. 74 STATIONS NEAR THE GROUNDS /RELICTS Entrance gate to the SS shooting range Hebertshausen, April 30 1945 & Firing practice in the right lane of the machinegun and pistol stand, 1938 At the Dachau concentration camp, Soviet POWs were mostly killed directly after arriving. The first executions by firing squad took place in the bunker courtyard. Between October 1941 and summer 1942, the camp SS murdered in mass executions over 4,000 POWs at the Hebertshausen shooting range. The SS forced the soldiers to undress and line up in rows of five in the right- hand lane in front of the bullet catcher. Forcibly moved to the left lane, they were then chained to stakes with handcuffs and shot. After the mass murder of Soviet POWs stopped, the SS then used the shoot- ing range to carry out death sentences passed by the SS and Police Courts. In 1964, the Lagergemeinschaft Dachau, an association of former prisoners, had the first memorial commemorating the murdered Soviet POWs erected on the onetime grounds of the SS shooting range. In 2014, the grounds were turned into a memorial site with an outdoor exhibition. Maintenance building with the apartment of the facility attendant, accommodation quarters, offices, munitions store, and inn, SS propaganda photo, around 1942/43 US SUDETE e %uneud SehEe % eA SHEIMER stp. D e9 e e e 3 Path of Remembrance VISITORS’ CENTER | STATION e é Aa N LANDsTR. << TM S$ ) >Q ks) ° “D eo.e a; °S @n Inaugurated in 2007, the “Path of Remembrance” is made up of twelve sta- tions with information panels. The route leads from Dachau railway station to the Visitors’ Center of the Dachau Memorial Site. The walk along the three kilometer-long path takes around 45 minutes. The information panels follow the route by which the majority of prisoners reached the concentration camp, on foot, in trains, or on trucks. The panels describe the diverse links the town of Dachau had with the concentration camp and the personal connections of its residents. The railway station serv- ed as a “collecting point” for prisoner transports. Dachau’s residents could see how prisoners and, frequently, dead bodies were unloaded from the trains, and how the SS marched the prisoners to the camp in broad daylight. Moreover, Dachau residents saw the haggard prisoners who, from 1941 on- wards, came to town under SS guard to perform forced labor for local busi- nesses. Also featured on the path are various traces of the past and rem- nants of building structures. The “Path of Remembrance” ends at the former SS experimental agricultural facility/“herb garden” 76 STATIONS NEAR THE GROUNDS /RELICTS THE FORMER SS EXPERIMENTAL AGRI- CULTURALFACILITY/“HERBGARDEN”Lo2) DACHAU CONCENTRATION CAMP MEMORIAL SITE The “death train” from the Buchenwald concentration camp on the section of line leading to the SS camp, April 30 1945 3.1 Line section leading to the SS camp A sidetrack led from Dachau railway station to the SS camp. The SS some- times transported prisoners to the site of their imprisonment in goods trains. The newly arrived prisoners passed through the western entrance of the SS camp and on to the barracks area. The sidetrack was removed in 1948. At the former entrance to the SS grounds, where today the Isar-Amperwerke- StrafSe runs, a small section of the line has survived. Panel 4 of the “Path of Remembrance” marks this location. Two days before the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp on April 29 1945, a prisoner transport from the Buchenwald concentration camp arrived. Loaded with 4,480 prisoners, the train had been on route for 21 days. The SS had crammed the prisoners in goods wagons and given them practically nothing to eat or drink. During the journey, thousands died of hunger and exhaustion or were shot by the SS. A train full of dying and already dead persons arrived in Dachau. Only 816 persons survived the transport. The SS refused the train entry into the SS camp, so that itremained standing on the track in front of the gates. Upon reaching the Dachau concentration camp, U.S. Army troops found the bod- ies in the wagons, a discovery that traumatized many of them. On the “Path of Remembrance”: a section of the rail line at Ilsar-Amperwerke-StraRe with panel no. 4, 2017 Wy Office buildings of the Bavarian Riot Police, formerly used as villas by members of the SS, the “Path of Remembrance”, panel no. 7, 2017 3.2 SS residential estate Located to the south of the SS camp were houses and villas lived in by mem- bers of the Dachau SS and their families. The residential estate was publicly accessible. A row of SS villas lined the former “StraRe der SS”, today called the “StraRe der KZ-Opfer”. They were built during the First World War and belonged to the gunpowder and munitions factory. Still standing today, they were used by the U.S. Army after liberation. Currently they are home to the offices of the Bavarian Riot Police. Panel 7 of the “Path of Remembrance” provides in- formation on the history of the buildings. “Theodor-Eicke Platz”, named after the second camp commandant, ran along today’s “Pater-Roth-StraBe”. Built by prisoners, the complex comprised, along with residential houses, a bakery, a shop, an inn, a post office, and a “community house” with rooms for holding functions. Today the area is built over with new residential houses. 78 STATIONS NEAR THE GROUNDS / RELICTS Sogo si ReohSoe44 Residential houses on the “Stra&e der SS”, postcard, undated “kh ; Dachari Eithe -Platz Residential complex on “Theodor-Eicke-Platz”, postcard, 1941 wS STATIONS NEAR THE DACHAU CONCENTRATION CAMP MEMORIAL SITE PLACES OF REMEMBRANCE ee | The corpses of prisoners are transported Finding corpses on the Leitenberg, 1949 to the Leitenberg by horse and cart, May 1945 4 Concentration Camp Memorial Cemetery Leitenberg Due to a shortage of coal, the crematorium of the Dachau concentration camp ceased operations in February 1945. Between February and April 1945, the SS forced the prisoners to transport the dead bodies to the nearly Leitenberg and dig mass graves for over 4,000 of their fellow inmates. After liberation, the American military government ordered that two further mass graves be created for some 2,000 dead persons. Former leading mem- bers of the Nazi Party and farmers from Dachau had to transport the dead found in the camp by horse and cart to the Leitenberg and bury them there. The authorities ignored the graves in the immediate postwar years, until the summer 1949, when their uncared-for state triggered an international scan- dal. The press and politicians demanded that the Bavarian state government create a dignified final resting place for the concentration camp victims. 80 STATIONS NEAR THE GROUNDS /PLACES OF REMEMBRANCE Cross in the Memorial Cemetery Leitenberg, erected in 1949, 2017 The grounds were redeveloped in line with Christian ideas, without consider- ation of the various religious beliefs of the victims. The cemetery was con- secrated on December 16 1949; a remembrance hall was built in 1951/52. In the 1950s, the French tracing service conducted exhumations and the dead identified as French citizens were transferred to their homeland. Along with victims from abandoned concentration camp cemeteries in Upper Ba- varia, the rest of the dead were reburied on the Leitenberg in single graves. Inthe 1960s, remains of victims were transferred to Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, and Norway. The Italian memorial chapel, “Regina Pacis”, was conse- crated in 1963. Today, over 7,400 victims of the Nazi regime are buried on the Leitenberg. 81 Terraced graves and mortuary chapel at the woodlands cemetery, 2017 5 Concentration camp graves at the woodlands cemetery In the northern part of the Dachau woodlands cemetery is a terrace-shaped gravesite that was created for 1,312 concentration camp victims. These per- sons were former Dachau prisoners who died in the months after their liber- ation on April 29 1945 from the consequences of their imprisonment. Between 1955 and 1958, the Italian, French, Belgian, and Dutch tracing ser- vices had victims buried at the woodlands cemetery exhumed and transferred to their native countries. In the now unoccupied graves, victims from the “death marches” were reinterred from abandoned concentration camp cem- eteries in Upper Bavaria. These victims had initially been buried at cem- eteries along the route of the respective march. Buried in the upper row of graves are a few Polish nationals who had worked for the American military government as guards in the Dachau internment camp. 82 STATIONS NEAR THE GROUNDS /PLACES OF REMEMBRANCE Rows of wooden crosses on the gravesite for concentration camp victims at the woodlands cemetery, around 1945 Inauguration of the Jewish memorial at the woodlands cemetery by Rabbi Max Grunewald, May 1 1964 Located around the graves are memorials dedicated to Jewish, Polish, and Austrian victims of Nazi persecution as well as amemorial stone commemo- rating those who died during the “Dachau uprising” of April 28 1945. An armed resistance group made up of escaped concentration camp pris- oners and Dachau citizens had stormed the town hall, hoping to liberate the town from the Nazi regime before Allied troops arrived. Units of the Waffen- SS quelled the uprising and killed six of the resistance fighters. aT ce 2 This museum was opened on May 9, 1965. Itwas constructed by the Bavarian State on the initiative and according to the plans of the International Dachau Committee. Catalogue Publishers Editors Translation ISBN 3-87490-528-4 _ 12. Edition © 1978 Comité International de Dachau 65, rue de Haerne, Brussels Lipp GmbH, Munich Barbara Distel, Ruth Jakusch Jennifer Vernon, in cooperation with: Ruth Jakusch, Barbara Distel CONCENTRATICOANMP DACHAU 193—31945 4 Introduction This catalogue is intended to accompany the visitor to the Dachau Memorial Museum through the exhibition and to pro- vide him with a reference guide to all the documents dis- played. ers. Jewish citizens were persecuted everywhere. Deportation was greatly accelerated during the last years of the war, as it provided the basis of the slave labour force necessary for the German armaments industry. On the basis of currently available material, an attempt is On April 29, 1945, the liberators of the Dachau camp found made to present the history of theDachau concentration camp from 1933 until 1945, to show how itcame into being and how it was developed during the Nazi era, firstly as a training centre, and then as a model camp for the SS in the perfection of the inhuman concentration camp system, a training ground for the extermination camps of Auschwitz, Majdanek, Treb- linka etc. Although Dachau was not intended as a “mass extermination camp”, hunger and illness, arbitrary killings and mass execu- tions along with the SS doctors’ pseudo-scientific experi- ments, resulted in the continual “extermination” of prisoners. In addition, more than 3000 sick and handicapped Dachau prisoners were murdered inthe gas chambers ofthe Hartheim euthanasia institution near Linz. Many more, especially Jewish prisoners, were transferred to extermination camps. As early as March 21, 1933, Heinrich Himmler, then Police Commissioner of Munich, announced to the press that the first concentration camp for Communist and Social Democra- tic functionnaries was to be opened on March 22 in Dachau. Originally planned to accomodate 5000 prisoners, the camp was primarily intended to eliminate all political opposition. In the course of time, in addition to Jews, gypsies and anti-Nazi clergymen, any citizens who made themselves unpopular with the regime were imprisoned here. An attempt was made to discriminate against these political detainees by introducing common criminals, homosexuals and so called “antisocials” into the concentration camp. In 1937, owing to continuously increasing numbers, prison labour was used to enlarge the camp. The ratio of the various nationalities between 1939 and 1945 reflected the course of the war. As soon as the German army had invaded a country, the first prisoner transports began to arrive. In these occupied countries the Germans tried to stifle all opposition by deporting all intellectual and political lead- more than 30000 survivors of 31 different nationalities*) inthe disastrously overcrowded barracks, and as many again in subsidiary camps attached to Dachau. During its 12 years of existence, 206000 prisoners were regis- tered in Dachau. The number of “non-registered” arrivals can no longer be ascertained. During this period of time 31.951 deaths were registered. However, the total number of deaths in Dachau, including the victims of individual and mass executions and the final death marches will never be known. Before the liberation of the camp the Comité International de Dachau was secretly constituted, its aim being to prevent the last-minute mass extermination of the prisoners planned by the SS. During the weeks after the liberation, the committee played an important role in providing for the survivors taking care of the sick, and finally in organizing the repatriation of released pris- oners. Members of the SS captured by the US Army were then held in custody in the Dachau camp until the end of the Dachau war crimes trials. Afterwards, refugees and displaced persons were housed in these barracks,**) some for as long as 18 years, until they were offered adequate housing accommoda- tion. The first International meeting of former Dachau prisoners took place in 1955, on the 10th anniversary of the camp’s lib- eration. In view of the deteriorating condition of the camp, it was unanimously decided to re-establish the Comité Interna- tional de Dachau inorderto insist on behalf ofall ex-prisoners that a worthy and dignified memorial be set up. In 1960, a provisional museum was Opened in the cre- matorium building as a first result of these joint efforts. Final- ly, on May 9, 1965, the opening ceremony of the present memorial site and museum took place. The Comité Interna- Insuch adocumentation itisalmost impossibletoportray acts tional de Dachau was responsible for its concept and planing and the Bavarian Government for its financing. Consulting ar- chitect René Vander Auwera, former Dachau prisoner No. 113087. Attached to the museum are cinema, archives and a specialist library. Appendix Itmust be emphasized that this documentation is based only on documents still accessible. Many incidents are no longer verifiable, as shortly before the liberation the SS destroyed a substantial part of the records that were incriminating to them. of resistance and solidarity among the prisoners themselves, as, apart from prisoners’ correspondence with their families (which was of course strictly censored), there exists no written evidence relating to their camp experiences. The documents on display, which originated during the Nazi era, voice the spirit of the Nazi State: vocabulary and expres- sions used are typical of Nazi terminology. Photographs of other concentration camps displayed in the museum which are also applicable to the history of Dachau are always acknowledged as such. Provision has been made forfuture additions to the documen- tation as new material and information becomes available. *) According to a list of nationalities found among SS documents. In accordance with Nazi terminology, countries such as Latvia and the Ukraine were classified as separate states, whereas Austria was re- garded as part of the German Reich. By present day classifications, there were prisoners from 27 different countries interned in Dachau. There is acommemorative plaque for each of these countries in the entrance hall of the museum. **) At the time of the setting up of the memorial site, all the barrack buildings were derelict and therefore had to be demolished. Two of the huts were then reconstructed, of the others only the foundations were left. 6 Taken from the documentation displayed, terms which are no longer used: Baracke “X” Block Capo Fememord “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” Gestapo Hunger Oedema “Invalid transports” “Jourhaus” “Muselmann” Euphemism for crematorium Barrack hut Prisoners’ foreman 1929-1933 numerous political murders were comitted on the or- ders of secret political tribunals Euphemism for the methodical extermination ofEuropean Jewry Secret State Police Dropsy — result of malnutri- tion Over 3000 so-called “invalid prisoners’’ were sent’ from Dachau concentration camp to Hartheim Castle where they were gassed. Guard house, camp entrance Prisoner who was completely exhausted and emaciated. Reichsbanner RSHA (Reichssicher- heitshauptamt) RF SS (ReichsfUhrer SS) Roll-call SA (Sturmabteilung) Self-defence organization of the Social Democratic Party during the Weimar Republic The Central Security Depart- ment of the Reich formed in 1937, combining the existing police (Gestapo and criminal police) and the Security Service (SD). Chief of the SS and the German Police Heinrich Himmler’s full title from 1936. The roll-call took place every morning and evening. The _ pri- soners were often made to stand for hours on end in the roll call square in all weathers and inade- quately clothed. The Stormtroopers (brownshirts) of the Nazi Party NN (Nacht und Nebel) lit. Night and Fog (s. exhibit no. 373) “Shot whilst escaping” Excuse for shooting prisoners Special treatment (“Sonderbehandlung”’) Euphemism for execution SS (Schutzstaffel) NSDAP PG (Parteigenosse) Phlegmone Political Coordination Political Department Protective Custody National Socialist Workers’ Party Party member Festering sores due to malnu- trition enforced _ standardization in conformity with NS doctrine Branch of the Gestapo in the concentration camps, indepen- dent of the camp administration. Imprisonment of political oppo- nents made possible by the emergency regulation of Feb- ruary 28, 1933 Originally an elite military for- mation of the Nazi Party, a unit of which was later put in charge of the concentration camps (“‘Toten- kopfverbande” = Death’s head Units). SS WVHA (SS-Wirtschafts- verwaltungshauptamt) Volksgenosse SS Head Office for economic or- ganization. It controlled the economic enterprises of the SS and administered the concentra- tion camps. Nazi term for compatriot Introduction Historical Background 13 Dachau Concentration Camp 35 Transports to and from Dachau 130 Sick Bay-Infirmary Exploitation of Prisoners Medical Experiments “Abgang durch Tod” (Death in the Camp) Extermination 1933 — First Measures taken after the Seizure of Power 36 Dachau, the first Concentration Camp in Nazi Germany The First Prisoners First Press Releases Categories of Prisoners Camp Buildings Disciplinary Measures {2 ‘The SS 78 Reports in the “politically coordi- nated’’ German Press 84 First Publications abroad Prisoners’ Correspondence First Murder in the Dachau Concen- tration Camp Personal Records Persecution of the Jews, the Nuremberg Laws, “‘Kristallnacht”’ Labour — Armaments Industry 120 Nutrition 41 Individual Executions 162 42 Transfer of ‘‘Invalides”’ 165 45 Barrack “’X’’, Crematorium 169 50 Mass Executions 176 66 “Final Solution” 181 1945 the Final Stage of the Concentration Camps 85 April 26, 1945, Death March of 86 Dachau prisoners towards the Alps 198 The Liberation of Dachau and otherThe most important subsidiary camps of the Dachau concentration camp Historical background to the ‘Third Reich’ Intensified nationalism and anti-semitism encourage Itsdevelopment National Socialism emerges, establishes itself and then seizes power 14 5 Essay on the Dissimilarity of the Human Race by Count Gobineau German Edition by Ludwig Schemann Second Volume, Fourth Edition Stuttgart, F. Frommans Publishers (H. Kurtz), 1922 The Germanic Aryans Retrospect. Characteristics of the three great races in their rela- tion to one another; social effects of their combination; the superiority of the white race and before all the Aryan family. Onlythewhitenationshaveahistory.Why nearlyallcivilizations have developed in the Occident. written 1853-1855 Houston Stewart Chamberlain, The Foundation of the Nineteenth Century | Second Half We believe inthe species which struggles outof the darkness into the light. Goethe XIV Edition Munich 1922, F. Bruckmann AG, Publishers Scientific Confusion p.285—The Meaning of Race p.295—the Five Basic Principles p.300—Other Influences p.314-The Nation p.316—The Hero p.321—Chaos where there isno Racial Distinction p.323-Lucian p.326—Augustinus p.332—Ascetic Delusion p.336— The Sacredness of a pure Race p.339—Germanic Peoples p.342. Chapter Five: the Appearance of the Jews in Occidental (West- ern) History. The Jewish Question p.353—The “Foreign” People p.360—Histor- ical Bird’s-Eye View p.364—Consensus ingeniorum p.367—Princes and Aristocracy p.370—Internal Contact p.373—Who are the Jews? p.375— age Classification of the Investigation p.378—The Origin of the Israel- ites p.381-The Genuine Semite p.388-The Syrian p.391—The Amorite p.401-Comparative Figures p.405-Racial Guilt Feelings p.408-Homo_ Syriacus p.411-Homo_ Europacus p.414—Homo Arabicus p.415-Homo Judaeus p.425-A Discourse about the Semitic Religion p.428-Israel and Judea p.456—-The Coming of the Jews p.462—The New Alliance p.477—The Prophets p.479—The Rabbies p.485—Messianism p.489-The Law p.495-The Thora p.498—Judaism p.500. Chapter Six: The Appearance of the Germanic Peoples in World History. The Term “Germanic” p.508—Elaboration of the Term p.510—The Celtic-Germanic p.511—The Slavic-Germanic p.517—The Refor- mation p.523—Limitation of the Term p.528—Blond Hair p.533— The Shape of the Scull p. 536—Rational Anthropology p.543—Phy- siognomic p.547—Freedom and Fidelity p.550—Ideals and Practice p.558—Germanic and Anti-Germanic p.559-Ignatius Loyola p.570—Retrospect. Chapter Nine: From the year 1200 until the year 1800. A) The Germanic Peoples, creators of a new culture. Germanic Italy p.769-The Germanic Architect p.777—The so-called ‘‘Hu- manity” p.780—The so-called “Renaissance” p.790—Progress and Degeneration p.792-Historical Criterion p.800—Internal Contrasts p.803—The Germanic World p.804—The Emergency Connection p.805 B) Historical Survey The Elements of Social Life p.809—Comparative Analysis p.820-The Germanic Peoples p.829 1. Discovery (from Marco Polo to Galvani) The Innate Ability p.834-The Driving Forces p.838—Nature as a Teacher p.842-The Hampering Environment p.846—The Unity in Works of Discovery p.853—Idealism p.860. First Edition 1899 15 A fundamental characteristic of the new ““Teutonen- tum” was an inveterate hatred of the Jews. The violent excitement generated by the war of liberation brought to light all the secrets of this German feeling, and so in this atmosphere of general unrest the old, deep-rooted resentment towards anything oriental came once more to the fore. The poets of the great national struggle sang the praises of the war — the sole artistic activity which was at once politically acceptable. Their patriotic enthusiasm awakened eternal, purely human emotions, a cry to arms, fighting instinct and the hope and joy of victory. They pursued a specific, clearly recognizable goal — the liberation of the “Fatherland” from foreign oppressors. Heinrich v. Treitschke: German History (1879) 8 16 9 Jbammer — Zeitschritt fiirnationales Coben. Gidealm1a,utndWe.JedenWiguats.Jabri6i,6c0) Mk. _Metiag und senitecung» etonia,Kénast. 77 omen Le a. 1.Oktober 1999. No. 175. _ Buhalt: Polttifehe Volts-Erslehung.— Von Ch. §.- << MO MensBew ‘und Sostaldemoteatic als Be Lets: bs (eaennen deswistichattlichentintfewcses. tores—Who is the busybody at Frankfurt sary—‘Hansabund” and Jewry-Periodicals Hungary. The Bookstall Contemporary University, dealing with “Psycho Analysis’”—Hugen- Interesting Aspects of the Kol-Nidre Prayer Comments. Letters to the Editor und Ans- berg’s America Letter— Art, Theatre and Literature Notes wers. Review Information The Bookstall—Letters to the Editor-Information Leipzig Theodor Fritsch Publishers 1909 Prize: 50 Pfg. Hammer Publishers (Th. Fritsch) Leipzig, Konigstr. 17 Prize 50 Pfg 28th Year of Publication—April 15, 1920—No. 644 Ham- mer—Publishers—Leipzig C 1 is WLGubGaieBe‘Sibel at? 4|fyisatbiadie derBlondenundManescedster! | indCie Hand?DaunFudit }Mulur-EchipierundSultureSrhalter! Men daberdie,Dftara”,Buderei Gind Sie blond? Dann n ShnenGefabhren! Refen Siedaher die ,Ditara”, Bicerei derBlonden andMannestechtler’ It 12 ARE YOU BLOND? Are you fed up with the mob administra tion? Then read “Ostara”, Publications for blondes and the male rights movement! No. 71 Race and Aristocracy Titelblateines,Ostarat*-Heftes ARE YOU BLOND? Then you create and safeguard culture! You should therefore read ‘’Ostara’”, Publications for blondes and the male rights movement! No. 72 Race and Foreign Politics 14 15 Anti-semitic postcard from Borkum, a well-known spa, from the turn of the century. bsGRUSS esRORKU M Borla +Lied. inte ty, bape hueak IDir griifet hear mv frohen Fied. |Wobl gieht cs Bader vrel und reich — Ss bereft in ge Awfelfand Dich, Bortums' {bone Strand. 5im weiter Daterlant Ein cchter death i DodurchdieKultdieMavesieht, Docyfommtanttertdirfeinesgleic,Drumalle,deunshammecrmands Dnd arin f dehnt das Land! Da pricr’ger Aufetfrand Aichn trendia yu Ne hw oon die Binen brouft die See Jn deintem Auuderbann. mie weidt Un Berfums Strand nur Devtfertur gilt Des Lordens wild beran, ie Serge {chen juriictu niuc Denti tt Das Panier £2IeFenchtturmsFidhtnonftoljerBh” ~;DiewirddasHer,fofrifdypndleicht. WirhaltenceindenEhreniebild Dem Sdriffer mer die BabnBa.bnis=, Tie hebs fub froh de1Bid!) Wermanias tnr ni ta DrumsoberfantdeenLobmirfingen, Drummoltenloutdein£ohmirjingen, D:lodmerSiemabtwitplaitenFife Wir Gaite all’, von fern und nah. Wer Gajre all’ von yern und muh, Mit Nafen teamm und Gaaren fraw Begeifierr tof der Ruf erflinaen: Vegetftert foll der Ruf, ecklingen Dee fol nihe deren Strand qcmene1n Borfum burcahl. Bortum hucrah Morfurn hurray! Borfam bartah! Der mug hans! der mj) hinans Binwus! ARE YOU BLOND? Then you are in danger! You should therefore read “Ostara”’, Publications for blondes and the male rights move- ment No. 73 Blondes are the creators of music! Bedeure! 17 16 German reader from 1911 A chauvinist poem with the refrain “To the Rhine, across the Rhine! Germany forward into France!” (1841) UL A ORS: Poster 1915 Saiddeuische Monatshefte Heft7,Jahrg. 21 April1924 -$aiddeutsche Monatshefte G. m. b. H., Miinchen Preis Goldmark 1.10, Pi) It was obvious to the Supreme Military Command several months before the end of the war, that, in military terms, Ger- many was already defeated. To avoid admission ofthis fact later, they spread the ‘‘Dolchstoss’’* legend in which they claimed that the army had in fact had real chances of winning the war, but that the fighting spirit had been broken by socialist subversive ac- tivities. Hindenburg confirmed this version before aGovernmen- tal committee of inquiry. This lie was an insultothe Republic and played an important role in its eventual downfall. 19 aerecererst 19 “The Supreme Military Command maintains its demand for the immediate offer of a peace treaty to the enemy. The weakening of our western reserves, a result of the collapse of the Macedonian front, has made itimpossible to repair the very considerable losses incurred during the most recent confronta- tions. In view of this, we can no longer hope to dictate a peace set- tlement to our enemies. Furthermore, the enemy is constantly re-inforcing his front lines with fresh reinforcements. At the moment the German Forces are still in aposition to hold their ground and are successfully repelling all attacks. However, the situation, which isworsening daily, could force the Supreme Military Command into making some very far-reaching deci- sions. Under these circumstances the struggle ought to be ended in or- der to avoid senseless loss of life to the German people and their Allies. Each day lost costs the lives of countless brave soldiers.” signed von Hindenburg Ludendorff, My War Memoirs 1914-1918 78 Death and danger in bloody battle Wind and weather in solitary vigil God shall take care of us — you beloved ones at home. Hope and pray, we'll never yield! Hamburg’s day of sacrifice — November 1 Christmas Donation 1915 * (stab in the back) 20 beuttest su nee 22 GERMAN WORKERS’ PARTY Munich Branch Munich, December 2, 1919 24 ee, Poster1920 National Socialist GERMAN WORKERS’ PARTY ALL people tell us: Your programme appears to be correct but one point prevents us from joining you and that is we don’t under- Your presence is hereby requested on Wednesday, December 10, stand your OPPOSITION TO THE JEWS. Are there not also 1919, in the large assembly hall of the “Zum Deutschen Reich”, Dachauerstr. 143 (next to the tram stop, Loristr. No. 24) where a MEETING isto be held. Speaker: Mr. Hitler on “Germany facing its worst humiliation.” This invitation will ensure entrance. The hall is heated. good Jews and, vice versa CHRISTIAN SCOUNDRELS? Aren’t you aware of the Christian profiteers, blackmarketeers, exploi- ters, capitalists and their press? Can the Jews be blamed ifthey are not German? We will explain to you: We fight all kinds of ca- pital, Jewish or German, which is only used to earn interest, an incomeMeg oreffort.WefighttheJews,notbecause they are the sole owners of such capital, but because they are the founders of this system and they deliberately hinder any op- position to it.We fight them not because they are the only profi- teers but because their one percent of the entire population re- presents 90 percent of all profiteers. We fight them not because they are the only gluttons in our present time of need, but be- cause their one percent of the population includes 90 percent of all gluttons. But above all, we fight them because of their ability to appear innocent whilst allowing others to take the blame for their deeds. Those who cause millions of small hoarders to be hunted as CHRISTIAN RACKETEERS so that they themselves can safely make millions on the black market. Above allwe fight them because they only support a law so long as they themsel- ves are not directly affected, but as soon as it is applied to crimi- nals of their own race itbecomes JEW-BAITING. We fight them as a foreign race not because they are non-German but because they fraudulently pretend to be German. We fight them because, as Mommsen says, they are ‘enzymes of destruction” to coun- tries and races. Whilst destroying countries and driving starving people to emigrate to strange lands they, themselves strangers, settle in these countries. We fight their actions as they cause a RACIAL TUBERCULOSIS OF NATIONS. And we are convinced that convalescence can only begin when this bacteria has been removed. This is why we appeal to you ALL to attend the big public MEETING TODAY, FRIDAY August 13, in the Hofbrau- haus (Platzl). Adolf Hitler will speak about: WHY ARE WE ANTI- SEMITICS? The meeting begins at 7.30 p.m. Listen to us first and then decide! An etrance fee of 50 Pfennigs will be charged to cover expenses. Workers’Party) The Committee Joseph Mayr First secretary Andrastr. 10/3 For the Party: Anton Drachsler 25 Poster 1918 DECLARATION by the New Chancellor of the Reich Ebert APPEAL FOR PEACE AND ORDER Citizens! The former Chancellor of the Reich, Prinz Max von Bayern, together with all the Secretaries of State, has entrusted me with the responsibility of Chancellor of the Reich. With the consent of the political parties |am in the process of forming a new government, which will shortly be made public. The new government, will be a peoples’ government. Its first priority must be to bring peace to the German People and then to stabilize the newly achieved freedom. Citizens! | ask you all for your support in the difficult task which awaits us. You know that war severely threatens the nation’s food reserves, a fundamen- tal guarantee for political stability. The political upheaval should not be allowed to disrupt food distribution to the population. The promotion of food production and food distribu- tion to the towns should not be hindered, itmust remain the most important duty of eve- ryone, both in the towns and in the country. A food shortage means looting, want and misery for everyone. The poor would suffer most, and the industrial workers would be the worst affected. Those who misappropriate food and other necessary commodities or the means of transport for their distribution, commit a severe crime against the entire popula- tion. Citizens! | beg you all most urgently to clear the streets and to ensure pease and or- der. Berlin, November 9, 1918 The Chancellor of the Reich Ebert 28 Members of the ‘Ehrhardt Brigade’’, alreadey wearing the swastika emblem at the time of the ‘’‘Kapp-Putsch”’ in March 1920 MINISTRY OF THE REICH — PROCLAMATION Kapp and Littwitz have resigned. The criminal adventure in Berlin is over. The struggle of the last few days has proved irrefutably to the whole world that democra- cyinGermany isnotanillusionbutthatitistheonlypower capableofdealingwithamili- tary dictatorship in no time. The rebuilding of the State and economy, which was criminally interrupted, must be contin- ued until success is achieved. To achieve it, the labour force must refrain from making use of its very powerful weapon, the General Strike. The Government will do all in its power to encourage reconstruction and will severely pu- nish the traitors who forced you into a general strike. We will make sure that a horde of soldiers will never again be able to interfere with the People’s destiny. We have achieved victory together! To work! The President of the Reich The Government of the Reich Ebert Bauer 126 Poster 1920 21 The so-called “‘“German Day” The Free Corps of Werdenfels, a nationalistic military organiz- Nuremberg, 1923 ation, later one of the main supporters of the “‘Hitler-Putsch”’ (the attempt by Hitler and his followers to come to power in 1922) fw Gua __ PROCLAMATION to the German People! Le : 7Ludendatit aoSoe ofthe“NovemberConspirators”has - a)Hifler,Gen.y.Lossow— _ A provisional National formed, consisting of Gen. Ludendorff Obst.v.Seisser a _ Ad. Hitler, Gen. v. Lossow Col. v. Seisser 30 November 1923 German Government has been ius 37 The “Hitler Putsch’, November 1923 SA-men at the Marienplatz. 33 The accused in the “Hitler trial” 34«. Miinchner Neueste Nachrichten April 2,1924 Grounds for the verdict in the Hitler trial -”~_. Also, the court isconvinced that the ‘accused were guided intheiractions by - apurely patriotic spirit and a most noble and selflessdetermination.” 32 On the 9th of November, 1923, Hitler and Ludendorff along with their supporters tried to occupy the Munich Ministries in an attempt to instigate an uprising. The Generalstaatskommissar Gustav von Kahr and the Reichswehrgeneral von Lossow, who had initially toyed with the idea of a Putsch, withdrew their support at the last moment and alarmed the army and police, whose firing halted the march of the in- surgents in front of the Feldherrnhalle. Sixteen people were killed and Hitler was ar- rested. In spring 1924, he was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment (minimum sentence) and released on parole in December 1924. Ludendorff was acquitted. E. Gumbel ‘Four years of political murder’”” 1922 36 Extract from the charter of the “Fe- memord — Organi- sation Consul” German Reader 1926 38 37 Free from Versailles! Away from the Jewish Social Front! For Freedom and the Fatherland! Your Motto: National German! Poster 1924 39 Nationalistic poem gloryfying the German fighting spirit. PREFACE During this time of national need it is becoming generally acknowledged that all hope for our Fatherland depends upon the education of our youth towards a self-sacrificing love for their home and Fatherland. This is the aim of our new reader, the first volume of which is suitable for the first two elementary school classes. It is not intended to be an arbitrary collection of interesting and instructive information, as is usually the case with school readers, but as a guide to things German, to the beauty of our homeland, the understandig of German labour, pride in the great achievments of our people — both past and present — a respect for all “Volksgenossen”, whether finely dressed or in working clothes, the re- cognition of the special nature of German life and character, and a res- pect for the German heritage. All that the spirit of our people has pro- duced in songs and sagas, in light-heartedness and seriousness, every- thing beautiful and gentle, everything good and courageous, that which lies within German national life and bursts forth out of the fresh springs of German poetry should be the child’s friend and companion, an intro- duction to the riches of the German character which will open his eyes to the whole of what he himself will one day take part in creating. :MeBas beBg chlo oT des LiedesGabe; = 25 40 Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg becomes President of the Weimar Republic. 41 1931, Meeting of the right-wing nationalist ex-servicemen’s “Stahl- helm” organization. x Ng 42 Poster 1931 GERMANS! BUY GERMAN PRODUCTS GERMAN WEEK GERMAN PRODUCTS GERMAN LABOUR sci teeige Mlfeed Franenjeld, rxsiibrerdesSeutichenWien Konftantin Hierl, Miinchen,ReichswebroberitaD Der Verrat bes Unidlukaedantens Rationalfegialiomusunddeutigeik itl Diengtag9.Sept. Compatriots! We are beating them to pieces! Help us to beat them down! Parliament is creaking at its joints. We are going to shake ituntil itbreaks apart! Come along to the great rallies of the National Socialist Movement. Every single man and woman ofyou toour meetings! Inthe Marsfeld circus building on Friday Sept.5 Dr. Goebbels, the leader of the German city of 8p.m. Berlin“THETHIRDREIC—HTHESTATEOFTHE WORKER, THE BRAIN AND THE FIST” Saturday Sept. 13 Our final blow! 8 p.m. Sunday Sept. 14, 1930! Help us to smash the system! Vote for. list 9: National Socialist German Workers’ Party of Munich—Adolf Wagner 1 Wir hauen fle aujammen! Heljt zuidlagen! Boltsenonen.SagSeviemenséweinaeene a Wir viitteln an ihm bis e8 reoneeniall Herausgudenpaps shdecad.nationaljogialijt.Bewegung. Ser loeie Mann, die tegte Frau bincin.inunfereSeriammlusgentBimZirlusgebaude ommarsiatoneam Freitag5.Sept. abenbds 8 thr Sonntag 7.Sept. vorin, 11Ubr Dv. Goebbels, scxsisbrordusdensidsonBectin Das dritteReid, der Stant der Urbeiter der Stirn und der Fanit Udolj Wagner, derGaulsiter Hrog-Minchens Der Fuilationsbetrng 27 46 49 "Publishedi4nassociationith ie aeaae PUBLISHINGC0.)ING., NEW YORK- :HODDER AND STOUGHTON, LTD. iG BONDON. 47 In 1932 Hitler is received by leading representatives of heavy industry. 45 1931, National-Socialists, German-Nation- alists and the ‘““Stahlhelm’’ — all hostile to the Republic — unite and found the “Harzburger Front’ 48 “It is common knowledge that on Janua- ry 27th, 1932 — almost a year before he seized power — Adolf Hitler made a speech lasting about two and a half hours before the Industry Club of Dussel- dorf. The speech made a deep impres- sion on the assembled industrialists, and in consequence of this a number of large contributions flowed from the resources of heavy industry into the treasuries of the National Socialist party.” Fritz Thyssen emigrated in 1939 at the out- break of the war and openly turned against National Socialism. Upon the initiative of the German authori- ties he was arrested in France, 1941, and taken to Germany where he spent the re- maining war years in various penal institu- tions and prison camps. << 50 Six million unemployed at the beginning of 1932. ©2&£ o en aac or ces O82 —€se GS SEP 57 “Hitler, aGerman destiny”, 1932 by A. Paul Weber 52 oO{e)2)Yo_ ioO)ise)N More Power for the President of the Reich Aw ay with Parliament’s e xclus Hehe pi dem on e Oo 54 Hitler, Vice Chancellor von Papen (con- servative monarchist) and von Blom- berg, Minister for the “‘Reichswehr”’ (German Armed Forces) The Field Marshall and the Corporal fight with us for Freedom and Equality ae uaSee 56 Sa. Someofthefirstarrests BE ON YOUR GUARD! On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler, the leader of the German freedom movement, was made Chancellor of the German Reich. On March 5, the German people, whole-heartedly acknowledged their support for him and his endeavours. The NATIONAL REVOLUTION has smashed the old system to the ground. Marxism lies shattered, Ger- many faces a new prosperity. This great German struggle for liberation fills INTERNATIONAL JEWRY with hatred and rage. They see their power in Germany coming to an end. They see that they can no longer make Germany into a Soviet Je- wish criminal colony. Now they are acting in accordance with the pro-. gramme of the Jewish Zionist leader, Theodor Herzl, which was solemn- ly proclaimed at the Jewish congress in Basel in 1897 (extract from the 7th meeting): THE JEWS ARE LYING Allegedly, not even Jewish women are spared from such gruesome deaths and young Jewish girls are raped in front of their parents. These lies are being propagated in the same way and to the same ends as they were during the war — in order to incite world opinion against Germany. In addition to this a BOYCOTT OF GERMAN GOODS ‘is being demanded. By this they are seeking to increase poverty and un- employment in Germany, and to ruin the German export trade. German men and women! The culprits in this absurd crime, in this vile smear and boycott campaign are the JEWS IN GERMANY . They have appealed to their racial brethren abroad to fight against Ger- many. They have spread their slander and lies abroad. Therefore the lea- ders of the German liberation movement have decided to defend them- “As soon as a non-Jewish State dares to oppose us we must be in a . selves against this criminal slander, and from Saturday, April 1, 1933, at position to provoke its neighbours into declaring war against it. We will then use public opinion as a pretext.” At the moment the Jews are putting an extensive plan into action to stir up world opinion against Germany. Using the press, they are spreading a monstrous flood of lies throughout the world. No crime, no disgrace is too base for them. They accuse the Germans. THE JEWS ARE LYING |In Germany, members of the Jewish race are supposedly being brutally tortured to death. THE JEWS ARE LYING Their eyes being gouged out, their hands hacked off, their ears and noses cut off, and even their corpses dis- membered. 10 a.m., to oberserve against all Jewish shops, warehouses, lawyers’ practices etc. A BOYCOTT We appeal to you, German men and women, to observe this boycott. Don’t buy in Jewish shops or warehouses! Don’t engage Jewish law- yers, avoid Jewish doctors! Show the Jews that they cannot disgrace and defile Germany's honour without being punished. Those who ignore this appeal prove that they sympathize with Germany’s enemies. Long live the honourable General Field-Marshall of the Great War, the President of the Reich PAUL VON HINDENBURG! Long live the Fuhrer and Chancellor ADOLF HITLER! Long live the German people and the holy GERMAN FATHERLAND! 57 Poster 1933 Their books were burnt: Schalom Asch Bert Brecht Max Brod Lion Feuchtwanger Alfred Doblin Leonhard Frank Sigmund Freud Ernst Glaeser Walter Hasenclever Theodor Heuss Erich Kastner Karl Kautsky Alfred Kerr Hermann Kesten Egon Erwin Kisch Emil Ludwig Heinrich Mann Klaus Mann Karl Marx Alfred Neumann Robert Neumann Carl von Ossietzky Theodor Plivier Erich Maria Remarque Ludwig Renn Arthur Schnitzler Adrienne Thomas Ernst Toller Kurt Tucholsky Jakob Wassermann Theodor Wolff Arnold Zweig Stefan Zweig and those of many other authors. In May 1933, books by “undesirable authors’”’ are publicly burnt. ta prelude; 60 ‘ 7 7av’; aya ipeney * Pe, af ve,Kao 7 ". £ hi Concentration Camp Dachau 1933— 1945 36 Some of the first measures taken after the seizure of power gay EROBEOBACHTER pila MdollOtiter dea Reiaeommniiars AufGrunddes§2derBerordbnunggumGchubevonBolfund Staat hat die Reidoregierung durd den Reidyginnenminifier die Ber fugniffederoberftenLondesbehdrdenaudfardagLand Bayernaber: fommen und mich mifderWahrnehmung dicfer Befugniffe beauftragt. 3th habe die gefamte Potizeigewatt bereits ibernommen. Su Rommiffaren gur befonderen Verwendung habe id ertannt: denHauptmanna.D.ErnftRd hm, den Ubgeordneten und Gtadlrat Setmann Gffer. 3d) habe weiter ernannt gu meinen Beauftragten: fir dag Minifterium des Snnern ben £ Ubg. Adolf Wagner, fairdas Minifferium der Juffisden Reid stageabg Or Frank, fdrdasMainifteriamderFinangendenL.ae Oberbiirger: meifleroieb Poliseiprdfidenten der tecneepcotfalt Minchen habe ich beftinmt denReihstagsabjeordueten Himmier. Die Ginfehung deo Reihstommiffars dient der Au'redhterhattung der dffentlidhen Cidjerheit und Ordnung bis yur Bitdung einer vers foflungemdbiaen banerifchen Reaicrung, die dem am 5. Mary Aber: wdltigend geduberten Wilten der nationaten Bevdiferung Baverne entfpricht und dic Gewahr dafiir gibt, dab die Reiheregicrung der nationaten Grhebung unter der Fihrung Adolf Hitlers au@ in Bayern treue Gefotafhhaft findet. Bon der gefamten nat ona'en und heimatliebenden Sevdtterung “Bonerne erwarte id.Cop fiemidi Rampfe gegen den flaateserfegen: den Marsiemud und feine Helfer nach Rrdften unterftust, Ge iebeunferdeutihes Bateriand! Ge tebedie bagerifthe Heimat! Der Beaultragte der Reiheregicrung: get Saws von Syp «OR: DerRowuniffar.6.U.Seemann Stee THE NEW BAVARIA The first Measures of the Provisional Bavarian Govern- ment—Drastic Intervention against Reds who are under- mining the State-—Lord Mayor Scharnagel dismis- sed—Peaceful Take Over of Political Power— PROCLAMATION OF THE “‘REICHSKOMMISSAR” In accordance with 8 2 of the order for the protection of the people and State, the Minister of the Interior has in the name of the government of the Reich extended federal jurisdiction to include Bavaria. |have been entrusted with the execution of these measures and have already taken charge of the entire police force. The following have been appointed commissioners with special duties: Captain a. D. Ernst Rohm The MP and town councillor Hermann Esser |have also appointed as my deputies: for the Ministry of the Interior: for the Ministry of Justice: for the Treasury: |have appointed the Reichstag MP Himmler as Police President for Munich. The appointments by the Commissioner of the Reich are intended to preserve public order and security until a con- stitutional government is formed in Bavaria, in keeping with the wishes expressed by the overwhelming majority of the Bavarian ‘patriotic’ population and guaranteeing loyal Bavarian supporters for the government of Adolf Hit- ler’s national uprising. |expect all Bavarians who love their nation and homeland to support me in my struggle against the nation by the Marxist and their sympathizers. Long live our German Fatherland! Long live the Bavarian Homeland! The Representative of the Government of the Reich Franz von Epp Adolf Wagner MP Dr. Frank MP Lord Mayor Siebert MP the undermining of LEGAL BULLETIN OF THE REICH No 17 Part | Published in Berlin Presidential order for the protection of the state and people. February 28, 1933 term of imprisonment of not less than 6 months, and those who cause loss of life will be sentenced to death or in extenu- ating circumstances to a term of penal servitude of not less than 2 years. In addition, confiscation of personal property can be ordered. Those who encourage or incite opposition (§ 2) and thereby endanger the public will be sentenced to penal servitude, or in extenuating circumstances, to a term of imprisonment of not less than three months. In accordance with article 48 § 2 of the Constitution of the Reich the following has been ordered as protection against Communist subversive activities which represent a danger to the state. 15 Articlels 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124, aad 153 of the Constitu- tion are invalid until further notice. Restrictions on the freedom of the individual, the right to free speech, including freedom of the press and the right of assembly and to form groups, in- (damaging of railway installations), 324 (large scale poisoning), fringements on the secrecy of post, telegraph and telephone shall now be punishable by death. communications, house searches, confiscation and limitation in The following crimes are to be punished by death or with life property ownership over and above the previously legally spe- cified limitations, are now permissible. S; The government of the Reich is authorized to take over provi- sional control of states which do not implement the measures necessary to ensure the reestablishment of public order and se- curity. 3 In accordance with § 2 all state and municipal authorities are to respect the sovereignty of the government of the Reich. 4 State authorities or subsidiaries under their jurisdiction who ob- struct the execution of these orders, or 8 2 of the government order, or those who encourage or incite such opposition will re- ceive a prison sentence of not less than one month or a fine of 150°to 150000 Reichsmarks, unless they have allready been sen-. tenced to a more severe punishment under existing regulations. Those who endanger human life by their opposition will be sen- tenced to penal servitude, or in extenuating circumstances to a long penal servitude or penal servitude of up to 15 years: 1. Those who attempt to assassinate the President of the Reich, or a member or deputy to assassinate the President of the Reich, or a state. Those who encourage, aid and abet or conspire with other persons to cary out such an assassi- nation. 2. Those who according to 8 5 part 2 (incitement to riot) or § 125 part 2 (severe breach of the public peace) of the penal code, make use of fire arms or deliberately and knowingly negotiate with armed persons. 3. Those who according to 8 239 of the penal code rob a per- son of his freeedom with the intent to use him as a political hostage in their political struggle. This decree takes effect from the date of its proclamation. Berlin, February 28, 1933 The President von Hindenburg The Chancellor Adolf Hitler The Minister of the Interior Frick The Minister of Justice Dr. Gurtner Crimes which in the existing penal code are punishavle by life imprisonment i. e. 88 81 (high treason), 229 (poisoning), 307 (arson), 311 (causing an explosion), 312 (flooding), 315 part 2 64 FURTHER ARRESTS IN MUNICH Whereas the two leading journalists von Aretin and Buchner have Weltere Verhaftungen In Munchen been arrested as DerDiretierGatdenbersdesMingeaneayers 1hanterdem gent. His co-directors Geller and Fischer have fled to Karlsbad and Qenommen worden. Be ene tyaanwctesee aide aewedReviebednb Prague. Prag entflehen. Cuhbhaft fiirtommuniftifde und Reidsbanner-Funttiondre Ler Reidstommilfar erlief einen GFunfiprud an die “Polizei folgenden Snbalts: Santiprus an ie‘Potyeidicettionen und Staatspolizeidneter. fofort famtlidge fonmmani nttionace und:Selgabemnerfaeer“aigsce Teeutaee SidecheitinShagbeft hangehmesthundig il eean oe SofortigecongaedasSnnew Sffeutligen Gebduden keinen Widerfiand - Alte faenfinemitjecinentSMs oder SS. gu[Melien;bieferifvomderPolizeimitPifeoteau fi Gegen alice Gelegwidcigheiten und gegen Wikerdnde gegen bie Anordnungen der Geauftragien derReldscegierungmit~~)bteaiassn Cra warte péuttligen Bolkug. WEQES dmtervertinbdigen. : Sate 66 Protective Custody for Communist and “Reichsbanner’’-Func- tionaries. The Reichs Commissioner cabled the following to the police: Cable to the Police Headquarters and the State Police Offices. In the in- terests of public security, request all Communist functionaries and “Reichsbanner” leaders taken into protective custody and a search for weapons be conducted. Immediate report to the Ministry of the Interior. The hoisting of the swastika flag on public buildings is notto be hindered. All police patrols are to include an SA or SS man who is to be armed with a pistol by the police. Proceed with utmost severity against all unlawfulness and opposition to the orders of the Reich government's representatives. Expect punctual execution. Gov- ernment and district offices to be notified. 65 SPECTACULAR ARRESTS IN MUNICH Munich March 13 Fritz Buchner, the chief editor, and Freiherr von Aretin, the political editor of the ““Munchner Neueste Nachrichten”, have been taken into protective custody because of suspected contact with persons whoareattemptingtoseparateBavariafromtherestoftheReich. The non-Reich German von Strachwitz, a co-editor of the ‘“Gerader Weg”, was discovered in Freiherr von Aretin’s apartment during a house search. He had been staying in Munich without being offi- cially registered. On Saturday, Count Anton Arco was taken into pro- tective custody after ithad come to police notice that he had re- marked in the company of friends that he could eliminate Adolf Hit- ler just as he had once eliminated Eisner. At the police station the police officer responsible asked Count Arco, on his word of honour, whether or not he had made such threats. He refused to answer. Awsehencrregende Verhalfungen in iindh “Mingen i min _ tm Montag wardem deeChefredaticne der Maingener Reneher nearigten, 3 itPiees andderpolitifegeSaheiftieiterdielesBiattes, BeeherswenBeekin,inSdaghaltaenommen,wellGerdadt1hte? Ba: diebeidenmitDdune:rutnetinbangshen,WeDePes langBayerns Ge vam ReiG betreiben, BeiDurdludungderSome des.reiherrnvonretinwurdedortder ntheDon Stradmig,einCa ds es ongetroffen,mefidobme poligetlige Erlaubnis taMa finer asfBtelt wn Sealebb GesrionswarGral Hoten Seco tn ieeeego Poligetbeta eworben { 4 Men Seamten and. Lehrern, diel a Kommuniftiigen Barter a : with mit fofortiger Wirtung dieMus! vibesDienjtes unterjagt. Gegen die ecru] und Lehrer faemlide aienbbrafvesfenten se é pee elke rt Diele Berarday tt die Seamten| a Rebrexve.Gasesbeem anten,beri eine! : tenbesdffentlidenRedjies,bei_—te * POLICE INSTRUCTIONS Measures against immorality and hostility towards the State In accordance with 8 14 of the police administration law which states that the police force is obliged to protect the State from dangers to public law and order, the “Deutsche Polizei Beamter’”, the official or- gan of the ‘“Kameradschaftsbund”, outlines rules and regulations which are also of importance when dealing with the general public. For example those who, on festive occasions, deliberately decline from observing the Hitler salute whilst singing the Horst Wessel song, manifest hostility towards the State. Ifthe refusal to observe the usual German greeting towards civil servants or the administra- tive authority, isdeliberate and manifests disrespect, itmust be re- garded as a dangerto public security. GROUSERS AND GRUMBLERS oppose the National Socialist State and present a danger to public security. Landlords refusing to take in large Arian families are acting against the interests of the national community and are undermin- ing the preservation of the race. Persons who commit suicide harm state interests (i. e. potential labour force, military service). False un- founded rumours regarding state affairs endanger state stability and public security.Hewho harms the movement also harms Germany. All actions and declarations of any kind which are detrimental to Adolf Hitler’s state, his efforts and aims eeeUnterhemben...BaarGodenb:alter:RbseidhenSelbborioOae svnUnterhofen onePaarManfh-Kndpfe.Gdlivela.Ring _Ramm Wertjadjen:ja—nein Abgabe pelatas GSffettenvertoalter: Otrafe Me geb. aeaea Gp ee Haftl-Nr. KL/$97/443 Sencce Reaudevetentices: Daedgan oun LIE9GO Mbt betert: Schutzhaft Mame und Vorname: fhedis albert geb.am: 29+520 Dtdelingen Reis: uach/Alzig anv; Vaxerburg Bobnort: Didelingen Grrage: Keilerstrasse 40 Rreie: Esch/abzig @anne Luxemburg Gef.Rr.: 29° 590 Berfonalatt . Reis” More Famifienftand: ledig Staatsangehorigteit: Luxemburg Bater: Nikolaus Mutter: Anna Wohnort der Eltern: v Seruf: angesteliter Religion: r,-kath. frither: Beruf; ~neestel. tere. geo. (eltgen Rafe: arisch arisch . ee | 94 ge car 29 5:20 ®e e PWohnort: Kreis: - Kinder: Didelingen Esch/ilzig Strape: neilerstrasse 40 and: Luxexnborg CONCENTRATION CAMP DACHAU Prisoner No. 29 590 Type of custody: p.c. Date of admittance: March 23, 1942 Date of discharge: Personal Records Name: Theis, Albert Born: May 29, 1920 Place of birth: Dudelingen Geom,Bae &.Ae Concentration Camp Dachau—Type of Custody: Protective Custody—Ref. No. 29 590 Surname, First name: Theis Albert Date of birth: May 29, 1920 in: Dudelingen District: Esch/Alzig Country: Luxembourg Domicile: Dudelingen Street: Keiler 40 District: see above Marital Status: single Occupation: clerk Nationality: Luxembourg Religion:RomanCatholic Father: Nikolaus Occupaiion: clerk Mother: Anna née: Feltgen Race: Aryan Domicile of parents: Didelingen Street: see above Wife: none née: Race: Next of kin: parents: Nikolaus and Anna Theis Domicile: Dudelingen Street: Keiler 40 District: Esch/Alzig Country: Luxembourg Children: none Arrestedon: Mar2c3,h1942in:Innsbruck Admitted on: Admitted by: Stapo Innsbruck Reason for admittance: Party membership: from: to: Function: Membership of affiliated organizations: Previous criminal convictions: Previous political convictions: In protective custody in: from: to: |have been instructed that |will be punished for document forgery ifthe above statement should prove to be false. ae BF 12 93 Ehefrau: keine es get. Strage: W.O-6 Rafe: Bobhuort: Strafe: MAchiteAngehorige: Eltern: hikolaus u. aune Th 6 Zs The Commandant 51 700 54 Geheime Staatspolijei ” Geheimes Staatepotijciont foeLheCENaaiecineOO BerlinGW1,denels 19 Priny-Pldrecht-Strafe B Sdutihaftbefehl Geheime Staatopolijei = Geacimes Mestogotyctans Iv0 248. Mr. 7.8853. Gecisn SD ti, ben 15. April 184 2, Orimy R&icet-Strehe6 Dor-undjJunome:AdGoif haislingser Geburtstag und -Ort: 9.12.05 Miiuchen Beruf: : Schlos.er Samilienftand: led. Stoatsangehdrigheit: Dr. Religion: kath. .Raffe {bei Nichtatiern anjugebden), Wohnort und Wohnung: Zul. iinchen, Oberlanderstr. 15 wird in Sdyubhaft genommen. Grade: Fr—Gie—gefahrdetnachdemErgedpisdetftantspolizeilidjenFeftftellungendurd) fein — the — Derhalten den Beftand und die Sicherheit des Dolhes und Staates, indem a—fie— nach Verbiissung einer laénseren Zuchthauss tras. wegen Vorbereitung zum Hochverrat zu cer Befurcitung Veranlassung gibt, er werde sich in Yreiheit weiterhin i2ear ug-petétigen. DeunrdJ-oneme«CJOhommes6CPlLhdptPep GevurtewtaaygOrr 23.5-1904 in vappertal-Bermen Beruf Kaplan samienfiend Led. Staatsangehénghet RD. Ariigien kath. Reafie to Nidvtanecn unyugeden| Dokmert und Detmung Yettasnn, Schlegeterstr. #1 wird in s2\uRRe!! genommcr Ec — fife ~ gefdncdet nom dem Exgetms Orr leatepouziiaen Seftfielungen dui. jem — xix — Derhalten ten Beftand und Ur St@ethett des Dolkes und Siantes. intcm « —Sm ungeschtet einer friikeren, wegen seiner steate- abtriglichen Haltung erfolgpen staggepplizeiiianen Be- weirera |seein geistliebes ast dese uisbreacht, durch é@efaitistiscbe Aaserengen Uurehs und Breegang hervoreu- odie geeignet sind, ¢em Gisaben feo Geatechen Vol kee on den Enisieg and Ore unverwinéerte Schlackre’t Ger Verrmeeht su ersehat tera. ges. S¢virien. Begiaudigt: Lite Schutzhaftbefehl des Kaplans Flintrop, 1942 Bete ries Bese igen Pirate aviftiexets be : : Pe| Secret State Police Secret State Police Office S.A. IV C H H.Nr. — 23051 PROTECTIVE CUSTODY ORDER Christian name and surname: Date and place of birth: Occupation: Status: Nationality: Religion: Race (in case of non-Arians): Domicile: ee Sed BerlinSW11,September8,1942 IVG2WNr.F8833 Prinz Albrechtstr. 8 BerlinSW11,April13,1942 Prinz Albrechtstr. 8 Adolf Maislinger Dec 9, 1903, Munich locksmith single German Roman Catholic (last:) Munich, Christian name and surname: Johannes Flintrop Date and place of birth: May 23, 1904 — Wuppertal- Barmen Occupation: Chaplain Status: single Nationality: German Religion: Roman Catholic Race (in case of non-Arians): Domicile: Lettmann, Schlageterstr. 21 is to be taken into protective custody 707 Secret State Police Secret State Police Office Oberlanderstr. 15 Reasons: isto be taken into protective custody. State Police evidence shows that his/her behaviour constitutes a Reasons: danger to the existence and security of people and state because: State Police evidence shows that his/her behaviour constitutes a Ignoring an earlier police complaint regarding his detrimental at- danger to the existence and security of state and people: titude towards the State he has abused his clerical position to After having served along term of penal servitude for planned high make defeatist remarks to create unrest and commotion which treason, itisfeared that he would continue his communist activities could serve to shake the German People’s faith in the ultimate upon release. victory and unfailing strength of our armed forces. signed: signed: PROTECTIVE CUSTODY ORDER Sdyuthafibefeht Geheime Staatepolijei Geheimes Staetepolijciamt B-Ne. ell L Nuftne3.0298= ee easBE Driny-Albredt-Strape 8 Sdhuihaftbefeht Gottlicb 3 Yan @, 55 Dor- und juname: Geburtstag und -Ort: 132991896 ‘iinchen, Beruf: Vertreter, Familienftand: Verne, Staatsangehorigheit: BRes Fieligion: freieel4 oS Tioffe (bei Nichtatiern anjugeben}: - —2 sco Wohnort und Wohnung: Mincien, ignerstr.32/o. witd in Schufhaft genommen. Grinde: fr—ok—gefafrdctneathdemErgebnisderftaatspolizeilidjenFc(tftellungendurch fein — ify — Dethalten den Beftand und die Sicherheit des Dolkes und States, indcm —feA anfGrundsein.sJorlebens21defrente:sivit, er «1rde sie’.,in }rel.cit belissen,s:iter in illegsl te tcn “arxincus betiticc:. Shae e, 103 Secret State Police Secret State Police Office B. Nr. IlB-Haftnr. B. 8298 PROTECTIVE CUSTODY ORDER Christian name and surname: Date and place of birth: Occupation: Status: : Me. “oy dric i.e yds fe Becteheiey |we Kanzlsiang.stcl.te. Berlin, SW 11, February 6, 1939 Prinz Albrechtstr. 8 Gottlieb Branz Sept 13, 1896, Munich salesman married German none Arian Munich, Aignerstr. 32 Nationality: Religion: Race (only for non-Arians): Domicile: is to be taken into protective custody. Reasons: Police evidence shows that his/her behaviour constitutes a danger to the existence and security of state and people: Because of his previous activities it is feared that when released, ATER i hitaloms f 4 Teleprint Secret State Police—State Police Dusseldorf August 18, 1942 bintween Pcaars _GebenSleIhreMilitardienstzeiutnterAngabedersOrigzeetioneDna,tenee iPerodeofTeyservichingeonaieclrn : DachauconcentrationcampNo.7952Aug17,1942 Give names and addresses, i known, of thiee reliable pe'sons living in the locality where you intend to.gO, who can. youck foryou: To Stl. Dusseldorf Sub: decease ofprotective custody prisoner Flintrop, Johann born: May 23, 1904 in Barmen, Prison No. 29:864—File No. AZ II D 1443/42 died in this camp on Aug 18, 1942 at 8,20 a. m. as the result of phlegmone of the left foot. It is requested that the relatives be informed. (known rela- tives: father Johann Flintrop, Wuppertal-Barmen, Meisenstr. 22). a Although you are going to be transferred today the camp rules still apply, therefore you must behave in the place to which you are taken exactly as you would do in camp. On your return Ishall receive a detailed report on your conduct. Your mail will be censored from here. You are not allowed to receive pack- ages or visitors. You are not to talk— in a positive or negative way- about any installations or events in the camp. You are strictly warned against escape attempts during transporta- tion. Failure to obey these rules will lead to the most stringent disciplinary measures on your return to camp. a Yrfondi,y 5 CheNeg eases CO/k Dtnenkoa- 165 * Pattl-rocrecee8 Soe a ee Entecheidung desAussciusses R01 CBS? Decision of the Board Endgultige Verli tetreffend den Laperttmpssenan oon oA;(talotetend Ca,tainau : Rani : : Waltengattung he ee Branch AUSSCHUSS BOARD inVortiyenderdes Ausschuases Presiding OfficerofFoo 104 Concentration Camp Dachau Protective Custody Camp Instructions for Transfer of Prisoners: 708 Dachau 3K June, 4, 1942 | 105 57 The Reichsfuhrer SS The Inspector of the Concentration Camps Pol./Az.: 14 a 14 (cll) L/Ot. Oranienburg, Dec, 11, 1940 Subject: Release of prisoners working on Directives for discharge. essential projects Reference: “Youshouldshowthatyouarewillingtowork.Inotherors IKL/Pol./Az.: 14a14/L/F from Sept, 7, 1940 we want to give you the opportunity to integrate eompiealy and consultation with the Reichssicherheits- _into the National German community. hauptamt Enclosures: _ -/- Youshoulddisplayyourwillingnesstoworkforcies _ your family and the whole German Nation. Noone demands of : To the Commandants of the Concentration Camps you that you become National Socialists, leave thattous.We Da., Sah., Bu., Mau., Flo., Neu., Au., Dirl., FKL Rav., A.L.Gr.-Ro- do however demand that you become 100% ‘Volksgenos- — sen, We., Dept.: assignment of prison labour. sen’’! You should devote the whole of your energy and skills. to your allotted work. All employment isto be accepted even if copy: Reichssicherheitshauptamt itis not commensurate with your previous occupation. Un- Department VI C 2 employment is unknown to us, on the contrary, we do not Reichskriminalpolizeiamt have enough workers. In order to avoid difficulties in the replacement of released ~ Hunger and want do not exist outside. Everyone earns derord: concentration camp prisoners working on essential projects, ingtohiswork,andintimeeachpersonwillbeassignedapos- _itisherebyorderedthattheCamp Commandant mustinform ition for which he is especially suited. the Secret State Police or the Reichskriminalpolizeiamt as soon as prisoners are allocated to such work. Apart from per- He who finds himself in need through no fault of his own, will sonal data (office responsible for admittance, prisoner's be supported by the National Socialist charity organizations number etc.) this information should include a short report as (NSW, Wohlfahrt). These organizations are however under no to why an immediate release would be out of the question, to- circumstances to be taken advantage of! Relaxation, enter- gether with an indication of the time necessary to train a re- tainment and diversion will be provided by the ‘’KdF’’—de- placement. Police offices are to take the aforementioned in- partment (strengh through joy). The law makes provision for formation into consideration when deciding upon the release and protects the right of allworkers to take a holiday. How- of prisoners. signed: Glucks, SS-Oberfthrer ever, |wish to warn those who think that they can work against the wishes of the German people, oppose the German people, 109 or flee abroad and from there work against the Germans! We bring everyone back whether it be from another part of the Reich or abroad, and noone escapes our punishment. 400 Sadubhdfilinge werden The individual isof no concern to us and therefore itisunim- aus dem Damaner Lager entlaffen portant whether anyone of them stays alive or not. We will Bus Unlah des iberwaltigenden Sieges des Nationalise achieve the goals which the Fuhrer has set us, despite the en- mus am 12, November und des berannabenden Weih- deavours ofthese parasites. You may speak with noone about madtsfriedens hat der polit. Bolizeifommandenr Bayerns the camp, neither positively nor negatively. Noone holds your eine Entlajfung von Aber 500 Sdhubbhaftaefangenen in term of confinement in the concentration camp against you. gang Bayern oerfiigt. Bus Dem Nonjentrattouslager We forbid you, however, to talk about any camp installations. Dadau werden etwa 400 Shughafilinge entlayfen. Grund: You are not to establish contact with any former prisoners or faglig werden nur foldhe Sdhubgefangene entlaffen, die to deliver any messages, not even a harmless greeting. - fig bisber einmandfret gnffibrt haben und von denen gu ermarten ijt, Daf fie fic) wieder als nfiflige Mit. Take these word to heart and act accordingly! Ifyou fail to do alieter Ber Vollsgemetnfhaft erweifes western. so, you will be placed into protective custody again and this — time for a period of years not months, and for some there will 107 be no freedom ever again. Re- imprisonment means stricter” 400 Protective Custody Prisoners are to be released from the _confinementandyouyourselvesarebestawareofoeae:DachauCamp. means. Goandworkandlabourdiligentlyforthewelfareeofe selves and your families and thereby for the penen of German people and itsminorities. 106 ea On the occasion of National Socialism’s enormous victory on November 12, and because of the approaching Christmas holidays, the Chief of the Bavarian political police has ordered the release of more than 500 protective custody prisoners in Bavaria, of which 400 will be released from the Dachau con- centration camp. Only those prisoners will be released whose conduct until now has been irreproachable, and ofwhom itis expected that they will prove themselves to be useful mem- bers of society. Distinguishing symbols worn’ by _ prisoners. (table found in the SS-guard room) The terms used were typical of nazi terminology. Non-German prisoners could be recognized by the letters printed on the triangles on their uniforms. First there were only political prisoners, Social De- mocrats, Communists, christian and liberal politi- cians. Later criminals and so-called ‘‘anti-socials”’ were interned to discriminate against the political prisoners. 7117 Filing cabinet with prisoners’ records 60 CGiergymeinn Dachau classified according to Nationality and Religion Nationality: Total ReleasedTransferred Liberated Deaths ee duringcamp toother internment campsor courts April 29, 1945 © Albanian 8 4 ee Mee Bia se BelgianAG 12339 Danish inside the protective custody camp, in the comman- dant’s office or other SS-offices (SS-armament industries, pay-offices, camp administration, political department, post office, Register Office, hospital, crematorium etc.). Clergymen at present employed in the above positions are to be replaced immediately. The carrying out of these instructions is to be reported to me by April 1, 1944. SS-Gruppenfthrer and Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS 716 HZ, Sub: Allocation of work to clergymen Ref: SS-WVHA Ch. Fe/Ils of April 18, 1942 Encl: none To the Commandants of the Concentration Camps Da. Sah. Bu. Mau. Flo. Neu. Au. Gr.Ro, Natz. Nie. Stu. Arb. Rav. Kriegsgef. Lager Lublin The Reichsfuhrer SS and Chief of the German Police has ordered that the Polish and Lithuanian ‘‘parsons” should be made to do real work, i.e. they should be given all types of work. The German, Dutch and Norwegian etc. clergymen should however continue to be employed in the herb garden. The carrying out of this order is to be confirmed. signed: SS-Obersturmbannfihrer Biey Daeg Bio, Or.sos, taney Mire hates, steBergesele cael Sub: Clergymen in the Concentration Camps Re: Reichssicherheitshauptamt—VI a 6—Allg. Nr. 44157 v. 16.1.44 Encl.:— To the Commandants of the Concentration Camps Au. |, Au. Il, Au lll, Bu, Da, Flo, Gro-Ro. Mau Nie, Natz, Neu, Rav, Sah, Stu., A.L. Bergen Belsen As a result of the admittance of clergymen through the offices of the Chief of the Sipo and the SD it has become necessary once more to transfer them to Dachau concentration camp. |therefore order that allclergymen atpresent incustody inother camps should be transferred to the special section for clergymen in Dachau. The following are to be exempted from this transfer: a)clergymen for whom the Reichssicherheitshauptamt has given special instructions b)clergymen classified under the NN decree (Nacht und Nebel) Clergymen in b) are to be treated iike all other prisoners and are to be classified as such in the camp statistics. The Reichssicherheitshauptamt is to be informed of each individual case in order to complete the file. The actual transfer fo these prirsoners should be part of a larger transport to Dachau concentration camp. aeQ dLeac 2 ea. f an . shatwingenasaam: AO CORchamtteabyau,pea:wtbeseaters S iE Polley A BSRage eadew ee aad poke ale ainerHecenaBaPCLisgs- ioeCaea3ambosOT as oe % age SS-Wirtschaftsverwaltungshauptamt —Amtsgruppe D— Concentration Camps 61 Oranienburg, Oct 28, 1944 The Chief of Amt DI SS Obersturmbannfthrer SS-Wirtschaftsverwaltungshauptamt Amtsgruppenchef D —Concentration Camps— B 3/1/Az: 14 c 9/Ot./W. Geheim Tgb. Nr. 243/42 Oranienburg April 21, 1942 Concentration Camp Department III Statement IenterPEDO ces.ccoLees make the following statement: 1. | acknowledge that the International Association of Jehova’s Witnesses advocate a false doctrine using their religious activities as a pretext in the pursuit of their subver- sive aims. 2. | have therefore totally rejected this organization and have freed myself emotionally from the sect. 3. | hereby undertake never again to work for the International Association of Jehova’s Witnesses. |shall report any persons who approach me with the false doctrine of Je- hova’s Witnesses or those who in any way display sympathy for them. Should | re- ceive any Jehova’s Witness literature, | shall surrender it immediately to the nearest police station. 4. |shall in future observe the laws of the nation especially in the event of war when | shall take up arms to defend my Fatherland, and strive to become a whole-hearted member of the national community. 5. | have been informed that | must expect a further term of protective custody if | fail to observe the undertaking which | made today. Signature 119 Gypsies from Burgenland (Austria), Dachau 1938 120 r aot 3 PRE ae Dachau1933 Dachau 1933 121 122 123 The youngest of the French prisoners 65 AN 7 Zaee 124 126 =oO2)st| Q=n )fa©— n oO_ ® oO°= 1 aOoauxe)~o 2~o(=~je)ise)na®o“Ooples ne) a=oi ed 127 Dachau 1938 129 70 Survivors from invalid transports from other camps were first taken to the showers. Flogging the prisoners and hanging them at the stake was also carried out here at times. 730 Disinfection hut for clothing 131 732 “Jourhaus’” (the guard- room) and entrance to the camp 43 i : 133 There is one road to freedom. Itsmilestones are: Obedience — diligence — honesty — order —cleanliness — temperance — truth — sac- rifice — and love of one’s country. 72 Punishment Dachau Concentration Camp Commandant’s Office October 1,1933 Disciplinary and Penal Code for the Prison Camp Introduction. The following penal regulations have been issued within the framework of already existing camp regulations for the maintenance of discipline and order in the Dachau concentra- tion camp. All prisoners in the Dachau concentration camp are subject to these regulations from the moment they enter until the time of their release. Executive disciplinary powers are vested inthe Commandant, who is personally responsible to the Chief of Political Police for carrying out the prescribed regulations. Tolerance isasignofweakness. Therefore actionwillbetaken without consideration, ifand where the Nation's interests demand it.The decent citizen who has been incited will not be subjected to punishments laid down in these penal regula- tions, but let any political or intellectual agitators, whatever their leanings, pay heed: take care that you are not caught or you will be seized by the throat and silenced according to your own prescriptions. 135 86 A penalty of 8 day's detention and 25 strokes administered be- fore and after the sentence will be given to any person: 1. who makes ironical or jeering remarks to a member of the S.S., who intentionally omits to salute as stipulated, or who by his conduct shows that he does not wish to submit to or- 73 4. who vilifies the emblems of the National Socialist State or those who wear them, insults them or disregards them in any other way. Sai Any person, who at work, in the living quarters, kitchen, work- shops, toilets or rest places engages in subversive politics, holds provocative speeches, congregates with others for this purpose, forms cliques, loiters, collects, receives or buries information, re- peats or smuggles out of the camp by means of a note or some other method to a camp visitor information, either true or false, concerning the camp, to be used in our enemies horror propa- ganda, or who sends written or verbal message through released or transferred prisoners, conceals them in items of clothing or other objects, throws them over the wall, writes coded messa- ges, or any person who in order to incite rebellion climbs onto the roof of the huts or up trees, or transmits signals with a lamp or by any other means, seeks outside contact, or advises, sup- ports or aids others in escape or crime, will be hanged as a sub- versive instigator under the terms of the revolutionary law. Sie Any person who in the camp, in living quarters, workshops, kitchen, stores etc. deliberately causes a fire, explosion, flooding or any other material damage, or any person who tampers in any way which does not correspond to orders given, with the barbed-wire fence, high-tension cables, electricity junction box- es, telephone lines, water pipes, the walls of the camp or other security installations, heating installations or boilers, engines or motor vehicles, will be punished by death as a saboteur. Ifthe deed iscommitted through negligence the guilty party will be placed in solitary confinement. Doubtful cases will be treated as sabotage. § 19 Solitary confinement consists of a diet of water and dry bread and a hard bed. The prisoner will be given hot food every 4 days. Hard labour includes hard physical and especially dirty work carried out under strict surveillance. The following complementary punishments are laid down: Pu- nishment drill, flogging, deprivation of mail, withdrawal of food, hard bed, the “‘post’’, reprimands and warning. All punishments will be recorded in the prisoner's personal file. Detention and hard labour will prolong preventive dentention by at least 4 weeks. Prisoners in cells cannot be released from the camp within the foreseeable future. 2. der and discipline; who as “‘prisoners’ n.c.o.’’, squad leader or work party leader oversteps the powers of a keeper of public order, arrogates to himself the rights of a superior towards other prisoners, who procures advantages whether at work or otherwise for prisoners who share his views, torments prisoners holding different views from his own, makes false reports about them or injures them in any way. §7 A penalty of 14 days’ detention will be given to any person: 1. who on his own authority without orders from the block sen- ior exchanges with another person the quarters assigned to him, or who instigates or inveigles a fellow-prisoner to do so; 2. who encloses in laundry parcels going out of camp articles which are forbidden or manufactured in the camp, or who sews them into laundry, etc.; : 3. who enters or leaves huts, living quarters or other buildings other than by the prescribed entrance or climbs through win- dows or other openings; 4. who smokes in the living quarters, toilets or other places where there is danger of fire, or who places inflamable ob- jects in such places. Cases of fire ensuing from the infringe- ment of this order will be treated as cases of sabotage. 88 A penalty of 14 days’ detention and 25 strokes at the beginning and end of the sentence will be given to any person: 1. who leaves or enters the prison camp without escort or wit- hout due authority joins any column leaving the camp; 2. who makes unfavourable remarks in letters or other commu- nications about National Socialist leaders, the State or the Government, authorities and institutions, who extols Marxist or liberal leaders or November parties, or who communicates information about events in the camp; 3. who keeps forbidden articles, tools, cutting or thrusting wea- pons in his quarters or sleeping bag. gg A penalty of 21 days’ detention will be given to any person who removes from its prescribed locality, damages intentionally, de- stroys, wastes, alters or uses for other purposes than those prescribed, articles of any sort belonging to the State. In addi- tion to any punishment, the individual or whole group of prison- ers will, according to the circumstances, be held indemnifiable for damage caused. § 10 A penalty of 42 days’ detention or prolonged solitary confine- ment will be given to any person: 1. who collects sums of money within the camp, who finances forbidden intrigues either inside or outside, or who gives mon- ey to fellow prisoners to act for him or to buy their silence; 2. who has money from collections of the ‘’Rote Hilfe” sent to him or who distributes itto fellow prisoners; 3. who communicates to a priest information other than spirit- ual, passes letters to him to be forwarded or seeks to prevail The Concentration Camp Commandant (L.S.) signed: Eicke SS-Oberfthrer upon him for forbidden purposes; Whipping-block 137 Smal ndig, 136 Chief of the Central Office SS-Obersturmbannfthrer Wirtschaftsverwaltungshauptamt Amtsgruppe D —Concentration Camps— D 1/1 Az: 14s 3/Ot/U. Oranienburg, April 4, 1942 To the Commandants of the Concentration Camps Da. Sah. Bu. Mau. Flo. Neu. Au. Gr.Ro. Natz. Nie, Stu. Arb. Rav und Kommandant Kriegsgef. Lager Lublin According to the instructions of the Reichsfuhrer SS and Chief of the German Police regarding flogging (both for male and female protective custody and preventive cus- tody prisoners) ifthe word “stringent” is included in the order, itisto be administered on unclothed buttocks. All other cases are to be dealt with in accordance with the previous instructions of the Reichsfihrer SS. 140 ~ Buchenwald 138 75 D 1/1Az: 14 e 3/0/S.— Oranienburg, Oct, 13, 1943 SS-Wirtschaftsverwaltungshauptamt Amtsgruppe D | Subject: Reference: Enclosures: Flogging of French prisoners | The Chief of the Sipo and the SD | IV D 4 2295/43 of oct 6, 1943 none | To the Commandants of the Concentration Camps Daymoalh Use Viauer los MINGCUL) AUis GieROnn Natzaam nie | Stu., Lub., Rav., AL. Berg.Belsen. In agreement with the Chief of the Security Police and the SD the flogging of French prisoners is to be stopped as this would probably be exploited for negative propaganda purposes after the prisoners’ release. | therefore request that in the case of French prisoners flogging be replaced by an alternative camp punishment. SS-Obersturmbannfuthrer 739 The punishments consisted of deprival of food, standing on the parade ground, extra work, punishment drill, transfer to the punishment company, transfer to a more stringent work detail, beating (stick or whip), suspen- sion by the wrists from a tree or pole, solitary confinement, beating to death. hanging, shooting, and a host of specially selected tortures. Eugen Kogon, Der SS-Staat Punishment company Prisoners who were admitted to the camp a VIA: Vorpedtangestelle far das Beuwesen W VU ty Nordland-Verlag Gmblt WVIL2:DeutecherBilderdionst Amt W Vill, Sonderaufgaben #-Sturmbannfdbrer Klein W VIL: Geaeltechaft aur Pflege und Férdera : deutscher Kulturdenimiler Vo nungen,Ausbildung (der Amtsge. 1 mugeteiit). BIV4: Auftragsverlagerang Beschaffungen tm Avolend Vertrageangelegenhetten Cenchmnigt! Fabrerhauptquartier, den 3. Mirs 1942 ges. H. Himmler. e h -Wirtschafts -Verwaltungshauptamt Chef: §}-Gruppenfiihrer und Generalleutnant der Waffen-jf POHL Vertreter: §§-Brigadeftihrer und Generalmajor der Waffen-§4 FRANK Chefs $$-BrigadefOhrer, Generalmajer der Wallen-f$ Larner ter: $$-StandartenfGbrer Prietsel 4 and Kompaniechel: $4-Oberstarmfahrer Manseaberger Verpflegungowirtschaft AmtWl: SteineundErden(Heich {-Sturmbannfahrer Mummenthey §-StandartenfOhrer Prietzel Planuog und Beschatiung ster Verpflegung far Mann und Plerd ‘Truppen-Wirtechafts-Lager #-Obersturmbannfibrer Liebehenschel == : Versuche und Nahrungsmittel- prOfung,Ausbildungser AmtCi,Sonderbauaufgaben AmtAisKewenundBevoldungewesen Koche.Lehretchen #-Sturmbannfahrer AmtWil:SteineundErden‘Ost’ #-Sturmbannfahrer Dr. Bobermin §-ObersturmbannfOhrer Eggert V1 ty Besaldungenesen A112)KersensumlNechoungswesen VIDS: Gebahenintelte Kiefer + Verpflegungs- und Bekleihangs- W Slt: Ostdeuteche Baustoffwerke GmbH 22 Fiegeleien’ AmtBO: Bekleidungswirtechaft #-SturmbannfGhrer Lechler Amt D Ms Arbeiteinsats der Hiftlinge #-Sturmbannfahrer Maurer anstaltenundHeimschulen Wohoungs{areorge DUA:Haftlingseinaat: $-Oberfahrer@dckel Wirtechalts- und Sonerbauten AmCtMi,TechnischeFachgeblete #-Sturmbennfdhrer #-Obersturmbannfahrer Kéberlein AmCIV;KanstlerischeFachgebiete #-Sturmbannfahrer (S) DMI/t:Arstlicheundashnirstliche Versorgungder#5 D II: Aratliche und ashnirsiliche Sesemann Rauten der Walfen-ff Bauien ider KL. und Keiege- gelangenenlager ee WLS: hauten «Wallen,Munition-und W112: Generaltreahiinder far Raustofferreugungs- atatren der Gaue Steiermark uml Karten Nachrichtenbauten 18Betriebe Wis: juBlandbetriche Jasaretie und Reviere + Nationalpotitische Erzichungs- AmWtili: Ernihrungsbetriebe BI/l: BIN/2: B IN/3: AmtAV:Personalamt #-Standartenfihrer AmBtIV:NohstoffeundBeschaffungen enzer $-Obersturmbannfdbrer §-SturmbannfGhrerLechler estaltung 2: Forstvermaltung (10 Betriche 3: Fischwirtechaft (16 Betiebe AmtCV;ZentraleBauinspektion AmatDEVsKL-Verwattung AmWtVirTextil-undLederverwertung #-Sturmbannfahrer WoL d: Deutsche Enl- and Steinwerke Gmbtl. W VIL2: Externateine-Stiftung e.V. :Heinrich-Gedichenis-SeiftangVs 146 SS-guards SS road sign 149 SE ( =}©—_1S12)= ~osoOa ©— (o>) my) oO=Eric)ao= oOle)oeOo.crar)pts=)ie)S oO© oD) Qa SS-dining hall Commandant of Dachau with SS-officers =here d 152 153 Monthly National Socialist Review “Freedom and Bread” Central political and cultural periodical of the NSDAP No 46 SA and SS Contents: Rudolf Hess, SA and the Party—Ernst Rohm, The Brown Batall- ions of theGerman Revolution—Heinrich Himmler, The Task of the SS—Ernst Rohm, Why the SA—Otto Dietrich, The Struggle of the heroic ideology (Weltanschauung)—Hajo von Hadeln, The Student and the SA—Gunther d’Alquen, The Conscience of the National Socialist Revolution—German Poetry—German Prose—Waldemar Hartmann, Burgos, the City of El Cid—Con- temporary Criticism—The Book. Reidsfiihrer S.S. Heincid Himmler: Die Aufgabe der S.G, Dit fhwsren Dir — Adolf Hitlee — Trene und Tapferteit. — Wir gelobenDir—unddenvonDirbeftimmtenPerens—Geborfambis in den Tod. — So wabr uns Gott belfe. Mit diefem Bid wurden die Standarte ,,Udolf Hitler und famtlide Ub: fcnitts: und Gruppenfubrer der S.S. am g. Movember 1933 auf den Subree verpflictet. THE TASK OF THE “SS” ene 24.Sard»142)anaohe echfafa ws rvsQestaax.sete a oe anaalyt-vonne 857 To you, Adolf Hitler, we swear our allegiance and resolute- ness. We solemnly pledge to you and to the superiors ap- pointed by you, our obedience unto death. So help us God. On 9 November, 1933, the Standarte ‘Adolf Hitler’ and all unit and group leaders of the SS pledged themselves to the Fiihrer with this oath. We see before us a most urgent task: to uncover, combat and destroy all confessed and secret enemies of the Fihrer, the National Socialist Movement and our national revolution. Germany, nothing but Germany! 155 154 he Armel Meiers cea. .On September 29, 1933 |was commissioned to the SS liaison staff in Passau after the dissolution of which |was de- tailed to the Austrian SS in the Dachau camp on Jan 29, 1934. On October 1, 1934 was ordered to take up duties in the Main office of the Security Service where |have since carried out my duties to the present day. Adolf Eichmann HimmlerinDachau+A. 156 Agenda ofa meeting of high-ranking — SS officers in Dachau 167 Bawtadteilurg 1/5 Berlin,den 11, sort) 1341. 2 het. Bar’. Z am22.April 9,30bie12Unre Jbereieht Uber das abgelenfene Rechanngsjabr, Erfehrungedericht und cromdlegende sner@aungen 160 fur div kousende arbeit, Hatuf, Purbiek. ; Bee,reeiung ube. Verrechnungewocen, borat, Gast. 1g bie 16 Mr Mi-taressen. 14.50 et0 7 Uhre fortectsur,; der Je rechuiges, Vortrige der eligwlusa 2.2.34.56 5 csur ihre ©tigkeit aia cyairugecertente. 20 jhrs Jeeach einer Minenemer AA» am23.april 3che12shgs Deotehticung dee KL. Deckon, fer Dentechen Aue~ riletungewerke, (er Heiltriutergartem, der Persel- lanmesufextur und 609 Bekleiéungowwies Sechen. 12.dig 14 Bri Mittagessen,DerbanerijijeRinifterpedjident inDadan —- Brlefbesbaverigen 3an6.6.FibeerHimmler Py ber“DeaneimKonsentratioustagerDachau :J Bringung ber Kranten im Revier, te Borforge aud fir 4abnargtlihe Behandlung lajjen etfennen, bah die Lager- vermaltung burdaus alleabet FiitjorfefirdieSn Jaifen in Den Rreis ihrer Ermagung giehi. Ungesahlte unjerer dem Staate verbundenen Boltsgenofjen haben be mnsdsrealitiesDetPolitifihenPolizeieinen ftimmtnad)detUnterbringungs-undBerpflegsieitecin geridjtet, aus dem aufs mene hervorgeht, dak dic viel ungiinitigeres Dajein wie die aus Staatejiderbeits wad da immer wieder cuftaudenden Mardenaber grinden im Rongentrationslager Tadau Uniergebradten. | :FerenpcoSee agemejederRushing MihtminderhatmichdiecingehendeBefihtigung a3 GinridjtungenderTee PolizeiundderSthetbeits: ySeeepr esHerrReidsfabrer! polijeibeeindrudt.WasbierinDenaraiabionesesnlie Hinliht unter Benuhung der mobernen tednikben und | Boal sectsa beRangentra: willenidaftticnenwieathtrimimellenErfahrungeninwe- Eona‘ianSllenefeinenTeil|migenSRonatenanfgebautwurdeundjeinervofligen Ausgeltalty it[cblecsthin uniibertrefflig. JH fctntoentie C€iejupiclerimSuterefiebesGtan~ ' tese.sebebnejnojo_nottwween!ndigenweiembfegaribifenswertenSi >|minesundberanbaltijceeT OndieanKE Wejidtigung teilnahmen, in gleider Weile von dem Gee febenen beembrudt maren. Mein WMunjd ijt, bah 5 der Erziehung der Gnfaflen Des Notjentrationslagers TDahau gelingen mocte, fic bald in jretheit ju jeyen und yur Witarbeit im Staate ibe mith awh von der aujfallend quien Yerfay bercitmaden ju fonnen. eeeundponderQualitatverVerfoltr‘AlsaukeresfeidenderWnerlennungfacihreraltloje fonnen. Das Ausfehen der Gefanaenen, Wrbeit bitte ich, mit hundert bedirftige Rameraden ) Teme de Blid ba den meilien dericlben, thre aufer: Ru benennen, insbefondere folde, die im Dienite Sdhaden bantlidhe Urbeitshetatiqung jcritrenen all dix Warden, genommen haber ober die in fariharen, wirthhaftlicen [We ber das Lager verbreifet wurden, aud nad der Sorgen jind. Ach werde denielben aus mir fir Notfalle igen Seite. Dabei habe wh gehort, Dak unter den pon privater Seite ye. Rerfugung geiteliten Utittele cine en hundert Sniailen find, dic vont emem Urberts- |Spende pon je 50 Wart in Wrerlennung ihrer Fatig: orsdeffenUeberfullungindavYagerPachau teitfurdieVlaenieinkeitfiberinctien. dl ‘Sherunefen: wurden. Sel Hitler! ‘Der garg aiffallend geringe Rrantenitand, die Unter Bavarian Prime Minister in Dachau. gry. Siebert. A letter from the Bavarian Prime Minister to the SS leader Himmler regarding conditions in the Dachau concentration camp: This week the Prime Minister made a thorough inspection of the various departments and facilities of the Dachau concen- tration camp. He also inspected the premises and facilities of the Political and Security Police. As a result of what he saw he wrote a letter to the Commander of the Political Police reaffirming that the tales which one hears from time to time about conditions in the Dachau camp are completely un- founded. Aus der Heimat ‘i Dahan -Jndersdorf “DermeueWadlommandant.TerGlibrexdesLSturn bannes der 56. SS.-Standarte Norbert=dari wurde ie Wadtommandanten des Konzentra!ronslagers be rufen. Local News Dachau-Indersdorf 166 New Commandant—The Chief of the 1st Sturmbann of the 56th SS Standarte—Norbert Scharf has been appointed Con- centration Camp Commandant. 169 172 MODERN BOOKS 171 ¢ VERLAGSGENOSSENSCHAFT AUSLANDISCHER ARBEITER IN DER UdSSR / MOSKAU-LENINGRAD FOUR WEEKS in the Hands OF HITLER’S Hell-Hounds THE NAZI MURDER CAMP: OF DACHAU HANS BEIMLER MITGUED DES REICHSTAGS POLITISCHER LEITER DER KPD SODBAYERNS erstag ahateroolong ERXaonkcLESeeaea! eeCun QwsvpegUefakeee weeSONi)oo 4.Mis sa (2 VIER WOCHEN IN DEN HANDEN DER BRAUNEN BANDITEN 1933 IM MORDt:RLAGER Londun, a Qdnner. (\iprer.) Ser Nommuinition und So paideinoi «Manchejter Guardian” bericitet iiber das |werden griadios ier der Mirfunit ta Yage: Kougentrationslager in Dachau: qwecigen, War iaica: die Gefangene. Die 2200 his 2400 Ynternierten fund e any injebuSaracenmuntergedradyt.Unterthenene2 . {ind ungefahr 30 Xntelfeftuelic, einige Wn-j 0 (QehorigederDutiel{dhicdten,50oder60wadvanoeREAS Sersion| Nagi, ctina O00 Costaldemofraten, 2 Oiti- mauniit. Arig Sdaper ja MIE: i dtere,miebrereMriminclic,15YWiuslander;ride,Dah.CYid)syer xsaeiO affe anbern find Rommummiiten. Die Wweilaus Pbeimeqon iounte, Ya 2. Sey hy geridiliay t qgrdjie Zabl der Sefangenen bejteht aus ein Hea.sioadhier CHIeHt Gatanseart mit, Urbettern. lement paujitieg den Uwtertteter. H Die Suternierten jimd in ;ehn Kom: ok a ates ‘ panten pau marital 270 Perjonen ae | Die Sudajstersen werden aud pit nut 1 | gitedert, Die fiebente Seompanie ift die | brewmmenden Stqaretten verbravnt. ‘i v2ustbitnarfompajie”, die erite tft qebildet | Unter detr ans furcitbarficr aus fosiaidemofrattidjen und fomnniuntiti- : f fen Yirbeitern, die siwette aus Yuden. iages innm.&.Budinanfn,oe set{aie nd der Qournalti ¢ | Die fomununytiident Quuitionare,- dieinch |Youni a. Ser Whntdheuss ow DACHAU By HANS BEIMLER Member of the Reichstag: Leader of the Southern Bavarian District, Cormimunist Party of Germany d eee8) London, January 3,The Manchester Guardian reports on the Dachau concentration camp: The 2200 to 2400 internees are accommodated in 10 barrack huts. They include 50 intellectuals, afew members of the middle class, 50 or 60 Nazis, approximately 500 social democrats, 2 officers, several criminals, and 15 foreigners, the rest being communists. The major- ity of the prisoners are of the working class. The prisoners are organized in 10 companies each with amaximum of 270 men. Number 7 is the disciplinary company, number 1 is composed of social democrats and communist workers, and number 2 consists of Jews. Communist functionaries refusing to give the Nazis political information are locked in cells. The cells are damp, dark, and without heating. The prisoners are chained to the walls;crudewoodenplanksserveasbeds.InSeptembetrheprison- erswere made tobuild21new cells. Corporal punishment is practiced in Dachau. The prisoners are flog- ged with wire-bound whips which they have to make themselves. They receive 25 to 75 heavy lashes. On entry to the camp communists and social democrats are beaten for no apparent reason. The prisoners are also beaten with wet to- wels. Seven SA-men, brought to the camp on August 1, were so ill- treated that two of them, Amuschel and Handschuch, died as a re- sult. The communist Fritz Schaper was ill-treated in such a way that he was unable to move for two months. On September 2, a Nazi guard struck one of the prisoners, thereby breaking his jaw. The prisoners are also often burned with lighted cigarettes. Among those suffering the most terrible treatment are L.Buchmann, Georg Freischuitz und the journalist Ewald Thunig. The Munich communist, Sepp Gotz, was murdered after being so severely ill- treated that he could no longer stand. The student Wickelmeier was shot. The communist, Fritz Dressel, died as a result of ill-treatment. Town councillor Hausmann, Lehrburger, the ‘‘Reichsbanner’’-man Aron, Willi Franz, and Buerk, acommunist functionary from Mem- mingen, were killed: a total of nearly Registered arrivals according to the findingsoftheInternational — Tracing Service, Aro|sen. d 436 Dachau’s Dead According to the Among the deaths whose number has not been reported and is unknown are the following: ,sonderbehandlung” (Persons who, during the war, were assigned by the Gestapo to the Dachau con- centration camp for execution) _,,Kommissar-Erlah” (Soviet prisoners of war who, by virtue of the ‘‘Kommissar-Erlal”’ were executed at the Dachau concentration camp) ,,cases of deaths in evacuation transports and death marches from Dachau and subsidiary camps, March- April, 1945” 213 FranzBottger,PeterBotz,Anton2ndres,SimonKiern,sichaelRedwitz, Wilhelm Wagner Johann Kick Dr. Fritz Hintermayer Dr. Wilhelm Witteler Johann Baptist Eichelsdorfer *’Hans Aumeler Otto Foerschner Dr. Hane Kurt Eisele Dr. Klaue Karl Schiiling 348mt1 Ervin Mahl | Walter Adolf Langleist Christof Ludwig Knoli Dr. Fridolin Karl Puhr Arno Lippmann _Hane Bayer “Franz Boettger ‘Peter Betz “UFritz Degelow Sotto nol _Anton Endres Simon Kiern Otto Schulz Friedrich Weta iitargeright) Wilhelm Yelter, Rudolf Heinrich Suttrop, Wilhelm Tompei, Hugo Alfred Ervin laustercr, frita is. h. Bechor, &iired kramer, Sylvester Fille- beck, Vinzenz SchUttl, Albin Grotseh, Johann Viktor Kirsch, Hanae Aumeter, Emil Erwin wehl, dalter adolf Langleist, Johann Schérp, Arno Lippmann, Hans Bayer, Fritz Degelow, Otto Moll, Otto Schuiz und Fried- rich ¥etzel in Verfolgung eines zeucinschaftlichen Yorhabena handel- ten, um dic Tatcn, die hicrnach dehauptet werdon, zu begehen und als Mitglieder der Verwaltung des Fonzortrationslegers Dechau und dazu gehocriger Aussenlager in odor ig der Umgebung von Dachau und Lands- berg, Deutschland, ungefahr zvischon ungefaar des 1 Januar 1940 und ungefghr dem 29. April 1945, absichtlich, vorsatzlich ind reehtewid- rig dabei genolfen, darin unturstiitzt und daran teilgenommen haben, dass zivile Staateangehoerige von Staaten, die sith.zu dieser Zeit mit dem damaligen Deutschen Reicho im triegssustand cofanden, Grau- gamkeiton,MisshandlungoneinschiiesslichToetungen,Prugelungen,Fol- terungen, Verhungorungon, tatiichen Ubergriffen und Erniedrigungen eusgesotzt wurden, Die genauon Namcr und dic Zahl dieser zivilen Staatesangehoerigen ist nicht vekanat, aver sie eroicht insgosamt vi- @lo Tausande derjonigen, die sich zu dicser Zoit und an diesom Orte im Gewanrsam des Deutschen Roichcs befanden, das nie unter dem Recht- stitel kriegsftlhrendser Uberwachung fosthielt.) SECOND GHARGE: Violation of the laws and Usages of War. Jeaciyouiare: in that Martin Gottfried Woigs, Friedrich Wilhelm Ruppert, Jesof Jarolin, Franz xaver 2renkle, Engelbert Valentin Nisdermeyor, Josef Seuss, Leonhard Ansclm Eichberser, Wilholm Wagner, Johann Kick, Dr, Fritz Hintermayor, Dr. Wilhelm Witteler, Jonann Baptist Eicheladorfor, Otto Foerschner, Dr. Hans Kurt Hisele, Dr. Klaus Karl Schilling, Christof Ludwig Snoll, Dr. Fridolin Karl Puhr, Franz Socttger, Fotor Botz, Anton Sndres, Simon Aiern, Michael Red- witz, Wilheim Weltor, Rudoif Heinrich Suttrop, Wilhelm Tempel, Hugo Alfred Ervin Lausterer, Fritz a. Kk. Beohor, Alfred Kramer, Sylvester Pillebocck, Vinzonz Schoettl, Sibin Gretsch, Johann Viktor Kirceh, CHARGE SE2E) (anklageschrift) Sas Dachau, German: (Dachau, Deutschland. 2 November 194 (2. November, 1945 Martin Gottfried Weiss — Friedrich Wilhelm Ruppert JosefJarolin :eeeeSuttrop Franz Xaver Trenkle | aw ay a Temp Engelbert Valentin Niedermeyer Hugo Alfred Krwin Lausterer $ WAMES OF THE ACCUSED: (Namen Der Angeklagten) : Hichael Redwitz Wilhelm Welter “Vanzenz Schocttl — #lbdin Gretsch Johann Viktor Kirsch Johann Schoepp g areherebychtedwiththefollowingoffences:_ee HansAumeler,EmilErwinhahl,WalterAdolfLangleist,JohannSchoepp (sind hermit eras der folgenden strafberen handlungen angexlagt+) FIRST CHARGE: Violation of the Lave and Usages of War. Arne Lippmann, Hans Bayer, Fritz Decelow, Otte Moll, Otto Schulz and Friedrich Wetzol,/acting in pursuance of a common design to»-commit the &cts hereinafter alleged, and as members of the staff of Dachan Con- centration Camp, did, at or in the vicinity of DACHAU, Germany, be- tween about 1 January 1942 and ebout 29 April 1945, wilifully, de- Aiberately and wrongfully encourage, aid, abet and participate in the Bubjection cf members of the armed forces of nations then at war with the then German Refch, who wero thon and thero surrendered and un- armed prigoners of war in the custody of the then German Reich, te eruelties ana mistreatment, including Killings, beatings, tortures, starvation, abuses and indignities, the exact names and numbers of such prisoners of war being unknown but aggrogating many hundreds. Particulars: In that Martin Gottfried Weles, Friedrich Wilhels Ruppert, Josef Jarolin, Franz Xaver Trenkle, Engelbert Valentin Nied- ermeyer, Josef Seuss, Leonhard Anselm Hichberger, Wilhelm Wagner, Johann Kick, Dr. Pritz Hintermayer, Dr. Wilhelm Witteler, Johann Baptist Eicheledorfer, Otto Foerschner, Dr. Hane hurt Eisele, Dr. Klaus Kerl Schilling, Chriatof Ludwig Knoll, Dr. Fridolin Karl Puhr, Franz Boettger, Peter Betz, Anton Endres, Simon Kiern, Michael Redwits Wilhelm Welter, Rudolf Heinrich Suttrop, Wilhelm Tempel, Hugo Alfred Erwin Lausterer, Fritz u. K. Becher, Alfred Kramer, Sylvestor Fille~ boeck, Vinzenz Sohoettl, Albin Gretsch, Johann Viktor Kirach, Hang dumier, Emil Erwin Mahl, Walter Adolf Langleist, Johann Soh » Arno Lippmann, Hans Sayer, Fritz Degelow, Otto Moll, Otte Schulz and FPried- rich Wetzel facting in pursuance of a common design to commit the acte hereinafter alleged, and as members of the staff of Dachau Conuen- tration Camp and camps subsidiary thereto, did, at, or in the vioinit; of DACHAU and LANDSBERU, Germany, between about 1 January 1942 and about29April1945,willfully,deliberatelyandwrongfullySaeee KarlSchilling,ChristofLudwigKnoll,Dr.FridolinKarlPuhr,Franz aid, abet and participate in the subjection of civilian nationale o! nations then at war with the then German Reich to cruelties and mi treatment, including killings, beatings, tortures, starvation, abus and indignities, the exact names and numbers of such civilian nation+ ais being unknown but aggregating many thousands who were then and there in the custody of the German Reich in exercise of belligerent control. e é BSttgcr, Petor Botz, Anton Endres, Simon Liern, Michael Redwitz, Wil- helm Welter, Rudolf Hoinrich Suttrop, Wilhela Tempol, Hugé alfsed Er- win Lausterer, Fritz N. K, Becher, Alfred Kramer, Sylvester Fillebtck, Vinzorg SehUttl, Albin Gretsch, Johann Viktor hirsch, Hane Aunoler, Ball Ervin Mahi, Walter adolf langicist, Johann Sehépp, aro Lipp- Einzelheiten: ase Martin Gottfried Weiss, Friedrich Wilzelm Ruppert, Josef Jarolin, Franz Xaver Trenkle, Engelbert Valenvin Niodermayer, Josef Seuss, Leorhard Ansclm Richberger, Wilholm Wagner, Johann Kick, Dr. Fritz Hintermcyer, Dr. filhelm “fitteler, Johann Baptist Eichelsdorfer, Otto Forschner, Dr. Hane Lurt Eiselo, Dr. Klaus Karl Schilling, Christef Ludwig Knoll, Dr. Fridolin Kari Puhr, (2WEITH ANKLAGE; Verletaing dor Gosotzo und Gebraueche des Krieges. Elnzolheiten: Dass wartin Gottfried Weiss, Friedrich Wilhelm Ruppert, Josef Jarolin, Franz Xaver frenkle, Engelbert Valentin Nied- ermeyor, Josef Seuss, Leonhard ansoim Eichbergor, Wilholm Wagner, x Johann Kick, Dr. Fritz Hintermeyer, Dr. Wilhelm Wittler, Johann Bap- tist Eichoisdorfen, Otto Forschner, Dr. Hans Kurt Eisele, Dr. Klaus N Ssn 218 +S; The Accused TM~ x t +y 219 DACHAU CONCENTRATION CAMP — SCHOOL FOR MURDER Start of the Dachau trial On Thursday at 10 a.m. in the court room of Dachau concentration camp began the trial of Dr. Klaus Schilling, the former camp doctor and 33 other camp leaders and employees who are accused of murder and other crimes. Before 1933 Dachau was hardly known outside the bound- aries of Upper Bavaria but as a result of Hitler’s terror it became known throughout the world as a site of horror and nameless misery, notorious as a torture chamber and murder camp. It achieved ‘’tragic fame” through inconceivable incidents which took place in this, the first of Hit- ler’s concentration camps. The madness of the criminal terror of the SS bandits began and spread from Dachau. It was a “‘training school’ for the professional torturers and executioners which provided recruits for Hitler’s other newly foun- ded concentration camps such as Oranienburg, Sachsenhausen, Bu- chenwald, Papenburg, Esterwegen, Mauthausen, Flossenburg, Belsen etc. as they began to spread like a fungus. The commandant of the no- torious Belsen camp, and the chiefs of Buchenwald, Mauthausen, and Auschwitz proved during their apprenticeship in Dachau that the tor- ture, torment and murder of defenceless prisoners had become second nature to them. a HS a3te:gey iia |era: AeEe a uial He 'i| i i ieai istaf 445 Bt 444 54 —39900TodesopferinDachau >MUillenichafelicher” Sadfemius und terifche Brutalitit veridwuldeten dlefe Mordoilanz Mart The witness stated: As |en- tered the camp, which was surrounded by a two meter high barbed-wire fence flanked by two big watch tow- Dachau Commandant faces the Prosecutor. Each one blames ‘he other, all were innocent. Approaching a decisive stage. In the course of the trial different witnesses have described to an overcrowded court room the brutal methods employed by the camp and subsidiary camp leaders for whom the prison- ers were welcome game in the satisfaction of ers, |discovered a sign on which was written in Ger- decisive stage. The camp commandant Ober- was almost completely bruned down and near the en- trance |found more than 200 almost completely charred bodies. The few uncharred bodies were emaciated skel- etons, literally consisting of only skin and bones. The opening of two large makeshift pits, carried out by a Health Officer, revealed ahuge number of corpses piled on top of one another, in five layers. The arms and legs of many of the corpses had been broken, apparently to force them into the pit. All life in the camp had been ex- tinguished. The living quarters of the prisoners were holes in the earth with a roof over them. One had to pass through a trench to enter each hole. The contents were more than primitive. There were no beds inthe liv- ing quarters. On the floor there were wood-shavings and afew dirtyblankets. |inspected thecamps 1,2,4,6 and 7. The latter was a work camp for Jewish prisoners. No. 8 was empty and No. 9, near the airport, had been blown up with the airport. During my inspection of the camp some prisoners appeared who had fled to the woods several days before. “Counted like gold and treated like dirt.” One of them was the former Camp Clerk Dr. Fried. In the witness box he related that he had graduated as a medical doctor in Prague. He had come to Kaufering on Oct 6, 1944, along with 1500 with 1500 other prisoners after the Auschwitz camp had been evacuated. In the camp there werde only Jewisch prisoners of allnational- ities, about 2000 men and 280 women. This figure in- creased to 3000 by January 1945. The sanitary conditions were absolutely catastrophic. For 3000 persons there were, literally, 3 toilet facilities, which were absolutely filthy, as many prisoners were suffering from dysentery. There were no washing facilities whatsoever, no warm water, no sheets, no towels or under-wear. A prisoner's outfit consisted of a jacket, a shirt, a pair of trousers and clogs. These items came for the most part from Jews who had been gassed at Auschwitz. Nutrition was so bad that prisoners died of starvation each day. There were only 400 bowls for 3000 prisoners, which meant that they had to eat in shifts . his place as a witness in front of the judges . He stated: “| was absolutely powerless in the face of the experiments of Dr. Rascher and Prof. Dr. Schilling. | had already heard in Ber- lin of Prof. Dr. Schilling’s malaria department and of the cold water experiments for the air force lead by Dr. Rascher. |was told in Berlin that Reichsfuhrer SS Himmler was personally responsible for these two experimental depart- ments and that |should not interfere. On Nov 10, 1942, Himmler made a personal appear- ance in Dachau and visited the Rascher depart- ment. He sent for me and |was made to at- tend an experiment which had already begun. Afterwards Himmler said: Rascher and Schilling are responsible to me personally for their ex- periments and you must obey their orders.” . Dachau Dec 1, (from our own correspondant) With the interrogation of the principal defend- ant the Dachau trial is slowly approaching a 222 First Information Bulletins after the Liberation of the Camp ‘Report of the first meeting of the International Prisoners’ Committee after the liberation of the camp. 1. The meeting took place in the presence of the American Commander Lt. Col- onel Fellenz. 2. The American Commandant transferred full power of authority to the Presi- dent of the International Prisoner’s Committee, Lt. Commander R. N. Patrick O’Leary. The American troops have taken charge of security. 3. In2to3 days the American Military administration will take charge of tipamdn and food distribution in the camp. 4. Camp executive officers are the Camp Senior Oskar Muller and the Camp clerk Domagala. : 5. Food provision is guaranteed. Daily rations are to be increased. 6. Until further notice the camp police are under the authority of Comrade Gus- tav Eberle, who is to work together with the Camp Senior. 7. No one is allowed to leave the camp. 8. Any weapons must be handed in at the Jourhaus immediately. 9. Arbitrary actions and personal vendettas etc. will be immediately and most severely punished. 10. Commandos responsible for camp supplies will be issued with a pass to leave the camp. 11. Former SS prisoners inthe camp will be registered by the camp office and la- ter handed over to the American military authorities as prisoners-of-war. 12. The former prisoners Meanssarian and Wernicke have been arrested, court-martialled and shot upon the orders of the American Commandant. 13. As regards the arrest ofvarious other elements inthe camp the International Prisoners’ Committee will decide each case individually. Individual action is most strictly forbidden. 14. The following provisional committees have been appointed: a) Food supplies: b) Disinfection and health service: c) Disciplinary matters: 15. Further announcements will continue to be made either in writing or over the loudspeaker. This report will be announced inallthe main languages during the course of the morning. Jan Marcinkowski Frantisek Blaha Oskar Juranik The International Prisoners’ Committee 450 451 452 5 — hire er e ‘aingle Thnen goteias; acy, Prerne ich Kenne ich nicht gut genug., DACHAU AND THE SS Dachau and the SS A Schooling in Violence CHRISTOPHER DILLON 1 1 Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX2 6DP, United Kingdom Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries © Christopher Dillon 2015 The moral rights of the author have been asserted First Edition published in 2015 Impression: 1 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, by licence or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organization. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above You must not circulate this work in any other form and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer Published in the United States of America by Oxford University Press 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, United States of America British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Data available Library of Congress Control Number: 2014950691 ISBN 978–0–19–965652–3 Printed and bound by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon, CR0 4YY Links to third party websites are provided by Oxford in good faith and for information only. Oxford disclaims any responsibility for the materials contained in any third party website referenced in this work. Acknowledgements It is a rare pleasure, given the dispiriting topic, to be able to thank all those who have contributed to this book. It began life in a collaborative research project ‘Before the Holocaust: Concentration Camps in Nazi Germany, 1933–1939’, generously funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and directed by my esteemed doctoral supervisor at Birkbeck College, Professor Nikolaus Wachsmann. Whatever merits it possesses have been immeasurably enhanced by this experience of collegiate research and intellectual collaboration. My debt to my fellow research students on the project, Julia Hörath, Paul Moore, and Kim Wünschmann, for eight years of unflagging support and debate is incalculable. My profound thanks also to the project’s postdoctoral researcher, Dr Christian Goeschel, for his personal encouragement and unfailingly acute and constructive criticism. I am very grateful to my doctoral thesis examiners, Professors Jane Caplan and Richard Overy, for an unyielding, stimulating, and highly productive viva which has driven the direction of the monograph ever since. Back in the earliest stages of my development as a historian, Andrew Thorpe at Exeter and Rod Kedward at Sussex were inspiring and indefatigable mentors. Sean Brady, Robert Dale, Maria Fritsche, Julia Hörath, Mark Jones, Clare Makepeace, Paul Moore, Esther von Richthofen, and Kim Wünschmann have all offered insightful and constructive feedback at various stages of the book’s development. I am also grateful here to the anonymous readers for Oxford University Press, all of whom helped greatly to improve its structure and precision. The ideas in the book have benefitted from discussion at academic seminars and conferences too numerous to list, but I would particularly like to thank the conven- ors and audiences at the Modern German History Seminar at the London Institute for Historical Research, the Eleventh Biennial Lessons and Legacies Conference on the Holocaust, and the 15th Workshop zur Geschichte der nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager. The German History Society generously provided research funding at a critical point in 2011. During the writing of the book, I have received help and guidance from many libraries in Germany and Britain. The German Historical Institute in London has afforded me the opportunity to present my work at many work- shops and conferences, while its library and unfailingly helpful staff have been a constant in the development of the project. I would also like to record my particular gratitude to the staff of the Bundesarchiv in Berlin, the Staatsarchiv and Hauptstaatsarchiv in Munich, and the Memorial site archive at Dachau. I must single out Albert Knoll at Dachau, and Robert Bierschneider at the Staatsarchiv, in recognition of their forensic expertise and seemingly inex- haustible patience. vi Acknowledgements It is also a great pleasure to thank my students at various University of London colleges for countless hours of discussion and debate which have done much to shape my thinking about modern German and European history. Finally, to my family and friends—who do not, mercifully, share my preoccupation with this history—countless thanks for your patience and forebearance. C. D. Contents List of Figures ix List of Tables xi List of Abbreviations xiii Introduction 1 1. ‘We’ll Meet Again in Dachau’: The Early Dachau SS 10 A Bavarian Revolution 14 SA and SS 22 The Civil War Narrative 29 The Early Dachau SS Leadership 35 The Early Violence in Dachau 40 2. The Dachau Guard Troops 49 Volunteers 50 Command and Compliance 63 Leadership 69 Training 80 Everyday Violence 82 Beyond the Barbed Wire 86 3. The Dachau Commandant Staff 94 Department I: Commandant and Adjutant 96 Department II: The Political Department 108 Department III: The Protective Custody Compound Department 110 4. The Dachau SS and the Prisoners 135 Homogeneity 136 Categorization 161 5. ‘Tolerance Means Weakness’: The Dachau SS and Masculinity 179 Martial Masculinity in the Third Reich 180 SS Masculinity 184 SS Masculinity at Dachau 192 The Dachau School and Masculinity 198 The Dachau SS and Prisoner Masculinities 207 6. The Dachau SS and the Locality 218 The Dachau Locality 220 The Dachau Site 221 The Dachau SS in Institutional Context 223 viii Contents Camp and Citizenry SS Guards and Locality Standing By Epilogue Wachtruppe at War The Commandant Staff at War Justice and Memory Appendix: List of SS Ranks Bibliography Index 227 230 236 240 240 246 251 255 257 277 List of Figures 1.1 Early Dachau SS sentries, May 1933 13 2.1 Theodore Eicke, Dachau’s second commandant and subsequently head of the Concentration Camp Inspectorate 51 3.1 Martin Weiβ takes the stand in the Dachau trial in 1945. He was found guilty of ‘common design’ to violate the laws of war and was hanged in May 1946 at Dachau 107 3.2 Dachau inmates stand to attention as a protective custody compound staff member cycles leisurely past, 1938 111 4.1 SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler surveys a prisoner in Dachau 144 4.2 Prisoners toil at hard manual labour under oversight of an SS NCO, May 1933 148 4.3 Command staff personnel oversee the reconstruction of the Dachau pro- tective custody compound in June 1938 150 5.1 Bunk beds and male togetherness in the early Dachau SS barracks, May 1933 197 6.1 American soldiers watch civilians cart corpses out from Dachau concen- tration camp, 1 May 1945 E.1 Max Simon, Heinrich Himmler, and Theodor Eicke in Russia with the Death’s Head Division, December 1941 E.2 Dachau School graduates Rudolf Höβ, Josef Kramer, and Anton Thumann relax with Josef Mengele (far left) at the SS retreat by Auschwitz, July 1944 E.3 Group portrait of the defendants in the Dachau war crimes trial, 1945 219 243 247 252 List of Tables 2.1 Pay scale for Death’s Head units, July 1937 61 2.2 Dachau guard troop officers by SS membership 78 2.3 Dachau guard troop officers by generation 79 3.1 Dachau key commandant staff by generation 95 3.2 Dachau key commandant staff by SS membership 95 3.3 Dachau School block leaders by generation 127 4.1 SS inventory of Dachau by inmate category, April 1939 167 List of Abbreviations BAB Bundesarchiv, Berlin BayHSta Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv BDC Berlin Document Center BVP Bayerische Volkspartei (Bavarian Peoples’ Party) DaA Archiv der KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau Gestapo Geheime Staatspolizei (lit. State Secret Police) IfZ Institut für Zeitgeschichte, Munich IKL Inspektion der Konzentrationslager (Concentration Camp Inspectorate) IMT International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg KPD Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands (German Communist Party) NSDAP Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers’ Party) RuSHA Rasse- und Siedlungshauptamt (Race and Settlement Main Office) POW Prisoner of War RSHA Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Reich Security Main Office) SA Sturmabteilung (Storm Troopers) SAM Staatsarchiv Munich SD Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service) SOPADE Deutschland-Berichte der Sozialdemokratischen Partei Deutschlands SPD Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (German Social Democratic Party) SPE Stanford Prison Experiment SS Schutzstaffel (lit. Protection Squad) USPD Unabhängige Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (Independent German Social Democratic Party) WL Wiener Library, London Introduction ‘I went to Dachau’. When Rudolf Höβ wrote these words in a Kraków prison cell in 1947 he knew that he would hang.1 The former commandant of Auschwitz had been captured by the British Military Police and handed over to the Polish authorities for trial. He blamed his decision to volunteer for the guard units at Dachau in 1934 for setting him on an ‘intricate course’ of ‘destiny’ which led him to become one of the great mass murderers in history.2 This was untrue. But Höβ was certainly only one of many senior concentration camp officials to have learned his craft in pre-war Dachau. Dachau had been the most important of the early concentration camps, a bastion of the Nazi revolution and the sole bridge between this early violence and the vast citadels of terror constructed in the late 1930s. It was the training ground and forge of the concentration camp SS, an academy of violence where guards were schooled in steely resolution and the techniques of ter- ror. An international symbol of Nazi depredation, Dachau was the cradle of a new and terrible spirit of destruction. This book offers the first systematic study of the pre-war Dachau SS. It is not a narrow organizational history and seeks to contextualize the ‘Dachau School’ by approaching it from a variety of perspectives. It charts the depths of individual and collective conduct in an institutional setting while encouraging the reader to suspend comforting preconceptions that violent behaviours are simply products of pathological personalities and beliefs. Without losing sight of the specificities of Dachau, it claims a significance even beyond the thousands of SS guards trained there: for the pre-history of the Holocaust, and for the social and institutional organization of violence more broadly. Contrary to an ongoing tendency to mys- tify the Nazi concentration camps and to sequester them from broader historical processes, Dachau was the product of human interaction and its guards amenable to analysis as social phenomena.3 1 Rudolf Höβ, Commandant of Auschwitz: The Autobiography of Rudolf Hoess, trans. Constantine FitzGibbon (London, 2000 [1959]), p. 65. Emphasis in original. 2 Höβ, Commandant, p. 64. 3 For the international context, see the recent succinct analysis by Richard Overy, ‘Das Konzentrationslager: Eine internationale Perspektive’, Mittelweg, Vol. 36, No. 4 (2011), pp. 40–5. Available in English translation at (accessed 14 February 2014). For the social dimension, see the discussion of literature below, especially Wolfgang Sofsky, The Order of Terror: The Concentration Camp (Princeton, 1997), pp. 3–15. 2 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence The book brings together two streams of research into the history of National Socialism which have moved towards the centre of the historiographical agenda in recent years. The first is research into the history of the pre-war concentration camps. Surprisingly, there is still no comprehensive monograph on Dachau. Like the other pre-war camps, its history has been written instead by former German and Austrian political prisoners and is commemorative, rather than analytical, in intent. Quite understandably, these authors (and their readers) were concerned with documenting and memorializing the suffering of their comrades in the camps rather than with analytical reflection on their historical context. If they wrote about the guards at all, it was as either atavistic brutes or epiphenomenal figures, secondary expressions of an underlying ‘fascist’ ideology.4 During the 1980s impulses to fresh research beyond the canonized texts of former inmates came from the German ‘history workshop’ movement. Younger research- ers, often affiliated with concentration camp memorial sites, gathered documents and oral histories from the localities of concentration camps. These have greatly enriched our understanding of their social context. They also began the process of rendering visible the experiences of non-political inmate groups hitherto marginal- ized in ‘anti-fascist’ literature. And in the last decade or so a range of empirical stud- ies on the domestic concentration camps, coordinated by the memorial sites and their heads (frequently trained historians themselves), has picked up the baton from the history workshop movement. A range of encyclopaedic treatments of individual camps is now available in German, along with a massive encyclopaedia in English published recently by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.5 Yet it is striking how rarely the SS personnel are discrete topics even in this literature, falling as they do beyond what remains a largely commemorative exercise. The second stream of research is the burgeoning historiography of those who have become known as National Socialist ‘perpetrators’ (Täter), the agents of per- secution and violence who enacted the policies of the regime at ground level. These men and women were long marginalized by a universalizing historiographical dis- course which, since the 1960s, had privileged the role of supra-personal structures in the criminality of the Third Reich.6 Höβ played something of a posthumous role here as the pioneering text was Martin Broszat’s introduction to the German 4 The most recent contribution to this distinguished line of writing on Dachau is Stanislav Zámečnik, That Was Dachau: 1933–1945 (Paris, 2004). Although the book is described in the blurb as a ‘complete, scholarly presentation of the history of the Dachau concentration camp’ it has very little to say about the SS. Similar caveats apply to Hans-Günter Richardi, Schule der Gewalt: Das Konzentrationslager Dachau 1933–1934 (Munich, 1933), a well-researched yet commemorative com- pendium of prisoner memoirs. 5 Wolfgang Benz and Barbara Distel (eds), Der Ort des Terrors: Geschichte der nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager (8 vols, Munich, 2005–2009); The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopaedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945 (2 vols, Washington, DC, 2009–2012). 6 A. D. Moses, ‘Structure and Agency in the Holocaust: Daniel J. Goldhagen and his Critics’, History and Theory, Vol. 37, No. 2 (May, 1998), pp. 194–219. Moses uses the ancient philosophical binary of the particular and universal to code, respectively, dispositional/ideological and situational/ social readings of perpetrators. This taxonomy will also be used throughout the present study. For a penetrating bibliographical essay on Tätergeschichte, see also Gerhard Paul, ‘Von Psychopathen, Technokraten des Terrors und “ganz gewöhnlichen” Deutschen. Die Täter der Shoah im Spiegel Introduction 3 edition of his memoirs in 1958. Broszat depicted Höβ as a ‘normal petit-bourgeois type’ who ‘always did his duty’ to ‘whichever authority’ he recognized at the time.7 This concept of the SS perpetrator’s normality, a reaction in part to the imme- diate post-war tendency to demonize him, would guide scholarship for decades. Hannah Arendt offered a very similar reading in her account of the Israeli trial of Adolf Eichmann in 1961. Like Broszat, Arendt could find no ‘demonic pro- fundity’, little evidence even of antisemitism, in the accused whom she presented instead as an unremarkable German bureaucrat: ambitious, anomic, unreflective, a lesson in the ‘banality of evil’.8 Arendt’s intellectual prestige and sparkling, authori- tative prose contributed to the fertile reception of Eichmann in Jerusalem but her conclusions echoed those of a then lesser-known German émigré. Raul Hilberg’s monumental The Destruction of the European Jews likewise offered a universalist reading of the Nazi perpetrator as a detached, coldly careerist Everyman.9 Values and ideology featured in this universe less as motivation than cynical rationaliza- tion. In Hilberg’s guiding metaphor, the Holocaust was the culmination of an unbound, self-propelled ‘machinery of destruction’ requiring no great personal malice from most participants: ‘all necessary operations were accomplished with whatever personnel were at hand’.10 In the resurgent field of social psychology, too, consensus formed on the univer- sal human readiness to inflict suffering. In the early 1960s Stanley Milgram car- ried out a series of laboratory experiments on the evolutionary tendency towards ‘obedience to authority’. His hypothesis that cruelty was a social phenomenon driven by situational power relationships seemed confirmed when two-thirds of his ordinary American volunteers administered what they believed were electric shocks of up to 450 volts on his accomplice learner, despite his screams of pain and complaint of a heart condition.11 The analogies to concentration camp personnel were evident and Milgram did not refrain from ambitious extrapolations from his laboratory. The Holocaust, he proposed, was ‘the most extreme instance of abhor- rent immoral acts carried out by thousands of people in the name of obedience’.12 He later added that if a system of concentration camps were set up in the United States, sufficient personnel to staff them could be found ‘in any medium-sized American town’.13 der Forschung’, in Paul (ed.), Die Täter der Shoah: Fanatische Nationalsozialisten oder ganz normale Deutsche? (Göttingen, 2002), pp. 13–90. Specifically on the SS, see the literature review by Jan Erik Schulte, ‘Zur Geschichte der SS: Erzähltraditionen und Forschungsstand’, in Schulte (ed.), Die SS, Himmler und die Wewelsburg (Paderborn, 2009), pp. xi–xxxv. 7 Martin Broszat, ‘Einleitung’, in Broszat (ed.), Rudolf Höβ: Kommandant in Auschwitz. Autobiografische Aufzeichnungen (Munich, 1963 [1958]), s. 11. 8 Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report into the Banality of Evil (New York, 1994 [1963]), p. 287. 9 Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews (London, 1983). Hilberg’s book was first published in 1961. 10 Hilberg, Destruction, p. 649. 11 Stanley Milgram, Obedience to Authority (London, 2005 [1974]), pp. 33–56. 12 Milgram, Obedience, p. 4. 13 In Thomas Blass, Obedience to Authority. Current Perspectives on the Milgram Paradigm (New Jersey, 1985), pp. 35–6. 4 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence Similarly unequivocal conclusions were reached by his colleague, Philip Zimbardo, in the Stanford Prison Experiment of 1971.14 We will return to the details and implications of these experiments later in the book; for now it is suf- ficient to note that their explicit linkage to the Holocaust and to Arendt’s work in particular helped to create a universal interpretive paradigm of Nazi perpetra- tors which, according to David Cesarani’s biography of Eichmann, ‘straitjacketed research into Nazi Germany and the persecution of the Jews for two decades’.15 Cesarani debits Milgram personally with the interpretation of the Holocaust as ‘the zenith of modern bureaucracy, rather than a throwback to barbarism’ but this is reductive.16 The pre-eminence of the abstract bureaucratic trope in this period also reflected the talents of a cohort of young structuralist historians at the Munich Institute for Contemporary History. They produced what remains one of the fin- est analyses of the SS and concentration camp system, Anatomy of the SS State, as expert consultants to the Frankfurt trial of Auschwitz personnel in 1963. A mas- terly and judicious reconstruction of the bureaucratic chain of command in the SS, this was nonetheless a distinctly arid and impersonal history.17 A number of important later works also stand in this universalist tradition. Zygmunt Bauman’s Modernity and the Holocaust casts Nazi perpetrators as ‘men in uniforms, obedient and disciplined, following the rules and meticulous about the spirit and letter of their briefing’.18 Calls for a more dispositional, ideological reading are accused of seeking a ‘metaphysical prop’, where ‘[d]iscussion of guilt masquerades as the analysis of causes’.19 Wolfgang Sofsky, in a bold and com- pelling sociology of the concentration camps, concurred. ‘Institutional terror’, he concluded, ‘produces perpetrators who do without reasons for their actions . . . the identity of the victim was totally immaterial’.20 There is a lot at stake in this debate and the heavy burden of explanation generates partisan positions framed in aggrieved moral vocabulary. Historians too often adopt a posture of embattled empiricism when dealing with situational theorists like Bauman and Sofsky, as iso- lated voices of sensitivity amid a deluge of relativizing social science.21 Seldom do they trouble to engage with the broader argument about the contribution of social 14 Philip Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect: How Good People Turn Evil (London, 2007). 15 David Cesarani, Eichmann: His Life and Crimes (London, 2004), p. 15. 16 Cesarani, Eichmann, p. 15. 17 Helmut Krausnick et al., Anatomy of the SS State, trans. Richard Barry et al. (London, 1968). A lively, morally aggrieved critique of this type of ‘structural’ literature is offered by Nicolas Berg, Der Holocaust und die westdeutschen Historiker: Erfahrung und Erinnerung (Göttingen, 2004). 18 Zygmunt Bauman, Modernity and the Holocaust (Cambridge, 2000 [1989]), p. 151. 19 Bauman, Modernity, pp. xi, 168. 20 Sofsky, Order, p. 229. 21 In addition to Cesarani, see Michael Burleigh and Wolfgang Wippermann, The Racial State: Germany 1933–1945 (Cambridge, 1991), p. 2 and passim; Karin Orth and Michael Wildt, ‘Die Ordnung der Lager: Über offene Fragen und frühe Antworten in der Forschung zu Konzentrationslager’, Werkstatt-Geschichte, Band 12 (1995), pp. 51–6; Andrea Riedle, Die Angehörigen des Kommandanturstabs im KZ Sachsenhausen: Sozialstruktur, Dienstwege und biografischen Studien (Berlin, 2011), p. 19; Karin Orth, Die Konzentrationslager SS: Sozialstrukturelle Analysen und biogra- phische Studien (Munich, 2004), p. 11, 297; Falk Pingel, ‘Social Life in an Unsocial Environment: The Inmates’ Struggle for Survival’, in Jane Caplan and Nikolaus Wachsmann (eds), Concentration Camps in Nazi Germany: The New Histories (London and New York, 2010), pp. 58–81, here p. 59; Omer Bartov, Germany’s War and the Holocaust. Disputed Histories (USA, 2003), pp. 99–111. As the fiery Introduction 5 factors to Nazi violence. Yet as the recent scholarship of James Waller and Harald Welzer makes clear, registering these phenomena is essential to any convincing account of perpetrator behaviour.22 Both, like Milgram, stress the fundamental importance of the perpetrators’ situation but also of how they construe this situ- ation in the first place: an important moderation of extreme role-based accounts. Both also stress the complex and reciprocal relationship between thought and deed which will be seen throughout this book. The most powerful case study in Welzer’s comparative analysis is of the police bat- talions (units of the Order Police) seconded to the SS in occupied Poland.23 Their murderous conduct during the Holocaust had already generated the best-known controversy in perpetrator historiography. Christopher Browning’s Ordinary Men, a microstudy of one such unit of unremarkable middle-aged policemen, was pub- lished in 1992 and documented the role of peer pressure and group psychology in their conduct.24 While some aspects of his analysis—the fact that these subjects were policemen, and the fact that they were men—are clearly underplayed, Ordinary Men is a classic of interpretive historical narration. The same could not be said of its antagonist, Daniel Goldhagen’s Hitler’s Willing Executioners.25 Warming up the self-righteous, exoticist tenets of Allied wartime propaganda, Goldhagen argued that German society harboured proto-genocidal intent long before Hitler. Nazi perpetrators did not need to be induced to kill: they murdered Jews because they were ‘Germans first, and SS men, policemen, or camp guards second’.26 Goldhagen regards more universalist readings of the perpetrators as morally compromised in diminishing their personal responsibility and relativizing the singular horror of the Final Solution. He was quite right to demand greater focus on the Jewish iden- tity of its victims. Yet among its many shortcomings, Goldhagen’s book offers no explanation for the avid involvement of tens of thousands of non-Germans in the Holocaust, nor for the abrupt disappearance of the German tradition of murderous antisemitism after 1945. The latter he attributes, in a pair of footnotes,27 to an effi- cacious post-war Allied re-education programme, whilst disregarding the possible impact of propaganda and schooling by the Nazis during the Third Reich.28 introductions to Modernity and the Holocaust and The Order of Terror show, this sense of grievance is mirrored on the other side of the disciplinary divide. 22 James Waller, Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing (2007); Harald Welzer, Täter: wie aus ganz normalen Menschen Massenmörder werden (Frankfurt am Main, 2005) and, to a lesser extent, Sönke Neitzel and Harald Welzer, Soldaten: On Fighting, Killing, and Dying (London, 2012). I am not persuaded that the tapped and boastful conversations between these personnel offer as robust a basis for social psychological analysis (Welzer’s contribution to the book) as the much broader fabric of sources and case studies in Täter. 23 On the Order Police, see the dependable, if diffident, monograph by Edward B. Westermann, Hitler’s Police Battalions: Enforcing Racial War in the East (Kansas, 2005). 24 Christopher R. Browning, Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (London, 2001 [1992]). 25 Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust (London, 1997). 26 Goldhagen, Executioners, p. 7. 27 Goldhagen, Executioners, p. 594, fn 38; p. 605, fn 53. 28 See Browning’s demolition of Goldhagen’s argument in Ordinary Men, pp. 193–212. 6 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence Goldhagen was clearly wrong about ‘the Germans’, but might his arguments still apply to the SS? Contrary to his historiographical caricatures, a number of impor- tant works had already flagged the importance of ideological and dispositional fac- tors. Tom Segev’s pioneering group biography of concentration camp commandants stressed their fervent commitment to the Nazi cause and gradual inurement to atroc- ity through a ‘process of inner hardening’.29 Segev emphasized the personal leader- ship of Theodor Eicke, Dachau’s second commandant and subsequently head of the camp network, as the driving force in the pre-war camps and father of the Dachau School. Most commandants had joined the National Socialist movement at a young age and Segev, an Israeli, encountered little contrition in his discussions with surviv- ing perpetrators and their families.30 Bernd Wegner’s monograph on the Waffen SS, published in 1983, also located ideology in the perpetrators’ foreground.31 One of these SS combat formations, the Death’s Head Division, was commanded by Eicke and formed around a core of sentries from the pre-war concentration camps. Wegner focused on the distinctive and unstable admixture of the modern and anti-modern in SS ideology. The SS man envisaged himself as a ‘political soldier’ primed to forge the Nazi new order with ruthless and steely ideological commitment: mere ‘banal’ obedience in his universe was inadequate.32 Charles Sydnor’s compelling monograph on the Death’s Head Division took a similar line.33 In Sydnor’s narrative the men of the division, much like the commandants investigated by Segev, were ideological warriors brutalized by service in the camps whose trail of racial murder throughout Europe is inexplicable in universal, situational terms. Historical research into concentration camp personnel has been rejuvenated in the last decade by Karin Orth’s study of its leadership corps. The book emerged under the auspices of a project on generation and ideology which has generated some outstanding scholarship on the SS.34 The 200 senior camp officials analysed by Orth saw themselves as heroic figures battling at an ‘inner front’.35 While their inner camp world reflected the group dynamics explored by universalist literature, Orth also contributes to the process of ideologizing the perpetrators. This was a group of lower-middle class men deeply imprinted with the social and economic crises of the Weimar Republic. They had committed early to the Nazi movement and their murderous tenure in the camps reflected political conviction as much as brutalization and environment.36 Four recent German monographs, building 29 Tom Segev, Soldiers of Evil: The Commandants of the Nazi Concentration Camps (Glasgow, 2000), p. 272. 30 Segev, Soldiers,, An Unconditional Generation: The Nazi Leadership of the Reich Security Main Office (Wisconsin, 2009). 35 Orth, Konzentrationslager SS, p. 11. 36 Orth, Konzentrationslager SS, p. 88–9. Introduction 7 on Orth’s work and taking different approaches, have explored the perpetrators of individual camps. Hans-Peter Klausch chronicles the commandants of the early SS camps in the Emsland in five richly detailed biographies.37 Although stronger on biographical minutiae than explanation, Klausch makes a convincing case for the centrality of visceral anticommunism, rather than Nazi eugenic and racial pre- cepts, to the self-understanding and motivation of these men.38 A biographical approach also guides Andrea Riedle’s immaculately researched monograph on the commandant staff personnel of Sachsenhausen. The great merit of the book is its rigorous and detailed quantitative analysis of their backgrounds as well as the pat- terns of promotion to the officer corps.39 Yet Riedle has little to say on the social and cultural factors shaping the collective ethos at Sachsenhausen. These aspects are explored in detail by Elissa Mailänder Koslov’s acclaimed study of the female guard personnel at Majdanek concentration camp.40 Drawing primarily on post- war judicial proceedings, Koslov focuses on the entwined contributions of gender, power, and performance to the terror in Majdanek. Women were not admitted as members to the masculine SS but many of Koslov’s subjects were not outshone in violence and terror by their male counterparts.41 Marc Buggeln’s equally impressive monograph on the wartime satellite camps of Neuengamme is also informed by a social and cultural methodology.42 Buggeln stresses the importance of universal- ist factors such as role and situation in the perpetrators’ propensity for violence. But, drawing on Pierre Bourdieu’s work, he also shows that role and situation are dynamic rather than static, constantly constructed and constituted by their protagonists.43 The present book also supports an ‘interactionist’ analysis, the proposition that culture, cognition, and situation interact in perpetrator behaviour.44 Like the monographs discussed above, it is somewhat constrained by the available source material. The concentration camp SS were careful to destroy most of their files towards the end of the war with the approach of the Allied armies.45 The Dachau SS seem to have been particularly diligent in this regard and very few commandant 37 Hans-Peter Klausch, Tätergeschichten: Die SS Kommandanten der frühen Konzentrationslager im Emsland (Bremen, 2005). 38 Klausch, Tätergeschichten, pp. 265–78. 39 Riedle, Angehörigen, pp. 67–129. 40 Elissa Mailänder Koslov, Gewalt im Dienstalltag: Die SS-Aufseherinnen des Konzentrations- und Vernichtungslagers Majdanek (Hamburg, 2009). 41 On female guards, see also the absorbing collection of essays edited by Simone Eberle. Simone Eberle (ed.), Im Gefolge der SS: Aufseherinnen des Frauen-KZ Ravensbrück (Berlin, 2007). 42 Marc Buggeln, Arbeit und Gewalt: Das Außenlagersystem des KZ Neuengamme (Göttingen, 2009). 43 Buggeln, Arbeit, pp. 19–21. 44 Interactionism is associated above all with the social psychologist Thomas Blass. See for example Thomas Blass, ‘Understanding Behavior in the Milgram Obedience Experiment: The Role of Personality, Situations, and their Interactions’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 60 (1991), pp. 398–413; Thomas Blass, ‘Psychological Perspectives on the Perpetrators of the Holocaust: The Role of Situational Pressures, Personal Dispositions, and their Interactions’, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Vol. 7, No. 1 (1993), pp. 30–50. See also the judicious comments in Robert J. Lifton, The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide (New York, 1986), p. 468. 45 Johannes Tuchel, Konzentrationslager: Organisationsgeschichte und Funktion der ‘Inspektion der Konzentrationslager 1934–1938 (Boppard, 1991), p. 27. Tuchel’s monograph offers an excellent organizational history of Eicke’s Concentration Camp Inspectorate. 8 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence staff circulars (Kommandanturbefehle), for example, a source compiled into an invaluable documentary collection for Auschwitz, survive from Dachau.46 ‘Ego documents’ by concentration camp personnel, such as Höβ’s memoirs, are also few and far between. Other sources, fortunately, are relatively abundant. Although the judicial testimony of former camp guards is frequently sullen and mendacious, it can sometimes prove very illuminating. For Dachau the historian has cause to thank the conspicuous purpose and tenacity of the post-war investigation led by the Munich coroner Dr Nikolaus Naaff. His team focused primarily on the early years of the camp, picking up documentary threads left by their thwarted judicial predecessors in 1934. This resource, comprising some 140 criminal investigations, has barely been used by historians.47 The US-led Dachau Trials, too, although restricted juridically to crimes committed against Allied personnel after 1941, gathered testimony from pre-war guards and inmates. Published prisoner memoirs from the period of the Dachau School are also plentiful as the majority of its inmates were political prisoners, the group most likely to record its experiences in the camp. To these can be added hundreds of unpublished testimonies held in the Dachau memorial site archive, the Munich Staatsarchiv, the Institute for Contemporary History, and the Wiener Library. The great majority were written shortly after the liberation of the camp and as such are less subject to the intrusion of extraneous and collective memory into the material. Of the memoirists who will accompany us throughout this book, special mention should be made of Paul Martin Neurath, Ludwig Schecher, Alfred Hübsch, Karl Röder, Hugo Burkhard, Hans Schwarz, and Alfred Laurence.48 Their unfailing acuity and stubborn humanity has made its writing a good deal easier. Another illuminating and largely untapped source are SS personnel records held in the former Berlin Document Center collection at the Bundesarchiv. SS person- nel files, although uneven in content, offer some intriguing case studies as well as the basis for quantitative analysis of guard personnel. The documentary record of the broader SS, including the evidence gathered for the Nuremberg Trials, is also extensive. One thing most historians and former prisoners agree on is that concentra- tion camp guards, contrary to popular assumptions, were seldom psychopaths: 46 Norbert Frei et al. (eds), Standort und Kommandanturbefehle des Konzentrationslagers Auschwitz 1940–1945 (Munich, 2000). Only for Stutthof are these orders available in comparable fullness. 47 A recent exception is Rolf Seubert’s combative essay on the early months in Dachau. Rolf Seubert, ‘“Mein lumpiges Vierteljahr Haft . . .” Alfred Anderschs KZ-Haft und die ersten Morde von Dachau: Versuch einer historiografischen Rekonstruktion’, in Jörg Dörig and Markus Joch (eds), Alfred Andersch ‘Revisited’: Werkbiographische Studien im Zeichen der Sebald-Debatte (Berlin, 2011), pp. 47–146. 48 Paul Martin Neurath, The Society of Terror: Inside the Dachau and Buchenwald Concentration Camps (Colorado, 2005); Dachau Gedenkstätte (DaA), A1603, Karl Ludwig Schecher, ‘Rückblick auf Dachau’; DaA, A1436, Alfred Hübsch, ‘Die Insel des Standrechts’; DaA, A1960 Hans Schwarz, ‘Wir Haben es nicht Gewusst. Erlebnisse, Erfahrung und Erkenntnisse aus dem Konzentrationslager Dachau’; Karl Röder, Nachtwache: 10 Jahre KZ Dachau und Flossenbürg (Wien, 1985); Hugo Burkhard, Tanz Mal Jude! Von Dachau bis Shanghai. Meine Erlebnisse in den Konzentrationslagern Dachau—Buchenwald—Getto Shanghai 1933–1948 (Nuremberg, 1967); DaA Alfred Laurence, ‘Dachau Overcome: The Story of a Concentration Camp Survivor’. Introduction 9 individuals with clinical, medical disorders. Psychopaths there doubtless were among these perpetrators but most memoir literature places them as a tiny minor- ity of the personnel, no more than 5 to 10 per cent.49 Individuals with clinical personality disorders are not easily deployed in military and paramilitary organi- zations, particularly in so confined an institution as a concentration camp. They do not follow routines or develop the requisite comradely values.50 Instead, vio- lent behaviours at Dachau were variously encouraged, instilled, and excavated from a heterogeneous body of mostly very young males. As Neurath puts it, the ‘conditions under which these SS men were trained made the system independ- ent of the available supply of psychopaths’.51 This dispiriting and disarming truth informs the book to follow. 49 See the insightful discussion in Tzvetan Todorov, Facing the Extremes: Moral Life in the Concentration Camps (1999), pp. 121–4. As Todorov observes, ‘we cannot understand the evils of the concentration camps in terms of abnormality unless we define abnormality, tautologically, as the behavior in question’. 50 Waller, Becoming Evil, pp. 73–5. 51 Neurath, Society, p. 71. 1 ‘We’ll Meet Again in Dachau’: The Early Dachau SS Erwin Kahn was certain there had been a mistake. A Jewish businessman from Munich, he was one of Dachau’s first prisoners, taken into protective custody on the street by an SA man a few days previously and brought to the new concentration camp via Stadelheim prison. On 23 March 1933 he wrote a letter to his wife, Evi.1 The camp was under the stewardship of the Bavarian State Police (Landespolizei) and he assured her she need not be unduly concerned; he was not a member of the German Communist Party (KPD) and was confident the misunderstanding would be cleared up when he was interrogated. The treatment and food were ‘very good’ and his cellmates ‘mostly good sorts’, some ‘very pleasant’. Kahn was curious to see ‘how long this business goes on’ but also bored of waiting around and anxious to get back to his work. He asked Evi to send cigarettes, matches, and a newspaper with her next letter, along with some thick socks as the floor of his cell was cold. One week later Kahn wrote to her again. He was now, to his relief, working for six hours every day in the camp and determined to ‘keep his chin up’. The detainees were now allowed to receive inspected parcels and he asked for toothpaste, butter, marmalade, Streichwurst (meat paste), plums, cake, hard-boiled eggs, and his pipe, the latter in view of rumours that the camp ban on smoking was to be lifted. His next letter, dated 5 April, remained guardedly optimistic that everything would be resolved as soon as the police got round to interrogating him. Evi’s letters were a consolation amidst uncertainty and ‘on the whole’, he concluded, ‘I can’t really complain’.2 Twelve days later Erwin Kahn was dead, shot five times at point-blank range in woods near the camp on the mendacious grounds that he had been ‘trying to escape’. He lay in Schwabing hospital for five days before succumbing to his wounds. Kahn was one of twelve protective custody prisoners murdered by the Dachau SS in just two months, under the very noses of the Bavarian State Police. 1 Following from Staatsarchiv Munich (SAM), Staatsanwaltschaft (StA) 34479/2, Beglaubigte Abschrift Briefe Erwin Kahn, 16 February 1953. These files very seldom have page numbers, compris- ing instead brief paper transcripts of interrogations filed in date order: accordingly date only will be cited throughout. 2 SAM, StA 34479/2, Beglaubigte Abschrift Briefe Erwin Kahn, 16 February 1953. The Early Dachau SS 11 At least ten more met violent deaths by the end of 1933, confirming Dachau as the most lethal and feared concentration camp in the nascent Third Reich.3 The SS, like the much larger SA, had been involved in the establishment of a still-unknown number of loci of extra-judicial confinement in the early weeks of the new regime.4 Here, foes of National Socialism were kidnapped, terrorized, and beaten up, as its paramilitary formations used the advent of the Hitler government to settle local scores. On 27 February the torching of the Reichstag by a Dutch anarchist was seized on by the Nazis and conservatives in the Cabinet as an opportunity to launch a long dreamed of, more systematic crackdown on the political Left. The following day the regime promulgated a Decree for the Protection of People and State, whose suspension of personal liberties became the foundation of protective custody and, indeed, ‘the constitutional charter of the Third Reich’.5 Concentration camps soon sprang up throughout Germany to detain tens of thousands of political opponents: real and, as with Erwin Kahn, wholly imagined. Kahn was an early and poignant adherent to the ‘fallacy of innocence’ among Nazism’s victims, one to be rehearsed untold times in the twelve years ahead.6 On one level he may have been the victim of mistaken identity; on another, as a Bavarian Jew, he was laden, as will be seen, with historical perfidy in the eyes of the Dachau concentration camp SS. Dachau, which lay 18 km to the north-west of Munich, was the most endur- ing and important of the early Nazi camps. It was the first state camp run solely by the SS, announced at a press conference by acting Munich Police President and Reichsführer of the SS Heinrich Himmler.7 It was a prototype for subsequent concentration camps, a national school of violence for camp personnel, and a lin- guistic shorthand for the nameless horrors waiting beyond barbed wire throughout the Third Reich. A cautionary verse was soon in popular circulation: Please oh Lord, make me dumb So I won’t to Dachau come.8 For Himmler and the SS, left largely empty handed in the wake of the ‘seizure of power’, Dachau was a laboratory of terror and an opportunity to prove its 3 Slightly different figures appear in the literature in Dachau, and reflect the difficulty in some cases of ascertaining whether an inmate died in the camp, or on transports to and from it. 4 Nikolaus Wachsmann, ‘The Dynamics of Destruction: The Development of the Concentration Camps, 1933–1945’, in Caplan and Wachsmann (eds), Concentration Camps in Nazi Germany: The New Histories (London and New York, 2010), pp. 18–20. 5 Ernst Fränkel, The Dual State: A Contribution to the Theory of Dictatorship (New York, 1941), p. 3. 6 George M. Kren and Leon Rappaport, The Holocaust and the Crisis of Human Behaviour (New York, 1980). As the authors argue, ‘[i]f individuals or groups cast in the role of victim are aware of being innocent—that is, that there is no rational basis for their status as victims—there follows an almost inevitable and fallacious conclusion. They can only assume that their oppression proceeds from a mistaken judgment or momentary lapse of rationality by their oppressor . . . It then follows that if this cause or fault in the oppressor can be understood (“Why do you mistake me for something I am not”?) it can be corrected, or at least moderated’ (p. 74). 7 For a taxonomy of the early camp types, see Tuchel, Konzentrationslager: Organisationsgeschichte und Funktion der ‘Inspektion der Konzentrationslager’ 1934–1938 (Boppard, 1991), pp. 38–44. 8 Sybille Steinbacher, Dachau—Die Stadt und das Konzentrationslager in der NS-Zeit (Frankfurt, 1993), p. 151. 12 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence credentials as the staunchest servant of the National Socialist state. The SS later went to considerable lengths to export what was known admiringly in its circles as the ‘Dachau spirit’ (Dachauer Geist) to other concentration camps.9 Alumni of the early Dachau SS—defined here as those stationed at the camp at the time of its final handover from the State Police on 30 May 1933—were to rise far and wide in the SS camp network. Among the rank-and-file personnel of the early Dachau SS were three future concentration camp commandants: Richard Baer (Auschwitz), Max Koegel (Ravensbrück, Majdanek, and Flossenbürg), and Martin Weiß (Neuengamme, Majdanek, and Dachau), as well as six future heads of pris- oner compounds (Lagerführer); Friedrich Ruppert (Dachau), Anton Thumann (Gross-Rosen and Neuengamme), Wolfgang Seuss (Natzweiler), and Franz Hössler, Vincenz Schöttl, and Johann Schwarzhuber (all Auschwitz). The remainder of the early Dachau SS were not to achieve such infamy, but comprised a professional corps of camp staff and aspirant political soldiers, many of whom exported tech- niques developed in Dachau throughout the Reich, and later occupied Europe. The provenance of these first Dachau guards has not hitherto been explored by historians, although it has sometimes been claimed that a particularly brutal local Dachau Sturm (platoon) had already made a name for itself in the street-fighting years of the late Weimar Republic.10 This is fiction; with just twenty members as late as 1932, Dachau’s local SS was tiny and even the local NSDAP was very much a fringe player before 1933.11 The source base for such matters is generally meagre as personnel files in Dachau and the Concentration Camp Inspectorate in Oranienburg were burned with the approach of the Allied armies in April 1945. Preserved in the records of the Bavarian State Police, however, is a largely intact list of the early Dachau SS personnel drawn up by the police as part of the handover documentation.12 These 192 names offer a robust sample of the 264 men guarding 1,763 prisoners at this point (see Figure 1.1).13 They were drawn almost entirely from Standarten of Group South of the Bavarian SS. A Standarte—the term derived from the Roman Standard, reflecting the influence of Italian fascism—denoted a paramilitary unit of up to 2,000 SS men linked to one of eighty regional headquar- ters.14 Of these 192 men, seventy-five were drawn from Standarte Munich, sixty from Standarte Augsburg, the populous industrial city to Dachau’s north-west, twenty-nine from Greater Munich, twenty-three from Landshut to the north-east, 9 Carina Baganz, ‘Dachau als Historischer Ort im System des Nationalsozialismus’, in Wolfgang Benz and Angelika Königseder (eds), Das Konzentrationslager Dachau: Geschichte und Wirkung Nationalsozialistischer Repression (Berlin, 2008), pp. 31–42; Orth, Konzentrationslager SS, pp. 127–52. For greater detail see Chapters 2 and 3 of the present book. 10 Shlomo Aronson, The Beginnings of the Gestapo System: The Bavarian Model in 1933 (Jerusalem, 1969), pp. 20–1; Martin Gilbert, The Holocaust: The Jewish Tragedy (London, 1987), pp. 32–3. 11 Steinbacher, Dachau, pp. 67–84. 12 DaA, A 4118, Übergabe-Prokoll, 30 May 1933. 13 Total SS and prisoner numbers from Klaus Drobisch and Günter Wieland, System der NS-Konzentrationslager 1933–1939 (Berlin, 1993), pp. 51–2. 14 Robert Koehl, The Black Corps: The Structure and Power Struggles of the Nazi SS (Winsconsin, 1983), p. 10. The Early Dachau SS 13 Figure 1.1 Early Dachau SS sentries, May 1933. Bundesarchiv, image 152-01-22. with a handful of representatives from Nuremberg, Kolberg, Linz, and Vienna. Their occupations as noted by the police are largely lower-middle class, with sixty traditional working-class roles in heavy industry and unskilled agriculture, and the remainder in food production, sales, engineering, and artisanal codes.15 Whilst the early SS was far from lacking in the rowdy, beery element associated with the more proletarian SA, a disciplined self-image and the occupational background of its personnel lent it a more bourgeois character.16 Even if some of the early Dachau SS overstated their jobs, or gave learned rather than actual occupations, this is a measure of their social aspiration. Their average age at the handover was 25.7. In contrast to the later, more youth- ful, profile of the SS in Dachau, these men are overwhelmingly within range of the ‘war youth’ generation of National Socialist perpetrators.17 This subcohort of 15 This accords with Detlef Mühlberger’s analysis of the rank-and-file Bavarian SS between 1929 and 1933, which identifies a ‘lower class’ percentile of 41 per cent (Mühlberger includes certain crafts in this figure), a middle class of 39 per cent, with the balance comprising students and well- heeled members: Detlev Mühlberger, Hitler’s Followers: Studies in the Sociology of the Nazi Movement (London, 1991), p. 188. 16 Mühlberger, Hitler’s Followers (London, 1991), pp. 162–80. 17 Aconceptualmodelofgenerationwasdevelopedinthe1920sbythesociologistKarlMannheim, at a time when a rich body of literature was asserting the existence of a German ‘Front Generation’ forged in the trenches of the First World War. Mannheim concluded that ‘individual members of a generation become conscious of their common situation and make this consciousness the basis of their group solidarity’ and it is the integrative dynamic of a perceived shared identity, as much as any experiential homogeneity, which guides the numerous books to emerge from Herbert’s ‘Ideology and 14 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence middle-class males, born between 1900 and 1910, was deeply marked by Germany’s experience between 1914 and 1933. Too young to have seen action in the First World War, they imbibed a rich German tradition of chauvinistic nationalism consolidated on the jingoistic home front, where school drills and a diet of menda- cious news reports depicted the trenches as a gallant, masculine adventure.18 For these children, Germany’s unexpected defeat, revolution, and the Bolshevik terror in Russia marked a definitive rupture in their socialization, soon compounded by political chaos, a humiliating peace, then hyperinflation and foreign occupation in the early 1920s.19 These attracted a significant number of future perpetrators to the radicalized student movement, exposure to völkisch racism, and ultimately the NSDAP in the final crisis of the Weimar Republic from 1929. While historians have focused on the SS intellectuals from this cohort who later staffed its various departments and think tanks, the ‘war youth’ Bavarians of the early Dachau SS were also enmeshed in this generational narrative. Indeed, the experi- ence of defeat and revolution had taken a particularly traumatic course in Bavaria. Munich, cradle of National Socialism, was the primary referent for its hardy myth of 1918, in which a German army poised for victory had been ‘stabbed in the back’ by foreign, revolutionary, and Jewish elements on the home front.20 It is worth recalling these events in some detail as their impact on the Bavarian political consciousness, as the historian Ian Kershaw writes, ‘would be hard to exaggerate’,21 and they would remain key points of reference in 1933, both inside and outside the camp. A BAVARIAN REVOLUTION Although Bavaria had been among the last and most reluctant states to join Bismarck’s Reich, it went to war in 1914—on the whole—in good spirits, buoyed Dictatorship’ project (books listed in introduction, footnote 32). An early reflection on the 1900–1910 generation was offered by Sebastian Haffner, Germany: Jekyll and Hyde. An Eyewitness Account of Nazi Germany (London, 2005 [1940]), pp. 49–64. More broadly on generation, see the excellent concep- tual evaluation by Ulrike Jureit and Michael Wildt (eds), Generationen: Zur Relevanz eines wissen- schaftlichen Grundbegriffs (Hamburg, 2005) and Mark Roseman, Generations in Conflict. Youth Revolt and Generation Formation in Germany 1770 to 1968 (Cambridge, 1995). For a critical reflection on generation, ideology, and dictatorship, see Bernd Weisbrod, ‘The Hidden Transcript: The Deformation of the Self in Germany’s Dictatorial Regimes’, German Historical Institute London Bulletin, Vol. 34, No. 2 (Nov., 2012), pp. 61–72. 18 Wildt, An Unconditional Generation: The Nazi Leadership of the Reich Security Main Office (Wisconsin, 2009), pp. 21–4. See also Haffner’s memoirs Defying Hitler: A Memoir (New York, 2002), pp. 14–18. 19 On the interplay between generation and rupture or ‘historical transition’, see also Mary Fulbrook, Dissonant Lives: Generations and Violence Through the German Dictatorships (Oxford, 2011). 20 See especially Tim Mason, ‘The Legacy of 1918 for National Socialism’, in Anthony Nicholls and Erich Matthias (eds), German Democracy and the Triumph of Hitler: Essays in Recent German History (London, 1971), pp. 215–39. A weighty monograph on the genesis of the stab in the back mythologies is Boris Barth, Dolchstoßlegenden und politischen Desintegration: Das Trauma der deutschen Niederlage im Ersten Weltkrieg 1914–1933 (Düsseldorf, 2003). 21 Ian Kershaw, Hitler. 1988–1936: Hubris (London, 1998), p. 114. On the brutalizing memory of the revolutionary interlude in Munich, see especially Martin Geyer, Verkehrte Welt: Revolution, Inflation, und Moderne. München 1914–1924 (Göttingen, 1998), pp. 278–318. The Early Dachau SS 15 by the prospect of annexations from a defeated France and Belgium.22 A photo- graph capturing jubilant scenes on Munich’s Odeonsplatz after the declaration of war on Russia later became famous when a euphoric, 25-year-old Adolf Hitler was identified in the crowd.23 Hitler was among 1.43 million men to serve in the Bavarian army, around 20 per cent of the state’s population.24 Mounting casualties in Flanders soon dented public enthusiasm and rekindled ancestral anti-Prussian sentiment and bitterness at Bavarian ‘cannon fodder for Berlin’.25 Each year the Bavarian army lost a third of its men through death, injury, or illness. By the end of the war it had suffered 345,000 wounded and 200,000 killed in action, with almost half the latter coming from the nineteen to twenty-four age group.26 On the home front spiralling inflation, acute food shortages caused by the Allied blockade, falling crop yields, and a command agricultural economy brought further disillu- sionment and widespread malnutrition.27 For the war youth generation, material want was compounded by the absence of male relatives and teachers at the front, each of which found expression in elevated delinquency, theft, and a good deal of bureaucratic hand-wringing about the ‘demoralization’ and ‘brutalization’ of young males at home.28 Perceived inequalities in the social distribution of priva- tion, as elsewhere in Germany, ratcheted up class tensions barely submerged by the ‘civil truce’ (Burgfrieden) of 1914.29 Munich soon became the focus of politicized war weariness and discontent. Hitler returned on leave in 1916 to a Bavarian capital where, he recalled in Mein Kampf, the public mood was ‘much much worse’ even than in restive Berlin: ‘to be a slacker passed almost as a sign of higher wisdom, while loyal steadfastness was considered a symptom of inner weakness and narrow-mindedness’.30 Behind this, of course, he detected the machinations of Jews seeking to camouflage their parasitic and revolutionary activities with anti-Prussian propaganda. As so often in his autobiography, Hitler was claiming a prescience in reality born of the German 22 Geyer, Verkehrte Welt, pp. 28–9; MacGregor Knox, To The Threshold of Power, 1922/33: Origins and Dynamics of the Fascist and National Socialist Dictatorships (Cambridge, 2007), pp. 148–50; Robert S. Garnett, Lion, Eagle, and Swastika: Bavarian Monarchism in Weimar Germany, 1918–1933 (New York and London, 1991), p. 21. 23 Kershaw, Hitler, 1889–1936, p. 89. 24 Benjamin Ziemann, War Experiences in Rural Germany 1914–1923 (Oxford, 2007), p. 30. 25 Michaela Karl, Die Münchner Räterepublik: Porträts einer Revolution (Düsseldorf, 2008), p. 8. These complaints extended to widespread bitterness about the declining quality of beer, widely pinned on Berlin’s requisitioning of Bavarian hops. As Ernst Toller put it in his memoirs, ‘Just because the Prussian swine didn’t mind bad beer, the Bavarian also had to swallow dishwater’. Ernst Toller, Eine Jugend in Deutschland (Hamburg, 1963), p. 132. The food situation was in fact a good deal worse in northern Germany, particularly after 1916. 26 Ziemann, War Experiences, p. 32. 27 Geyer, Verkehrte Welt, pp. 40–7; Ziemann, War Experiences, pp. 166–73. 28 Richard Bessel, Germany after the First World War (Oxford, 1993), pp. 23–4, 239–52; Andrew Donson, Youth in the Fatherless Land: War Pedagogy, Nationalism and Authority in Germany 1914– 1918 (London, 2010). 29 David Clay Large, Where Ghosts Walked: Munich’s Road to the Third Reich (London & New York, 1997), pp. 57–65. A thematic analysis of rural unrest is offered by Robert Moeller, ‘Dimensions of Social Conflict in the Great War: The View from the German Countryside’, Central European History, Vol. 14 (1981), pp. 142–69. 30 Hitler, Mein Kampf, trans. Ralph Manheim (London, 1972 [1926]), p. 175. 16 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence Right’s subsequent ‘lessons’ of defeat. In January 1918 a wave of industrial strikes was organised in Munich by Kurt Eisner, stellar propagandist of the anti-war Independent German Social Democratic Party (USPD). Eisner, although born himself in Berlin, undoubtedly mobilized anti-Prussian sentiment in his agitation. He was also, as one historian puts it, ‘a caricaturist’s dream’.31 A bohemian Jewish journalist and theatre critic, Eisner was a denizen of arty Munich Schwabing: pale and balding with a luxurious beard, hat, and pince nez. Convicted of treason, he was imprisoned for nine months in Stadelheim prison before being released in a general amnesty in October. Eisner was to be at the forefront of the November revolution in Bavaria, a state previously noted for conservatism and stability but the only one in which the declaration of a republic preceded the German armistice, thus enabling the Right most fully to misrepresent cause for effect. In Munich, too, the revolutionary interval lasted the longest of all German cities, leaving a com- mensurate scar on the Bavarian political consciousness. Eisner, however, had minimal control over fast-moving events. The capitula- tion of Austria–Hungary on 3 November 1918 exposed Bavaria to the prospect of Entente invasion through Bohemia and the Tyrol, while a simultaneous American breakthrough at Verdun presaged the collapse of German resistance on the Western Front.32 The example of the German Baltic fleet, which mutinied at orders to engage the British in a final act of operatic defiance, proved instructive. Munich, like other German cities, was soon awash with rifles brought home or discarded by demobilized and, frequently, deserting soldiers.33 Revolutionary soldiers’ and workers’ councils on the Russian model filled the space vacated by a crumbling monarchy.34 From these Eisner secured authorization to proclaim a republican government, and led crowds in occupying barracks and military installations. His regime proved more radical than its Prussian counterpart, reflecting the relative weakness of moderate, and moderating, Social Democracy in Bavaria. It lost little time in alienating mainstream opinion. On 25 November 1918, Eisner published a collection of ‘Documents on the Origins of the War’, confidential papers from the Foreign Ministry highlighting Germany’s role in Austria–Hungary’s unyield- ing ultimatum to Serbia in 1914. Coming at a time when Allied deliberations over the peace treaty had barely begun, this was considered scandalously unpat- riotic and irresponsible even on the Left.35 For the German Right it was high treason and eloquent confirmation of treacherous socialist and Jewish attitudes to 31 Large, Where Ghosts Walked, p. 48. Another vivid portrait of Eisner is given in Richard M. Watt, The Kings Depart: The German Revolution and the Treaty of Versailles 1918–1919 (London, 1973 [1968]), pp. 312–30. A more conventional and detailed biography is offered by Bernhard Grau, Kurt Eisner 1867–1919 (Munich, 2001). 32 Alarm at this saw the best-equipped and most reliable Bavarian units in Munich deployed on the Tyrolean border immediately after the Habsburg collapse, greatly easing the revolutionaries’ takeover of the city in the following weeks: Garnett, Lion, p. 23. 33 Large, Where Ghosts Walked, pp. 241–2. 34 On the councils’ movement and (far from homogeneous) ideologies, see especially Eberhard Kolb, Die Arbeiterräte in der deutschen Innenpolitik 1918–1919 (Düsseldorf, 1962). 35 Allan Mitchell, Revolution in Bavaria 1918–1919: The Eisner Regime and the Soviet Republic (Princeton, 1965), p. 256. The Early Dachau SS 17 the war effort. Eisner’s nostra culpa contributed to his assassination by an aristo- cratic Munich student, Count Anton von Arco-Valley, on 21 February 1919. This proved the opening salvo in a bitter ‘mini-civil war’ and enduring brutalization of Bavarian politics.36 Mass protest demonstrations marked the funeral of the hith- erto unloved Eisner and weapons were distributed to the soldiers’ and workers’ councils. A would-be assassin from the latter stormed the Bavarian Landtag (state parliament) and shot the SPD leader Erhard Auer during his eulogy for Eisner, while another deputy and a porter were gunned down during his escape.37 After a chaotic struggle with a successor SPD government under the reformist Johannes Hoffmann, power in Munich passed briefly to a pseudo-soviet repub- lic dominated by another picturesque figure, the young Jewish playwright Ernst Toller. Toller had been radicalized by his spell on the Western Front with the Bavarian army and had played a leading role in the Munich munitions work- ers’ strike.38 Upon Eisner’s assassination he assumed reluctant leadership of the Bavarian USPD and of political radicalism in Munich. The latter was given a considerable fillip on 22 March with news that the Hungarian Communist Béla Kun—another Jewish revolutionary for reactionary discourses—had established a soviet regime in Budapest. Back in Munich, on 6 April, Toller joined a group of anarchists and eccentrics in the occupation of the iconic Wittelsbach Palace, where they declared a People’s Republic.39 The memory of Toller’s eclectic regime was to prove more significant than its material impact. Wholly lacking either Communist or popular backing, the ‘Schwabing Soviet’ managed nonetheless to alarm the Bavarian middle classes with wordy proclamations for socializing mines, banks and the press, and for the promulgation of world revolution in permanence.40 Dislodged in a bungled coup d’état sponsored by Hoffmann, it was succeeded instead by a Räterepublik (coun- cils’ republic) under Communist leadership. The prospect of a chain of revolu- tionary republics linking Munich, Vienna, and Budapest to Russia greatly excited the newly founded Communist International, and the expectation of proletarian victory in Germany saw it adopt German, rather than Russian, as its official lan- guage.41 Lenin, from Moscow, cabled the Räterepublik to urge the mass kidnap- ping of hostages from the bourgeoisie.42 The Munich police were disarmed and a Red Army of Communists, demobilized soldiers, and prisoners of war raised, equipped, and paid for in part through extortion and plundering of the city’s wealthier quarters. In poorer districts posters were put up inviting inhabitants to seize the flats of the well-to-do, while Räterepublik chief Eugene Leviné, a vet- eran of the 1905 revolution in Russia, contemplated starving bourgeois children 36 Kershaw, Hubris, p. 112. 37 Large, Where Ghosts Walked, pp. 91–2. 38 Toller, Jugend, pp. 59–95. 39 Toller, Jugend, pp. 146–7. 40 Mitchell, Revolution, pp. 307–12. For an effervescent account of the interdependence of politi- cal and cultural modernity in pre-revolutionary Schwabing, see Large, Where Ghosts Walked, pp. 3–42. 41 Eric Hobsbawm, Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century 1914–1991 (London, 1994), p. 376. 42 Knox, Threshold, pp. 244–5. 18 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence who otherwise would ‘grow into enemies of the proletariat’.43 Many of the sen- ior figures in this altogether more brutal regime were both Russian and Jewish. They were highly congenial to right-wing demonology, able to build here on the contemporary propaganda work of Hoffmann’s exiled administration in Bamberg. Hoffmann’s regime flooded Bavaria with leaflets condemning the ‘Russian terror’ in Munich and spread hysterical rumours through the conservative and observant countryside of murdered priests, plundered monasteries, and bloody requisition- ing on the Russian model.44 Contemporary events in Russia were indeed offering an object lesson in Bolshevism at civil war. Mass terror, hostage slaying, and con- centration camps were central to what was being billed there by November 1918 as the ‘extermination of the bourgeoisie as a class’.45 In Munich, a noisy community of refugees from the Bolshevik revolution, among them the future Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg, kept these developments firmly in the political consciousness. The town of Dachau itself entered national discourse as a site of civil war in mid-April 1919. The Hoffmann government attempted to crush the Räterepublik by force but its advance troops were routed at Dachau by an improvised Red Army under Toller’s command.46 Whilst this rare military victory for the Left was undoubtedly milked by the Munich regime for propaganda purposes, Dachau was a site of strategic importance. It contained both the functioning munitions fac- tory and a large paper mill used to print money to pay Räterepublik troops.47 The town was also located on the Munich–Ingolstadt rail link, a vital transport and supply artery for the increasingly besieged Bavarian capital. Several participants in what was soon elevated to ‘The Battle of Dachau’ asserted that workers—male and female—from the munitions factory intervened decisively on the side of the Red troops.48 For some two weeks the town was under martial law and played host to stirring scenes of proletarian victory, as worker soldiers supped at field kitchens and prepared to roll Hoffmann’s troops back over the Danube.49 Red soldiers freely bil- leted themselves in the prevailingly bourgeois local homes, insensitive to the fears of their owners for the family silver.50 Twice daily Dachau residents were treated to solemn parades in the market square advertising the resolve of the thousand-strong ‘Army Group Dachau’, which included a brigade of Russian prisoners of war.51 Military forms of locution were frowned upon as ‘Ludendorffism’ and a volunta- ristic take on following ‘orders’ saw the Red Guards pass the time in their quarters 43 Large, Where Ghosts Walked, pp. 114–16. 44 Hans Beyer, Von der Novemberrevolution zur Räterepublik in München (Berlin, 1957), p. 115; Toller, Jugend, pp. 182–3. 45 In Geoffrey Hosking, A History of the Soviet Union (London, 1990), p. 70. 46 Mitchell, Revolution, pp. 310–25; Toller, Jugend, pp. 103–7. 47 Robert G. L. Waite, Vanguard of Nazism: The Free Corps Movement in Postwar Germany, 1919– 1923 (Cambridge, MA, 1970), pp. 84–5. 48 Gerhard Schmolze (ed.), Revolution und Räterepublik in München 1918–1919 in Augenzeugenberichten (Munich, 1969), pp. 314–20; Toller, Jugend, pp. 175–6. 49 Schmolze, Revolution, p. 328; Heinrich Hillmayr, ‘Rätezeit und Rote Armee in Dachau’, Amperland, No. 3 (1960), pp. 74–80. 50 Erich Wollenberg, Als Rotarmist vor München (Hamburg, 1972), p. 41. 51 Wollenberg, Rotarmist, p. 42. The Early Dachau SS 19 and in local taverns. A 7.5-kilometre-wide front stretched to nearby Schleissheim, militarily crucial due to its airfield, and saw recurrent skirmishes with bands of counter-revolutionaries who offered no quarter to captured Red Army troops.52 The indignity of Dachau 1919 remained a wounding, mobilizing topos on the Bavarian Right. The rowdy behaviour of the Red Guards—from requisitioning food to fishing with hand grenades—was generally restrained by the standards of the time but this did not impede the gathering propaganda narrative.53 In the rec- ollection of a photographic compendium published by Nazi court photographer Heinrich Hoffmann, Dachau locals had ‘suffered greatly from the drunkenness of the Red Guards’ and ‘breathed a sigh of relief’ when liberated from their ‘Red Terror’.54 This liberation, the compendium fails to mention, was accompanied by the murder of eight unarmed Red Guards and up to twenty medical orderlies.55 For by now the Bamberg regime had engaged the services of around 35,000 paramili- tary volunteer Freikorps troops, including a Bavarian contingent under the com- mand of Franz Ritter von Epp. Already a lionized figure in nationalist circles, von Epp had proven his aptitude for civilian butchery in the massacre of the Herero in German Southwest Africa during the ‘war’ of 1904–1907.56 Several Freikorps formations sported the Death’s Head (Totenkopf) insignia later adopted by the SS and after which its concentration camp guards would be named.57 A further provocation to such troops was the murder on 30 April by a marooned Red Army unit, probably in retaliation for the execution of the captured soldiers at Dachau, of ten affluent hostages, including six members of the völkisch Thule Society, in Munich’s Luitpold-Gymnasium. Many of the bodies were gruesomely mutilated, a crime which introduced the term Rotmord (Red murder) to Bavarian political discourse.58 Particularly heinous to the assembling forces of armed reaction, one of the victims was female and, indeed, a minor Bavarian countess.59 The bloody sacking of the Munich commune was overdetermined. On 4 May, Major Schulz of the Lützow Freikorps prepared his men with a motivational address whose refrain would resound once more fourteen years later: 52 Wollenberg, Rotarmist, pp. 110–36. 53 Hillmayr, ‘Rätezeit und Rote Armee in Dachau’, Amperland, No. 3 (1960), pp. 89–91. 54 Heinrich Hoffmann, Ein Jahr Bayrische Revolution im Bild (Munich, 1937), pp. 33–4. The first edition of the book sold out in late 1919. 55 Large, Where Ghosts Walked, pp. 118–20. 56 These Freikorps units comprised 19,000 Bavarians, 12,000 Prussians and other North Germans, and 3,000 Württemberger. See David Clay Large, ‘The Politics of Law and Order: A History of the Bavarian Einwohnerwehr, 1918–1921’, Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 70, No. 2 (1980), pp. 1–87, here p. 16. On the genocide of the Herero, see especially Gesine Krüger, Kriegsbewältigung und Geschichtsbewusstsein: Realität, Deutung und Verarbeitung des deutschen Kolonialkrieges in Namibia 1904 bis 1907 (Göttingen, 1999) and Isabella Hull, Absolute Destruction: Military Culture and Practices of War in Imperial Germany (Ithaca and London, 2005). 57 Beyer, Novemberrevolution, p. 133. 58 The ‘Red Terror’ in Munich is explored in loving detail by many Nazi-era publications. The most detailed are Rudolf Schricker, Rotmord über München (Berlin, 1934) and Adolf Ehrt/Hans Roden, Terror: Die Blutchronik des Marxismus in Deutschland (Berlin, 1934), pp. 10–29. 59 A fact recalled with particular outrage by one Dachau SS guard in his post-war judicial apo- logia: SAM, StA 34479/2, Vernehmungsniederschrift Hans Steinbrenner, 3 January 1953. On the 20 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence Gentlemen! Anyone who doesn’t now understand that there is a lot of hard work to be done here or whose conscience bothers him had better get out. It is a lot better to kill a few innocent people than to let one guilty person escape . . . You know how to handle it . . . shoot them and report that they attacked you or tried to escape.60 That very afternoon twelve Social Democratic workers were denounced in Perlach, brought to the Munich Hofbräuhaus, and summarily executed. Fifty three Russian prisoners of war were led to a quarry and massacred, while twenty-one Catholic workers assembled to discuss a theatre production were slain as ‘Communist terror- ists’.61 Tanks, aircraft, and heavy artillery were deployed against the Räterepublik’s disintegrating 20,000-strong Red Army. The aggregate death toll among soldiers and civilians is unclear and the Bavarian authorities’ figure of slightly over 600 was without doubt deeply conservative. It excluded, for example, the arbitrary mur- der of countless alleged ringleaders of the Left; many, on the pretext suggested by Major Schulz and later institutionalized in the Nazi concentration camps, that they had tried to escape. ‘We even shoot the wounded’, one Freikorps volunteer wrote to his wife, ‘[a]ll who fall into our hands get the rifle butt and then are dispatched with a shot . . . We were much more humane against the French in the war’.62 The devastated city’s health authorities were unable to cope with the decaying corpses in the streets; the Freikorps simply piled them into unmarked shallow graves.63 With the military defeat of the Räterepublik Munich citizens who had cowered in their flats during the fighting emerged to denounce and round up Communists, and localized atrocities continued for weeks to come.64 Numerous Red Guards met terrible deaths in Stadelheim prison, whose gates, according to Toller, were adorned with a placard reading ‘Leberwurst from Spartacist blood made here. Reds executed free of charge’.65 The most odious violence in this brief civil war was perpetrated by the Right, but this was overlooked in Bavarian public memory of the Räterepublik.66 An association between communism and atrocity was seared into the political consciousness, nourishing a sense of legitimacy for the use of extreme counter-revolutionary violence against the Left in times of crisis. The range of future Nazi leaders present in Munich during the revolutionary interlude is striking and includes Hitler, Himmler, Rosenberg, Rudolf Heß, Ernst Röhm, Thule Society, which included a number of later prominent Nazis, see Hermann Gilbhard, Die Thule Gesellschaft: vom okkulten Mummenschanz zum Hakenkreuz (Munich, 1994) and, a good deal more succinct, Reginald H. Phelps, ‘“Before Hitler Came”: Thule Society and Germanen Ordnen’, Journal of Modern History, Vol. 35 (1963), pp. 245–61. 60 Cited in Waite, Vanguard, p. 89. 61 Detailed eyewitness accounts in Schmolze, Revolution, pp. 349–98; Mitchell, Revolution, pp. 299–311: as Kershaw points out, there are many discrepancies in the historical record concerning dates and casualties in this period: Kershaw, Hubris, p. 114, p. 640 fn 16. 62 In Scott Stephenson, The Final Battle: Soldiers of the Western Front and the German Revolution of 1918 (Cambridge, 2009), p. 312. 63 Waite, Vanguard, p. 90. 64 Large, Where Ghosts Walked, p. 121. 65 Ernst Toller, Briefe aus dem Gefängnis (Amsterdam, 1935), p. 27. 66 For an early, popular regional text, see Josef Karl Fischer, Die Schreckensherrschaft in München und Spartakus im bayerischen Oberland. Tagebuchblätter und Ereignisse aus der Zeit der ‘bayrischen Räterepublik’ und der Münchner Kommune im Frühjahr 1919 (Munich, 1919). See also the equally vehement Rudolph Kanzler, Bayerns Kampf gegen den Bolshevismus (Munich, 1931). The Early Dachau SS 21 Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Heinrich Müller, and Gregor and Otto Strasser. The narrative and topoi of Bavaria’s civil war would be exhumed by the Bavarian Right in 1933. Counter-revolution largely restored a traditional Bavarian conservatism founded on agrarian and Catholic interests, yet also brought a reactionary swing in politi- cal culture. In the early 1920s the state presented itself as a ‘nucleus of order’ (Ordnungszelle) and offered juridical sanctuary to nationalist plotters, terrorists, and assassins opposed to the ‘Marxist’ SPD regime in Berlin.67 The Bavarian judi- ciary approached the revolutionary period with a partisan fervour which ensured that, if anything, popular memory was polarized and radicalized. Leviné was tried for high treason in June 1919 and briskly condemned to death by firing squad, a sentence carried out two days later. Toller, facing the same charge, owed his more modest prison sentence of five years to an international campaign for clemency.68 Sixteen former Red Guards were tried for the Gymnasium hostage murders, six of whom were sentenced to death and seven to lifelong imprisonment. Sensationalist newspaper coverage of the trial surmised that the murderers had hacked off the deceased’s genitalia and thrown them into rubbish bins, and the connotations of Rotmord grew more lurid by the day.69 In all, over 2,200 defendants were sentenced for involvement in the Munich Räterepublik.70 In 1922 Felix Fechenbach, Eisner’s private secretary, was also belatedly tried for high treason for his role in the publi- cation of the foreign policy documents. The defendant, Jewish, was sentenced to eleven years’ imprisonment. Proceedings for excesses committed in the name of counter-revolution were equally partisan and only a handful of Freikorps personnel were brought before the courts. During the trial of Arco-Valley in 1920, the public prosecutor drew atten- tion to the assassin’s ‘glowing’ patriotic spirit and, to widespread jubilation, the mandatory death sentence was immediately commuted by the Bavarian Cabinet to a custodial term. Arco used the closing words afforded by a smitten court to confirm his love of Bavaria and monarch, and his hatred of Bolshevism and Jews.71 The poster boy of Bavarian reaction was released in 1924, having been little more inconvenienced by his time in Landsberg prison than was the man who moved into his vacated quarters, one Adolf Hitler. For the NSDAP was another ben- eficiary of the paranoidly anti-Marxist and anti-Republican climate of post-war 67 Anthony Nicholls, ‘Hitler and the Bavarian Background to National Socialism’, in Nicholls and Matthias, German Democracy the Triumph of Hitler: Essays in Recent German History, pp. 101– 4; detailed narrative account provided by Wilhelm Hoegner, Die verratene Republik: Geschichte der deutschen Gegenrevolution (Munich, 1979 [1958]), pp. 109–32. 68 Karl, Räterepublik, pp. 202–5; Richard Dove, He Was a German: A Biography of Ernst Toller (London, 1990), pp. 88–93. Toller only narrowly avoided being murdered by soldiers in Stadelheim Prison, the scene of many illicit executions in 1919 (and, again, in 1933/4). More broadly on the divisive commemoration of 1918–1919 in Munich, see Gavriel D. Rosenfeld, ‘Monuments and the Politics of Memory: Commemorating Kurt Eisner and the Bavarian Revolutions of 1918–1919 in Postwar Munich’, Central European History, Vol. 30, No. 2 (1997), pp. 221–51. 69 Large, Where Ghosts Walked, p. 119. 70 Beyer, Novemberrevolution, p. 137. 71 New York Times, 19 January 1920 [State Prosecutor: ‘If the whole of German youth were imbued with such a glowing enthusiasm we could face the future with confidence’]. 22 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence Munich. At the trial for the attempted Putsch of November 1923, an indulgent judiciary allowed Hitler to turn the court into a propaganda event and also passed up on the opportunity to deport him back to Austria under Protection of the Republic Act.72 The court held that these perpetrators, too, had been motivated by ‘pure patriotic spirit and the most noble will’, against which the deaths of four policemen in the episode was evidently of subordinate import.73 Nonetheless, for all its celebrity, during the remainder of the 1920s the NSDAP was to play a mar- ginal role in Bavarian high politics, as steady national economic and diplomatic progress chipped away at the market for extremist, violent politics of both Left and Right. The KPD likewise found itself a revolutionary body in a non-revolutionary situation, reduced to optimistic diagnoses of the imminent collapse of the capital- ist system under the pressure of its internal contradictions.74 SA AND SS The extreme Bavarian Left and Right remained, however, in a state of ‘latent’ civil war.75 It was in the nurturing environment of Bavaria that Nazi paramilitarism emerged and flourished before dispersing along with the NSDAP throughout Weimar Germany in the later 1920s. Nazi paramilitarism was a ‘synthesis of vio- lence and politics’ structured and organized on military lines.76 Its imagery and self-conception drew on the ideals of 1918/19 and a mythologized trench experi- ence: youthful vigour and commitment, masculine camaraderie, a rough primitiv- ism, and Manichaean thinking. The streets of Germany stood in for the fields of Flanders, with the steely but selfless patriotism of the Freikorps a discursive prece- dent.77 Politics in this environment was ‘increasingly viewed as a battle which must end in the enemy’s unconditional surrender’.78 The genesis of the SA lay back in the infancy of the Nazi Party, when strong- arm security squads were recruited to protect meetings and, increasingly, to dis- rupt those of rivals.79 In 1921 they were rebranded as the Sturmabteilung (Storm Division) and furnished with weapons and training by Röhm, a charismatic and well-connected member of the early Nazi Party and former adjutant of the Freikorps von Epp. The SA promoted and boosted the visibility of the NSDAP while keeping an independence from Hitler commensurate with his need not to become judicially accountable for its violence. Here lie the roots of the principle of 72 Kershaw, Hubris, pp. 215–17. 73 Evans, Coming, p. 196. 74 Eve Rosenhaft, Beating the Fascists? The German Communists and Political Violence 1929–1933 (Cambridge, 1983), pp. 70–81. 75 James M. Diehl, Paramilitary Politics in Weimar Germany (Bloomington and London, 1977), p. 137. 76 Knox, Threshold, p. 254 77 Diehl, Paramilitary Politics, p. 285. 78 George L. Mosse, Fallen Soldiers: Reshaping the Memory of the World Wars (Oxford, 1990), pp. 159–81. 79 Until very recently, the historiography of the SA has been far more impressive and analytical than that on the SS. The best of these are Conan Fischer, Stormtroopers: A Social, Economic and Ideological The Early Dachau SS 23 ‘working towards the Führer’ which would play such a fateful radicalizing role in the Nazi state.80 Much of its inspiration came from the Italian Blackshirts, fascist thugs loosely aligned to Mussolini who fought the Italian Left during his ascent to power in the early 1920s. The rationale of squadrismo and Nazi paramilitarism was identical; to provoke disorder and then stand as protector of order. Paramilitary armies were a potent means of exercising extra-Parliamentary pressure on the state and the SA sustained the NSDAP’s self-conception as a ‘movement’ rather than a ‘party’ complicit in the hated Weimar ‘system’.81 The debacle of the Munich Putsch, however, had shown that conspiratorial paramilitarism alone held little prospect for achieving power in Germany without the blessing of the police, army, and patrician elites. In Mein Kampf, composed during his confinement in Landsberg, Hitler now envisaged the role of the SA in more propagandistic terms: What we needed and still need were and are not a hundred or two hundred reckless conspirators, but a hundred thousand and a second hundred thousand fighters for our philosophy of life. We should not work in secret conventicles, but in mighty mass demonstrations, and it is not by the dagger and poison or pistol that the road can be cleared for the movement, but by the conquest of the streets. We must teach the Marxists that the future master of the streets is National Socialism, just as it will some day be master of the state.82 Hitler was being coy about the personalized violence of the SA, which remained endemic and meted out with knuckledusters, truncheons, and beer glasses as well as daggers and pistols, and played out in a seedy context of localized rivalries, extortion, and vendetta. Tension was immanent to the notion of the SA ‘political soldier’. While Hitler sought to accentuate the ‘political’ dimension, the ‘soldiers’ of the SA often had only the most fleeting familiarity with the NSDAP programme and electoral strategies. It was in the space ceded by this incompatibility that the SS emerged, and it would be the SS that resolved it forcibly with murder in the SA purge of 1934. If the emphasis in the SA was on provoking disorder, the SS sought to convey discipline and order. Its own roots stretched back to 1923 with the creation of a dedicated bodyguard unit for Hitler, the ‘staff guard’ (Stabswache), soon renamed the Adolf Hitler ‘assault troops’ (Stosstruppe).83 With the reconstitution of the Nazi movement after the Putsch in April 1925 it was rebranded once again, as the Schutzstaffel (Protection Squad). Little more initially than a devoted band of Analysis (London, 1983); Richard Bessel, Political Violence and the Rise of Nazism: The Storm Troopers in Eastern Germany 1925–1934 (Yale, 1984); and Peter Longerich, Die braunen Bataillone: Geschichte der SA (Munich, 1989). An outstanding work both on SA violence and its Italian inspiration is Sven Reichardt, Faschistische Kampfbünde: Gewalt und Gemeinschaft im italienischen Squadrismus und in der deutschen SA (Cologne, 2002). 80 Kershaw, Hubris, pp. 529–91. For an interesting account of the attendant Weimar judicial con- tortions, see Bejamin Carter Hett, Crossing Hitler: The Man Who Put the Nazis on the Witness Stand (Oxford, 2008), pp. 65–154. 81 The best overall account of the early SA is still Longerich, Geschichte der SA, pp. 9–52. 82 Hitler, Mein Kampf, p. 494. 83 Koehl, Black Corps, p. 18ff. 24 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence personal chauffeurs and dogsbodies, in 1926 it was entrusted with the hallowed and bloodied Nazi flag from the Putsch. The elite pretensions of the unit were clear from its name; in military parlance the term ‘squadron’ denoted specialized cavalry, motorized, and air units.84 ‘Elite’, of course, is a relative term. The most detailed analysis of officers from this ‘infancy period’ of the SS identifies a motley brigade of ill-educated, heavy-drinking, and maladjusted men with colourful criminal records.85 In September 1927 Himmler was appointed deputy SS commander and resolved to forge the SS into a racial aristocracy in line with his völkisch ‘blood and soil’ enthusiasms. The size of the task ahead is evident from his introductory guide- lines, which were concerned with remedying undignified scenes at the previous month’s Nuremberg Rally, where Lederhosen and multi-coloured sports attire had clashed with black SS caps and breeches.86 A minimum height criterion of 170 cm for entry into the SS was introduced in March 1928, although this was waived for candidates with experience at the front. The SS remained, numerically at least, a tiny formation united by a sense of ‘hard bitten vigour’ until Himmler’s promotion to commander, or Reichsführer, in January 1929.87 At this point SS legend held that membership had been just 280 men. The Bavarian Political Police, contrarily, put the total at over 1,200, with 154 in Munich alone.88 Nevertheless, expansion was certainly rapid under Himmler, with 15,000 members by the end of 1931 and 52,000 by the ‘seizure of power’.89 The basis for the expansion of the SS in these twilight years of the Weimar Republic was the SA Basic Order VII of 12 April 1929. This instructed local SA commanders to select five to ten men to form a Schutzstaffel to guard senior NSDAP speakers.90 Piecemeal emancipation from the SA began in 1930 when Hitler, against the wishes of the SA leadership, removed the latter’s control over SS promotions and recognized it as a discrete formation with a new, distinctive, black uniform. The latter was knowingly distant from the SA; an SS man sported a black cap, black tie, black breeches, and a black-bordered swastika armband. A black stripe two inches above the cuff contained the number of his SS Sturm in Arabic script.91 To promote the sense of a select, Himmler decreed that SS men should pay higher membership dues than the SA, and they were required to find the 40 Reichsmark for their black boots and uniforms themselves, substantially more expensive than SA kit. The SS also took a less understanding position on unemployed members lacking proper uniform than the SA.92 The Munich police 84 Koehl, Black Corps, p. 21. 85 Gunnar Charles Boehnert, ‘A Sociography of the SS Officer Corps 1925–1939’ (PhD Dissertation, University of London, 1977), pp. 48–57. 86 Koehl, Black Corps, p. 29. 87 Koehl, Black Corps, p. 30. 88 Michael H. Kater, ‘Zum gegenseitigen Verhältnis von SA und SS in der Sozialgeschichte des Nationalsozialismus von 1925 bis 1939’, Vierteljahrsschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte 62 (1975), p. 349. 89 Koehl, Black Corps, p. 53. The SA, in contrast, had 60,000 members in November 1930, 290,000 in January 1932, and around 450,000 by 30 January 1933. 90 Koehl, Black Corps, p. 33. 91 Heinz Höhne, The Order of the Death’s Head: The Story of Hitler’s SS (London, 1980), p. 58. 92 Kater, ‘Verhältnis’, pp. 360–1. The Early Dachau SS 25 noted the strict discipline expected of SS men, especially when it came to mat- ters of uniform and public conduct.93 In his early years as Reichsführer, Himmler apparently vetted membership applications personally, paying close attention to the accompanying photograph to exclude those he identified as bearing elements of ‘foreign blood’.94 After 1931, SS men were also required to secure permission from the organization to marry, a conscious imitation of the elitist principles of the Imperial army to be discussed in detail later on (Chapter 5). In the course of internal crises in the Nazi movement in Berlin during 1930 and 1931, the SS began to acquire its independent function as an internal police force. The eastern German SA commander Walther Stennes, an adherent of its quasi-socialist revolutionary wing, revolted against the strategy of gaining power by constitutional means.95 The SS later claimed that its steadfast opposition to these revolts had been recognized by Hitler’s fashioning of a new motto for them: ‘My honour means loyalty’ (Meine Ehre heißt Treue).96 Whatever the provenance of the aphorism, it was soon ubiquitous in the SS, emblazoned in Gothic script on stationery, signs, ceremonial daggers, and rings as well as in membership oaths, motivational exhortations, and, later, as a spurious defence strategy in post-war tri- als. Its adoption implicitly cast into question the ‘loyalty’ of the SA. Great efforts were made by the SS to market its separation from the unreliable brownshirts as the movement’s sentinel against ‘brown Bolshevism’.97 The SS man was supposed to keep a mysterious, Olympian distance from the SA: SS men and SS commanders are strictly forbidden to converse with SA men and commanders or with civilian members of the party other than as necessary for the purposes of duty. Should criticism be voiced in a small gathering, members of the SS will immediately and silently leave the room with the curt comment that the SS carries out Adolf Hitler’s orders.98 Himmler told his senior commanders that the SS did not expect to be liked so much as recognized by the Nazi leadership for singular loyalty and reliability.99 These self-conceptions did not make the SS popular with the mass of SA men who were, for example, liable to be frisked by the SS for firearms at Party meetings.100 The Munich police picked up on the rapidly deteriorating personal relations between the SA and SS even in 1930.101 SA commanders particularly resented the SS seeking to poach their men. This was, complained one, creating the impression that the SS is a privileged organisation and the SA a reposi- tory for second class elements. As soon as I develop men of a decent background and outlook along comes the SS and tries to lure them away.102 93 Bernard Bahro, Der SS-Sport: Organisation—Funktion—Bedeutung (Paderborn, 2013), pp. 51–4. 94 Longerich, Himmler, p. 126. 95 Kershaw, Hubris, pp. 347–50. 96 As Longerich points out, it is frequently difficult to penetrate beneath the self-regarding myths favoured by the SS in this period. Longerich, Himmler, p. 118. For detail, see also Bastian Hein, Elite für Volk und Führer: Die Allgemeine SS und ihre Mitglieder 1925–1945 (Munich, 2012), pp. 77–82. 97 Kater, ‘Verhältnis’, p. 348. 99 Longerich, Himmler, p. 124. 101 Bahro, Der SS-Sport, p. 57. 98 Höhne, Order, p. 69. 100 Koehl, Black Corps, p. 47. 102 In Kater, ‘Verhältnis’, pp. 363–4. 26 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence Resentful of SS arrogance, local SA commanders retorted by trying to restrict the SS to demeaning activities like leafleting, collecting donations, and canvassing for subscriptions to the Völkischer Beobachter.103 It was during these unglamorous years that the majority of the early Dachau SS volunteered to join the organization. Due to the patchy nature of early person- nel files, precise dates of joining are available for just forty.104 On average, these men signed up on 21 February 1932, giving around thirteen to fifteen months of service in the organization prior to their deployment to Dachau. The actual mean length of service was probably longer. Since detailed data on rank-and-file SS men is generally only available from marriage applications, a policy introduced at the end of 1931, the sample of forty is skewed towards younger men with equiva- lently shorter lengths of service. The years immediately prior to the ‘seizure’ of power have been described as the ‘formative period’ of the SS.105 The marriage regulations flagged an aspiration as a racial elite and the suppression of insurgent elements in the SA that of a Praetorian guard to Hitler. The absences of Himmler at the Reichstag in Berlin after the elections of September 1930 also ceded space to his principal subordinates in Munich, Reinhard Heydrich and Sepp Dietrich, to fine-tune the practicalities of the SS in Bavaria.106 From Heydrich emerged a distinctive, glacially ‘objective’ outlook and tenor, while Dietrich’s earthy charisma furnished the Bavarian SS with a more emotional, masculine allure. Judging from the better-documented early Dachau SS, motivations for joining the SS rather than SA could be idiosyncratic. Franz Hofmann worked in his father’s pub in Hof, a favoured hangout for local SS. When his brother Rudolf was expelled from the SS for financial irregularities, Hofmann joined the Bayreuth SS not least because he could wear Rudolf’s discarded uniform.107 Karl Stölzle switched from Fürstenfeldbrück SA to SS on the advice of a friend.108 Richard Baer recalled being transfixed by the ‘soldierly discipline’ exhibited on parade by the Weiden SS, and the fact that it was a small, elite formation of just a dozen men.109 He signed up alongside his friends Franz and Max Liebwein, both of whom also went on to become Dachau guards. Already a member of this small formation was the future Dachau comman- dant Martin Weiß. These young men met once per week, somewhat incongruously, in a church hall, to drill and play sports. Increasingly, at weekends, they stood on uniformed ‘speaker protection’ at public meetings where Nazi politicians and local leaders were speaking. These were often held in unsympathetic areas to ensure a charged atmosphere through the presence of local Communists.110 103 Reichardt, Faschistische Kampfbünde, p. 129. 104 Files for early SS members in the BDC collection are generally rarer than for their successors. 105 Boehnert, ‘Sociography’, pp. 29–30. 106 Koehl, Black Corps, pp. 44–5. Himmler remained a Reichstag Deputy until 1945 but invested little energy in the role and never got round to making his maiden speech. See Longerich, Himmler, p. 116. 107 SAM, StA 34590/1, Vernehmungsprotokoll Franz Hofmann, 22 April 1959. 108 SAM, StA 34462/1, Beschuldigtenvernehmung Karl Stözle, 7 December 1949. 109 Auschwitz Prozess (CD-Rom Fritz Bauer Institut, 2004), Staatsanwaltschaftliche Vernehmung des Angeklagten Richard Baer, 29 December 1960. 110 Reichardt, Kampfbünde, p. 100–10. The Early Dachau SS 27 This shared activity and comradeship were important horizontal binding mech- anisms in the Nazi paramilitary formations (see Chapter 5). Their contribution was accentuated by the other key shared attribute of the early Dachau SS: that they were unemployed or barely employed when deployed by their Bavarian Standarten to Dachau in spring 1933. Many early Nazi paramilitaries offered unemployment as their motive for volunteering for the movement. For such men, the dynamism and constant activism of the SA and SS offered a substitute for gainful employ- ment, a comradely recognition. In a society where status was strongly tied to job held, political violence displaced the emasculation of unemployment and helped to assuage self-respect.111 One careful analysis of the motivations of the SA, draw- ing mainly on contemporary statements to the American sociologist Theodore Abel, concludes that unemployment ‘seems to have provided the decisive impe- tus which led them into paramilitary politics and the SA’.112 Many activists seem to have believed that the advent of a Nazi government would bring them paid employment as officers and NCOs in an expanded military.113 In this unemployed milieu, the decision to join the SS rather than SA was significant. For the SS offered a far less developed welfare apparatus of hostels and soup kitchens than the SA; indeed, as has been seen, it was a considerable net drawer of scarce resources from members. Volunteering for the SS, then, implied a particularly strong invest- ment in the entangled mass of ideals and narratives which made up its ‘world view’ (Weltanschauung). The biggest events in the paramilitary calendar were propaganda spectacles. Here Nazi paramilitaries staged public processions, occupying public space to boost the visibility of the NSDAP and to provoke rival paramilitary formations in line with Goebbels’ maxim that ‘he who conquers the streets can also conquer the masses’.114 The space in question, usually a town or village, was occupied by the SA and SS for a few hours. They would hold parades, speeches, marches through the town cen- tre, and mawkish libations to the ‘fallen’ at war memorials, all intended to signify Nazism as heir to the spirit of the front soldier. There were sporting events, concerts by an SA orchestra, and torchlit evening parades.115 The musical litany came from the war and from traditional workers’ songs, whose lyrics were replaced with an aggressive nationalist message to provoke local socialists.116 The edges of the ubiq- uitous marching columns were manned by the so-called ‘padding’ (Watte), usually strong SA men in civilian attire or, increasingly, members of the SS. According to one participant’s memoir, these were ‘men of iron and steel, uniquely unflinching’ who watched out for trouble and were invariably first into combat.117 SS motorized formations also often accompanied smaller-scale SA demonstrations.118 While, in later years, the SS tended to exaggerate its contribution in the ‘time of struggle’ 111 Reichardt, Kampfbünde, p. 338. 112 Fischer, Stormtroopers, p. 83. 113 Fischer, Stormtroopers, p. 85. 114 In Reichardt, Kampfbünde, p. 140. 115 Reichardt, Kampfbünde, p. 104. See also William Sheridan Allen, The Nazi Seizure of Power: The Experience of a Single German Town (New York, 1973), pp. 89–93. 116 Reichardt, Kampfbünde, p. 119. 117 Reichardt, Kampfbünde, pp. 117–18; Longerich, Geschichte der SA, p. 118. 118 Koehl, Black Corps, p. 56. 28 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence (Kampfzeit), it does seem that it was often chosen for dangerous assignments and sustained a fatality rate 41 per cent higher than the SA, with an injury rate 66 per cent higher.119 As in the SA, rural Stürme had significantly fewer opportuni- ties for political altercation than those based in towns and cities.120 The incidence and intensity of violence and propaganda alike was closely bound to the fraught German electoral cycle, with local and above all Reichstag elections requiring heavy mobilization of paramilitaries for rallies and the disruption of those of opponents. It was in this environment that the men who later made up the early Dachau SS were acculturated into violence. Paramilitary street violence represented a ritu- alization of insoluble political conflict from the post-war era, of the enduring nar- rative of civil war.121 Whilst the SPD’s de facto paramilitary Reichsbanner and the monarchist war veterans’ Stahlhelm tended to become involved in ad hoc, localized confrontations, those of the Nazis and Communists were targeted and premedi- tated.122 The paramilitary Right favoured the use of truncheons (Gummiknüppel) to convey discipline and legitimacy as an agent of order against lawless, criminal- ized communism.123 National Socialist paramilitarism placed particular emphasis on framing its activities and identity in the imagery of soldiering. Police observers reported on amateurish ‘soldier games’ at weekends, involving field exercises and marches where participants sometimes got lost in forests and had to be rescued.124 As the historian Daniel Siemens notes, street-fighting itself was conducted in a vocabulary of military operations exciting to ‘war youth’ fantasies: ‘fanning out, advancing in skirmish lines, even the cordoning-off of entire towns’.125 Paramilitaries of all sides used the language of self-defence, of heroic courage and sacrifice in the face of perfidious attack.126 Street violence was fuelled by recipro- cal grievance and the thirst for revenge as much as linear, ideological motivations. Even before the onset of the Great Depression in 1929, the Reich Minister of the Interior fretted that ‘[h]ardly a day goes by in which somewhere in Germany, usu- ally in many places, political opponents are not shot at, beaten, or stabbed’.127 The ever-worsening economic crisis fuelled a perfect storm of paramilitary violence. In 1931, the Bavarian police recorded 509 large-scale armed altercations, 297 of which were attributed primarily to the Nazis. The total incidence of disturbances 119 Kater, ‘Verhältnis’, p. 347. 120 Hein, Elite, pp. 59–60. 121 Reichardt, Kampfbünde, p. 98. 122 Reichardt, Kampfbünde, p. 68. On the Reichsbanner, see Karl Rohe, Das Reichsbanner Schwarz Rot Gold: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte und Struktur der politischen Kampfverbände zur Zeit der Weimarer Republik (Düsseldorf, 1966) and Benjamin Ziemann, ‘Republikanische Kriegserinnerung in einer polarisierten Öffentlichkeit: Das Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold als Veteranenverband der sozialis- tischen Arbeiterschaft’, Historische Zeitschrift, Vol. 267, No. 2 (Oct., 1998), pp. 357–98. 123 Reichardt, Kampfbünde, p. 84. 124 Hein, Elite, p. 49. 125 Daniel Siemens, The Making of a Nazi Hero: The Murder and Myth of Horst Wessel (London, 2013), p. 67. 126 Ute Frevert, A Nation in Barracks: Modern Germany, Military Conscription and Civil Society (Oxford and New York, 2004), p. 246; Rosenhaft, Beating, pp. 128–45; on the Nazi use of martyrs and sacrifice, see Sabine Behrenbeck, Der Kult um die toten Helden: Nationalsozialistische Mythen, Riten und Symbole 1923 bis 1945 (Vierow bei Greifswald, 1996); for the KPD paramilitaries Kurt Schuster, Der Rote Frontkämpferbund 1924–1929 (Düsseldorf, 1975). 127 Diehl, Paramilitary Politics, p. 196. The Early Dachau SS 29 was undoubtedly far higher; the Augsburg police alone logged 440 demonstrations and fights during 1931 and 1932.128 Nationally, the Nazis claimed to have suffered 143 deaths and 18,500 wounded in street violence with the KPD between 1930 and 1932. The Communist Red Aid reported 171 fatalities between 1930 and mid-1932, and over 18,000 injuries in 1931 and 1932.129 Violent confrontations with Leftist paramilitaries gave a biographical character to the latent civil war, fostering the kinds of local feuds and grudges which were to be settled violently in the early months of the Nazi regime. Collective political violence helped to cement group cohesion and identity. It fostered group complicities, a routinization of vio- lence, codes of honour, and an esprit de corps drawing on narratives and legends of victories and heroes. In all of this the role of visible affiliation was key: it was indeed with ‘good reason’ that the authorities sought to contain political street violence in December 1931 by banning paramilitary uniforms.130 THE CIVIL WAR NARRATIVE The particular hatred and violence of the Nazi paramilitaries towards Communists in 1932 and early 1933, however, is not explicable solely in terms of local feuds and diametrically opposed ideologies. Its intensity also reflected anxiety; anxi- ety that the National Socialist tide was retreating, while the Communist move- ment was in headlong advance as it had seemed to be in 1918. The KPD was the largest Communist party outside the USSR. It was also a party of German youth, a demographic to which the Nazis liked to assert a proprietorial claim. A sense of vulnerability, of the possibility of sinking beneath the waves, haunted the National Socialist world view in a manner wholly absent from communism, whose doctrines of historical inevitability countenanced no defeat. By late 1932 the Nazi movement was visibly flagging. Morale reports from the SA complained of problems with recruitment, retention, and most especially finances.131 This crisis in the Nazi paramilitary movement predated, and complemented, the NSDAP’s well-documented reverse at the Reichstag elections of November 1932.132 The perception of a Nazi movement emasculated by internal crises and dwin- dling returns at the ballot box played a key role in the ensuing miscalculation by anti-democratic elites that they would be able to contain Hitler as Chancellor. So too did the argument that the Communist menace was growing and had to be 128 Michael Cramer-Fürtig and Bernhard Gotto (eds), ‘Machtergreifung’ in Augsburg: Anfänge der NS-Diktatur (Augsburg, 2008), pp. 292–8. 129 Rosenhaft, Beating, pp. 5–6. 130 Dirk Schumann, Political Violence in the Weimar Republic 1918–1933: Fight for the Streets and Fear of Civil War (New York and Oxford, 2009), p. 254. 131 Thomas D. Grant, Stormtroopers and Crisis in the Nazi Movement: Activism, Ideology and Dissolution (London and New York, 2004), pp. 107–47. 132 Of the many synoptic accounts of this period the most penetrating are Kershaw, Hubris, pp. 318–427 and Hans Mommsen, The Rise and Fall of Weimar Democracy, trans. Elborg Forster and Larry Eugene Jones (Chapel Hill, 1996). See too the classic ‘totalitarian’ analysis by Karl Dietrich Bracher, 30 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence crushed to avoid an outright civil war which the denuded Reichswehr would be unable to contain.133 The prospects for the new coalition government, however, were uncertain. Its predecessors had proven short-lived and futile, the commit- ment of President Hindenburg and the military was doubtful, the collective poten- tial of the Left to respond as it had in 1920 to forestall the Freikorps’ Kapp Putsch genuinely feared. These factors are obscured by the recent tendency to emphasize the consensual, populist dynamic of the nascent dictatorship, a narrative which leaves little scope for political instability, real or perceived.134 The Left insurrection, it transpired, was a paper tiger. Yet it was not merely an opportunistic construct and there is no doubt that it made many Germans indulgent to the exceptional measures taken by the new coalition.135 Nazi activists, schooled in a paranoid world view transfixed by the ‘lessons’ of 1918/19, subscribed to the narrative of civil war. Having spent the previous decade invoking the Communists as an apocalyptic menace to the German nation, many were nonplussed by the absence of concerted opposition to the new Hitler gov- ernment. For its part, convinced that the revolutionary hour had come, the KPD leadership openly urged local organizations not to provoke the regime into ban- ning it by acts of individual violence, in favour of an imminent ‘mass terror’ action through workers radicalized by the final unmasking of German capital.136 Neither of these totalitarian creeds had any truck with the vocabulary of moderation: each invoked and awaited the day of epochal reckoning. The historian Hans Mommsen offers a vivid account of the resultant atmos- phere of paranoia and tension in the regime’s handling of the Reichstag fire of 27 February 1933.137 In Berlin, vindication mixed with hysteria in the Nazi leader- ship’s response to news that the arsonist Marinus van der Lubbe had Communist ties. While Goebbels and Göring competed to forge the most lurid and diabolical plot, Hitler ranted to Gestapo chief Rudolf Diels that the fire was the signal for the Communists’ ‘loudly-heralded mass action’.138 As Mommsen shows, the Nazis’ overreaction to the fire—from issuing orders to secure key installations militarily Die Auflösung der Weimarer Republik: Eine Studie zum Problem des Machtverfalls in der Demokratie, 3rd Edition (Villingen, 1960 [1955]). 133 Kershaw, Hubris, pp. 416–27. The best account of the machinations of the patrician elites remains Henry Ashby Turner, Hitler’s Thirty Days to Power: January 1933 (London, 1996). On the Reichswehr’s position, see Michael Geyer, Aufrüstung oder Sicherheit: Die Reichswehr in der Krise der Machtpolitik 1924–1936 (Wiesbaden, 1980). 134 Evans, R. J., ‘Coercion and Consent in Nazi Germany’, Proceedings of the British Academy 151 (2007), pp. 53–81. 135 A fine recent monograph on this topic is Schumann, Political Violence. For a less balanced account presenting nonetheless a range of interesting primary material on narratives of civil war, see Dirk Blasius, Weimars Ende: Bürgerkrieg und Politik (Göttingen, 2005). 136 Rosenhaft, Beating, p. 81; Siegfried Bahne, ‘Die Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands’, in Erich Matthias and Rudolf Morsley (eds), Das Ende der Parteien 1933: Darstellungen und Dokumente (Düsseldorf, 1960), pp. 655–739, passim, here p. 690. See also the memoirs of Rudolf Diels, Lucifer ante Portas: Es spricht der erste Chef der Gestapo (Stuttgart, 1950), pp. 185–90. Diels’ memoirs are far from reliable but demonstrate, at the very least, the referents used to emplot the narrative of civil war. 137 Hans Mommsen, ‘The Reichstag Fire and its Political Consequences’, in Hajo Holborn (ed.), Republic to Reich: The Making of the Nazi Revolution (New York, 1973), pp. 129–222. 138 Mommsen, ‘The Reichstag Fire’, p. 167. The Early Dachau SS 31 through to instigating a public trial of KPD figures which was to prove highly embarrassing—suggests the sincerity of their paranoia.139 When Diels visited Göring in his offices, the new Prussian Minister of the Interior gave picturesque vent to characteristic Nazi revenge fantasies: In bloodthirsty outbursts he railed against the Commune. He offered visions of fight- ing at the barricades, bloodily suppressed uprisings, of fluttering flags and heroic deeds on the battlefield. He wanted war. He believed that the communist ‘foe’ would soon reveal himself. Every report suggesting the Communists were preparing to launch civil war fired his excitement.140 Whilst it is impossible to disentangle the respective contributions of cynicism and paranoid excitement in Göring’s rant, his complacent performance at the Reichstag Fire trial indicates that the Nazis had indeed worked themselves into a genuine and self-righteous paranoia by spring 1933.141 The German police, with an extensive history of armed altercation with the KPD, had done much to fan it. Although not yet officially ‘coordinated’, the police had a vested interest in advertising the scale of the Communist threat and, in turn, the decisive importance of their work. In Diels’ recollection, the torching of the Reichstag had ‘fitted’ rather than created the atmos- phere of early 1933.142 National Socialist activists were depicted as the primary target for the Red counter-strike (Gegenschlag). The murder by Communists of the young stormtrooper Hans Maikowski on 31 January 1933, was pumped up by what one diarist dubbed ‘carcass propaganda’ into an exemplar of this annihilatory intent, with the SA man accorded the first state funeral of the National Socialist regime, broadcast live on national radio from Berlin Cathedral.143 A memorandum by the Nazi Minister of the Interior, Wilhelm Frick, to all German states announced that a nationwide plot had been uncovered in Berlin in which SA and SS men were to ‘ruthlessly neutralized’ by armed groups of Communists.144 Another, summarizing 139 Mommsen, ‘The Reichstag Fire’, pp. 70–2. The question of the authorship of the Reichstag Fire continues to stimulate debate. The initial consensus, based largely on the principle of cui bono, held that the Nazis had burned the Reichstag down to provide the pretext for enacting extant plans to destroy the organized Left. Reviewing the evidence in the 1960s Mommsen presented a now widely accepted case that van der Lubbe was, after all, a ‘lone shooter’. Although by no means uncontested (see for example Klaus Fischer, Nazi Germany: A New History (London, 1995), p. 252) the interpreta- tion that the Nazis were indeed surprised (although not unpleasantly so) remains dominant and the most persuasive. As Mommsen notes, for propaganda purposes it would have sufficed for the Nazis to declare that German Communists had assisted van der Lubbe ‘behind the scenes’: instead they pressed ahead with a trial to determine that he had on-site accomplices, in line with the initial conclusion drawn by Goering and Reichstag officials at the scene that the other arsonists had escaped down a tun- nel housing the Reichstag water pipes. This was a conclusion echoed in the initial police investigation of the incident, who seem likewise to have sincerely believed in a communist conspiracy and ‘signal’: Mommsen, ‘Reichstag Fire’, pp. 137–41. 140 Diels, Lucifer, p. 176. 141 Mommsen, ‘Reichstag Fire’, pp. 90–1. 142 Diels, Lucifer, pp. 171–93; quote p. 191. Writing in 1950, Diels compared the anti-Com- munist paranoia of 1933 to contemporary McCathyism in the USA, a nation obsessed and men- aced by a comparatively meek Communist party. Although patently self-serving, the comparison is not necessarily invalid. 143 Count Harry Kessler, The Diaries of a Cosmopolitan, 1918–1937 (London, 2000 [1971]), p. 444; Reichardt, Faschistische Kampfbünde, p. 494. 144 Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv (BayHStA), StK 6312, Reichsministerium des Innern an die Landesregierungen, 1 March 1933, s. 106. See also Mommsen, ‘Reichstag Fire’, pp. 175–7. 32 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence KPD activity in the winter of 1932–1933, warned that the party had vast stock- piles of arms secreted throughout the Reich and was in the final stages of prepara- tion for confronting the army and Nazi paramilitaries in an armed takeover on the Bolshevik model.145 In Bavaria such material was assured an indulgent hearing, for here too a com- paratively weak KPD was deemed menacing. Bavarian KPD membership quin- tupled between 1928 and 1932, and at the Reichstag election in November 1932 its poll reached 330,000: over 10 per cent of the popular vote.146 Communist support was overwhelmingly focused in the cities of Munich, Augsburg, and Nuremberg: headquarters of the Standarten from which the early Dachau SS came. The charged and expectant atmosphere in Berlin was replicated in Munich, with Bavarian points of reference. On 12 February, in a moment of sickening irony, Hans Beimler, Reichstag deputy and leader of the KPD’s South Bavarian district, ended a defiant and widely publicized speech to a rally at Munich’s Zirkus Krone by invoking the memory of 1919. ‘If they want war’, he intoned, ‘we are ready for them. We have the example of the Bavarian Räterepublik. We’ll meet again in Dachau!’147 On 9 March the national wave of ‘coordination’ reached Bavaria, the last-remaining German state with an independent federal govern- ment. SA and SS men mobbed the Marienplatz, singing the Horst Wessel song and hoisting the swastika flag on its famous town hall.148 Bavarian Prime Minister Heinrich Held was forced by Frick to resign. In his place an iconic civil warrior from 1919 re-entered the scene; for Ritter von Epp, hero of the Freikorps’ blood- bath in Munich, was now appointed Reich Commissioner for Bavaria. Having failed to capitalize on the interval between its de facto banning after the Reichstag fire and 9 March, the KPD contrived to be caught off guard by the ensuing perse- cution as leaders and functionaries were taken into protective custody throughout Bavaria.149 On 20 March the Left’s redemptive imagery of Dachau 1919, too, was assaulted, when Himmler announced the opening of the new concentration camp at a press conference.150 The Nazis finally caught up with Beimler on 9 April. In the police headquarters on the Ettstraße, triumphant SA and SS auxiliary police (Hilfspolizei) grasped the irony, whooping ‘We’ve got Beimler. “We’ll meet again in Dachau!” ’. Beimler, a veteran of the Baltic Fleet mutiny and the Räterepublik 145 BayHStA, StK 6312, Denkschrift über die kommunistische Wühlarbeit im Winter 1932/33, ss. 87–9. 146 Harmut Mehringer, ‘Die KPD in Bayern 1919–1945’, in Martin Broszat and Harmut Mehringer (eds), Bayern in der NS Zeit V. Die Parteien KPD, SPD, BVP in Verfolgung und Widerstand (Munich, 1983), pp. 27–33. 147 Heike Breitschneider, Der Widerstand gegen den Nationalsozialismus in München 1933 bis 1945 (Munich, 1968), p. 25; see also Centa Herker-Beimler, Erinnerung einer Münchner Antifaschistin (Augsburg, 1999), p. 15. 148 Emil Schuler, Die Bayerische Landespolizei 1919–1935 (Munich, 1964), p. 40. On the course of the Machtergreifung in Bavaria, a useful recent edited volume is Andreas Wirsching (ed.), Das Jahr 1933: Die nationalsozialistischen Machtoberung und die deutsche Gesellschaft (Göttingen, 2009). 149 Mehringer, ‘KPD’, pp. 70–5. 150 The press conference and opening of the camp was reported extensively (and excitedly) in the local papers on 21 March including the Münchner Neueste Nachrichten, Amper Bote, Dachauer Zeitung, Neue Augsburger Zeitung, and the Völkischer Beobachter. The Early Dachau SS 33 Red Army, was cast as the personification of Communist insurrection. One early Dachau SS man seems even to have believed that Beimler, rather than Toller, had led the victorious Red Army at Dachau in 1919.151 Beimler recalled his captors’ frustration that no extermination lists or maps of concealed weapons were hidden in his clothing.152 It was as members of the Bavarian auxiliary police that the early Dachau SS were first stationed in the camp. They would remain as such, on special assignment from SS Group South, until 9 March 1934 when they were formally recognized as a dis- crete formation.153 Service in the auxiliary police represents the final common stage in the collective pre-camp biography of the early Dachau SS. Auxiliary policemen were first levied by Göring in Prussia on 22 February 1933, conferring the power of the state onto Nazi and allied paramilitary formations to bear arms and hunt down activists of the Left. They were sworn in on a ratio of 5:3:1 from the SA, SS, and Stahlhelm respectively: a huge over-representation for the SS reflecting its self-conception as a disciplined and reliable agent of violence. The SS was primarily envisaged as back-up for the political police, the SA and Stahlhelm for the regular police.154 Auxiliary police were formed in Bavaria on 9 March when Himmler, hith- erto unrewarded by the seizure of power, was appointed acting Police President in Munich. He announced that all double police posts were to be augmented with an SA or SS man who was to be armed by the police with a pistol.155 Once again, the post-war revolutionary experience in Bavaria provided a legitimatory precedent. After the destruction of the Räterepublik, a civilian militia of some 400,000 men, the Civil Guard (Einwohnerwehr), was organized to protect the conservative resto- ration in Munich.156 It was formally dissolved, under Allied pressure, in June 1921 not having been called upon to suppress an embittered Left. For most Dachau SS auxiliary police, insofar as any testimony was taken, their experience was likewise uneventful. Baer reports signing up to the Weiden auxiliary police along with eight other SS men, where they were given white armbands and paced the streets in the company of regular policemen.157 Franz Hofmann patrolled the gasworks in Hof with a local constable.158 Heinrich Strauss and Max von Dall-Armi, more senior SS men, were stationed as sentries outside the Wittelsbach Palace, now the offices of the Nazi Bavarian Minister of the Interior Adolf Wagner.159 151 SAM, StA 34479/1, Erweiterer Lebenslauf des Hans Steinbrenner, 3 January 1953. 152 Hans Beimler, Four Weeks in the Hands of Hitler’s Hell Hounds (New York, 1933), pp. 11–12. 153 See Chapter 2 for more detail on this process. 154 Tuchel, Konzentrationslager, p. 74. 155 Cramer-Fürtig and Gotto, Machtergreifung, p. 307. 156 On the Einwohnerwehr, see David Clay Large, ‘The Politics of Law and Order’ and a well-researched doctoral thesis by Roy G. Koepp, ‘Conservative Radicals: The Einwohnerwehr, Bund Bayern und Reich, and the Limits of Paramilitary Politics in Bavaria, 1918–1928’ (PhD Dissertation, University of Nebraska, submitted 2010). A fascinating account of the expansive political ambitions of the Einwohnerwehr is provided by Diehl, Paramilitary Politics, pp. 55–67. 157 Auschwitz Prozess (CD-Rom) Staatsanwaltschaftliche Vernehmung des Angeklagten Richard Baer, 29 December 1960. 158 SAM, StA 34590, Vernehmungsprotokoll Franz Hofmann, 22 April 1959. 159 SAM, StA 34460, Beschuldigtenvernehmungsprotokoll Heinrich Strauss, 30 May 1950. 34 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence Yet all this was a heady improvement in status for hitherto unemployed young men, a taste of power which no doubt eased and shaped their deployment to Dachau in the ensuing weeks and months. Their post-war accounts of this process are studiedly vague, but the general pattern obtains that all were unemployed and sent, mostly in extant Stürme, to the camp. Strauss claimed to have been lured on the pretext of receiving advanced military training.160 Kurt Mayr recalled that twelve members of his Memmingen Sturm volunteered for what was billed as six weeks’ intensive police schooling in Munich.161 Anton Hoffmann claimed that all unemployed members of his Sturm were ‘assigned’ to duty at Dachau.162 Dall-Armi’s entire Sturm was transferred from guard duty at the Ministry of the Interior to Dachau.163 Some early Dachau SS men arrived together in omnibuses, others, like Paul Szustak, came on their own, at the recommendation of superiors.164 Most claim not to have known that they would be guarding protective custody prisoners, some never to have heard of Dachau. This is particularly dubious in view of the media commotion attending the opening of the camp, as well as Dachau’s symbolism in the Bavarian political consciousness. Many newspapers, inevitably, linked the two. The Dachauer Zeitung was not alone in delight- ing at the irony when it led, even before Beimler’s arrest, with an article entitled ‘We’ll meet again in Dachau!’. After reminding readers that Dachau was ‘the well-known base of the Red Guards in the calamitous year of 1919’, it crowed: [Beimler] was right—but in a completely different way . . . Dachau was once again to become the base for every Red cell bent on transforming our German Fatherland into a communist ‘paradise’. Now these gentlemen are indeed together again in scenic Dachau—in the concentration camp at the German Works site. But instead of ruling, they are to perform honest work. ‘We’ll meet again in Dachau’ . . . proving that world history is God’s court!165 There is nothing to suggest that Dachau’s place in Left mythology had any role in the decision to site Munich’s concentration camp there; the decisive factor was the vacant factory premises.166 But, as has been seen, the symbolism appealed to reactionary spirits. For a Nazi world view fuelled by vengeful narratives it was especially resonant. The remainder of this chapter will show that a narrative of civil war informed by the post-war violence in Munich provided the founding, legitimatory script of the early Dachau SS. A narrative in this context is a cognitive map, a means of locating and framing the present. The historian Saul Friedländer has argued that National Socialism was a creed structured to an unusual degree by such narratives, narratives of perdition and redemption.167 Mein Kampf, its guiding 160 SAM, StA 34460, Beschuldigtenvernehmungsprotokoll Heinrich Strauss, 30 May 1950. 161 SAM, StA 34465, Zeugenvernehmungsprotokoll Kurt Mayr, 20 January 1953. 162 SAM, StA 34461/3, Zeugenvernehmungsprotokoll Anton Hofmann, 12 January 1951. 163 SAM, StA 34461/3, Zeugenvernehmungsprotokoll Max v Dall-Armi, 12 January 1951. 164 SAM, StA 34491/1, Vernehmungsniederschrift Paul Szustak, 12 November 1952. 165 Dachauer Zeitung, 23 March 1933; Dachauer Volksblatt, 27 April 1933. Emphasis added. 166 Richardi, H. G., Schule der Gewalt: Das Konzentrationslager Dachau 1933–1934 (Munich, 1983), pp. 41–5. 167 Saul Friedländer, Nazi Germany and the Jews: Volume 1: The Years of Persecution, 1933–1939 (New York, 1997), pp. 73–112. The Early Dachau SS 35 ideological text, was after all less a policy document than a personal and genera- tional journey, at whose end lay either salvation or annihilation. To be sure, in time, these narratives would be draped in ‘objective’ and ‘scientific’ clothing, with the Schutzstaffel to the forefront of the exercise. But narratives they remained; bib- lical, almost, in their cycles of prelapsarian innocence, fall, and salvation. THE EARLY DACHAU SS LEADERSHIP Dachau’s first commandant was Oberführer Hilmar Wäckerle. Born in 1899 in Upper Franconia, Wäckerle was educated at the prestigious and profoundly con- servative officers’ school of the Bavarian Army and served on the Western Front in 1918. After demobilization, he studied agronomy at the Technical University in Munich and beheld the revolutionary interlude with bourgeois dismay.168 He soon joined the Freikorps Wilhelm, then the Freikorps Oberland, where he saw action in the crushing of the Munich Räterepublik. He was also involved in the Oberland’s campaigns of resistance and assassination in the Ruhr. Wäckerle was a very early member of the NSDAP. Having first joined in 1922 he held the Blood Order badge bestowed for membership prior to the Munich Putsch, an example of National Socialism’s solemn reverence for its own Bavarian past. Wäckerle was the founder of SS Standarte Augsburg’s Kempten Sturm and led street battles with the Bavarian Left, with scars to prove it.169 He came to Dachau as leader of the Kempten aux- iliary police and was probably appointed commandant as the highest-ranking SS man in the camp.170 He took a close interest in all KPD functionaries, and particu- larly in Beimler. According to one of his subordinates, Wäckerle had a collection of photographs of murdered hostages from the Luitpold-Gymnasium, with evidence of gruesome mutilation. Wäckerle averred that Beimler was responsible for the crime and announced that he intended to shoot him himself.171 For Wäckerle, it seems, a unilateral declaration of revolutionary martial law in the camp legitimated summary execution; this view was not shared, as will be seen, by the Munich judi- ciary. His ‘special regulations’ for Dachau included provisions for a ‘camp court’ empowered to sentence inmates to death, possibly inspired by the rolling courts martial (Feldgericht) used in the counter-revolutionary terror of 1919.172 Wäckerle told his men that they should act as his Cheka, the Soviet Union’s merciless secret police. Second in command was Robert Erspenmüller, the commander of the guard troops. Born in Nuremberg in 1903, Erspenmüller was another Blood Order 168 Segev, Soldiers, p. 87. For other aspects of Wäckerle’s tenure in Dachau, see Chapter 3. 169 SAM, StA 34462/4, Zeugenvernehmungsprotokoll Rudolf Wiblishauser, 9 February 1950. 170 Same conclusion drawn by Johannes Tuchel, ‘Die Kommandanten des Konzentrationslagers Dachau’, in Wolfgang Benz and Angelika Königseder (eds), Das Konzentrationslager Dachau: Geschichte und Wirkung nationalsozialistischer Repression (Berlin, 2008), pp. 329–349, here p. 332. 171 SAM, StA 34479/1, Vernehmungsniederschrift Hans Steinbrenner, 3 January 1953. 172 IMT, Vol. XXXVI, Dokument 922-D, Sonderbestimmungen, May 1933. On the Feldgerichte in Munich in May 1919 see Waite, Vanguard, 90–3. 36 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence bearer and fought alongside Wäckerle as a very youthful member of the Freikorps Oberland.173 The son of a civil servant, like Wäckerle his social and educational background were rather comfortable: as seen above, by no means a disadvantage in the SS. A member of the restricted German army until 1923, he then signed up with the Rosenheim State Police, a position he was obliged to forfeit in 1925 due to political activism for the NSDAP, the kind of early sacrifice for the ‘movement’ so cherished in the Third Reich. With this, Freikorps activity, and a low SS mem- bership number, Erspenmüller was everything that was prized in that organization. The one blemish on his CV was a minor corruption scandal in 1931, in which he was accused of pilfering from the proceeds of a fund-raising initiative and which led to a temporary expulsion from the SS. His subsequent reinstatement offered Himmler an interpersonal leverage characteristic of the Reichsführer’s strategy to keep subordinates personally dependent on his goodwill.174 The most feared and violent man in the early Dachau SS, however, arrived in the camp without rank. He was posted in its protective custody compound for just five months, but established a tone and modus operandi to SS–pris- oner relations which made him a negative legend for years to come. His biog- raphy offers a compelling case study of a Bavarian ‘war youth’ generation. Born in Frankfurt-am-Main in 1905, Hans Steinbrenner moved to Munich in 1910, where his father bought a gun shop. According to his own detailed account,175 the young Steinbrenner experienced the revolutionary regimes in Munich not merely as an appalled observer, but ‘personally’. His father’s business was plun- dered for arms by both the Eisner and Räte regimes and the premises ‘senselessly destroyed’. A brief moment of cheer came to the household with the ‘hero’ Arco’s assassination of Eisner. Steinbrenner, however, was gravely unwell at the time, suffering delirium and fever due to an abscess on his left leg. The store’s accounts and the key to its safe were secreted in his bandages. His father was taken hostage by Red Guards before being liberated by Freikorps troops. Hans Steinbrenner ‘never forgot’ the cacophony of artillery, machine gun, and rifle fire in his fevered state. After his convalescence, he and his father volunteered for the Civil Guard. Steinbrenner followed the brutal exploits of the Freikorps in the Baltic and the Ruhr reported in the press with excitement. He worked in his father’s shop, which became a talking house for counter-revolutionary notables; among the customers were von Epp and Röhm. Steinbrenner also recalled the excitement of the Putsch in 1923 and claimed to have been arrested and beaten by the police at a public demonstration in the same year. It is difficult not to question the teleology of Steinbrenner’s Bavarian odyssey; in particular, the topos of a fevered young man’s political awakening seems to owe something to Hitler’s Pasewalk nirvana in Mein Kampf.176 Its essentials nonetheless 173 BAB, BDC SSO Erspenmüller, Lebenslauf, n.d. A more detailed account of Erspenmüller’s tenure is contained in Chapter 2. 174 Longerich, Himmler, p. 153. 175 The following from SAM, StA 34479/1, Erweiterer Lebenslauf des Hans Steinbrenner, 3 January 1953. 176 Hitler, Mein Kampf, pp. 185–6. The Early Dachau SS 37 were repeated by his mother under questioning.177 Certainly Steinbrenner, through- out the 1920s, remained in the company of reactionary paramilitaries including the war veterans’ Stahlhelm and nascent SA and SS. Even these violent custom- ers, however, were not sufficient to keep the store afloat after his father’s death in 1929. In 1932 he was approached by the SS to train its men on the shop’s shoot- ing range, which evidently appealed to his frustrated ‘war youth’ militarism. In February 1933 he joined the 1st motorized Sturm of the Munich Standarte. After what he refers to as the ‘subversion in Bavaria’ on 9 March, Steinbrenner enlisted with the auxiliary police, where he paced Munich’s Holzstraße in the company of a regular policeman: ‘tedious and thankless’, he recalled.178 On the evening of 23 March Steinbrenner was on his way to clock-in as usual, when he was hailed by Erspenmüller, who informed him that all available members of Standarte Munich were required to embark on a grey omnibus. Wholly unprepared—Steinbrenner claimed to have had to return home in the early hours of the following morning to collect spare clothes and kit—and with no knowledge of their destination, the occupants were driven to the site of the new concentration camp at Dachau.179 On arrival, the early Dachau SS men received a motivational address from their aristocratic Standarte commander, Johann Erasmus Freiherr von Malsen-Ponickau. The Oberführer, himself a veteran of the Freikorps von Epp, used the imagery of civil war as he set out frankly the treatment the prisoners could expect: Now we’ve got the power. If these swine had taken over, they’d have made sure our heads rolled in the dust. So we too know no sentimentality. Any man in our ranks who can’t stand the sight of blood doesn’t belong here, he should get out.180 Steinbrenner’s conduct in Dachau was very much in this spirit; he later recalled that the speech had been ‘extremely important’ and made a great impression on the men.181 Naaff’s team gathered statements from 601 witnesses attesting to Steinbrenner’s five-month reign of arbitrary terror and relentless, hideous violence. Prisoner memoirs too uniformly refer to him as ‘the camp horror’, ‘murder-bren- ner’ (Mordbrenner), or simply ‘the sadist’. An entrepreneur and catalyst of vio- lence, we will never know entirely where Steinbrenner’s rage in Dachau came from: clearly, however, his biography, generational architecture, and sense of redemptive mission would be central to any explanation. Steinbrenner was the leading figure among a handful of early Dachau SS men selected for de facto NCO roles by Wäckerle and Erspenmüller. A key criterion seems to have been prior familiarity with weapons while the remaining SS men were drilled by the State Police. Accommodated in a single-story building just 177 SAM, StA 34462/4, Fortsetztes Zeugenvernehmungsprotokoll Henrietta Steinbrenner, 27 July 1950. 178 SAM, StA 34462/7, Beschuldigtenvernehmungsprotokoll Hans Steinbrenner, 13 June 1951. 179 SAM, StA 34479/1, Erweiterer Lebenslauf des Hans Steinbrenner, 3 January 1953. 180 In Sofsky, Order, pp. 2–3. The phraseology was recorded by Martin Grünwiedl, Dachauer Gefangene erzählen (Munich, 1934), p. 3. 181 SAM, StA 34462/7, Fortsetzung der Beschuldigtenvernehmung Hans Steinbrenner, 25 June 1951. On the importance of oratory in this milieu see Chapter 2. 38 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence outside the prisoner compound, they were the antecedent to the system of com- mandant’s staff fine-tuned by Wäckerle’s better-known successor Eicke. One of their functions was to carry out the so-called ‘welcome beating’ accorded to promi- nent newcomers. All prisoner memoirs note the SS feeding frenzy that attended the arrival of a fresh prisoner transport: ‘woe betide’, as one recalled, ‘the prisoner an SS man recognised from his home town’.182 This reflected the kinds of civil hatreds and feuds which had built up over previous years. Steinbrenner even sug- gested that his colleagues had shown commendable restraint under the circum- stances, since they could remember ‘only too well and painfully’ the injuries they had sustained from paramilitary formations of the Bavarian Left.183 The arrival of the more prominent foes was cabled in advance to the camp by Party Headquarters at Brown House on the Briennerstraße.184 A new transport in the early days was invariably greeted by Wäckerle and camp administrator Vogel; those prisoners flagged for ‘special treatment’ were separated from the group and led off to their fate in the Bunker, as the camp lockup was known. Like Wäckerle and Erspenmüller, Anton Vogel was a hardy and long-standing Nazi, having joined the party and SA in 1922. He appears to have taken part in the Munich Putsch.185 Born in 1893, the oldest of the group, Vogel actively solicited a role in the new camp; once there his priority seems to have been extracting infor- mation from the prisoners on plots and concealed weapons. One witness reports the revealing remark: ‘don’t believe you can lie to us, we too are old revolutionar- ies’.186 Another stalwart of the movement was Heinrich Strauss, supervisor of the notorious heavy roller work brigade for ‘Jews and bigshots’. Born in 1901, Strauss joined the NSDAP in 1921, the SA in 1923, and took part in the Putsch. He then became a member of the Stosstruppe Hitler, the forerunner to the SS, and about whose personnel and exploits Himmler expected SS men to be reverentially aware. Joseph Berchtold described Strauss as ‘one of my finest and most reliable men . . . a daredevil fighter who once saved my life’.187 Strauss was also a Bavarian civil warrior from the low-budget era, with a lengthy police and prison record for vio- lence, robbery, and gambling.188 His post-war interrogations teem with references to prisoners he had fought personally during Weimar and with whom he used his post in Dachau to settle old grudges.189 But despite a background impeccable by SS standards of the time, Strauss was overshadowed in Dachau by the ambitious Steinbrenner and left the camp amidst some rancour after just a month. 182 Fritz Ecker, ‘Die Hölle Dachau’, in Konzentrationslager: Ein Appell an der Gewissen der Welt (Karlsbad, 1934), p. 25. 183 DaA, 19.862, Hans Steinbrenner, ‘Hinter den Kulissen von Dachau’, 31 January 1962. 184 Richardi, Schule, p. 94. 185 SAM, StA 34420, Vernehmungsniederschift Anton Vogel, 31 January 1949. SS men frequently inflated their contribution to the Kampfzeit on their CVs during the Third Reich, but since Vogel also claimed to have participated in the Putsch in his post-war interrogations (where this might be construed as Nazi ardour) it is highly probable he was involved in some way. 186 SAM, StA 34420, Vernehmungsniederschrift Kasimir Dittenheber, 9 February 1949. 187 BAB, BDC SSO Strauss, Berchtold to Gauleitung Munich, 22 August 1933. 188 BAB, BDC SSO Strauss, Strafliste Munich 21 April 1937. 189 SAM, StA 34460, Beschuldigtenvernehmungsprotokoll Heinrich Strauss, 30 May 1950. The Early Dachau SS 39 Of similar hue and likewise brought into the inner fold were two restless demobilized soldiers of the SA genre, violent thrillseekers. Born in 1900, Johann Unterhuber, like Wäckerle, had featured briefly on the Western Front in 1918. Upon demobilization and return to Munich, he enlisted with the Freikorps von Epp and was involved in its bloody terror of April 1919.190 Seemingly unable to adjust to civilian life, he joined the French Foreign Legion in 1920 and served in Africa until 1926. In 1929 he found a new theatre of war by joining the Pasing SA, immersing himself in the street brawling culture of the times. Unterhuber was among the audience for Malsen-Ponickau’s speech, and he too claimed to have been hauled without warning into Erspenmüller’s grey omnibus. In addi- tion to eager participation in set-piece beatings and drunken night-time chicanery, Unterhuber honed his criminality in the Bunker. There he worked closely with Johannes Kantschuster. It is most regrettable that Kantschuster was never captured after the war, for his was the only conduct to approach Steinbrenner’s in infamy. Like Unterhuber, he was a rootless aspirant soldier and had also seen action with the French Foreign Legion. He joined the violent Pasing SA in 1928, transferring to its SS in 1932.191 Kantschuster came to Dachau in April 1933 and soon became notorious among the prisoners for wanton violence. He was the murderer of Alfred Strauss, a Munich lawyer ‘shot while trying to escape’ on 24 May 1933. He and Unterhuber were the only members of the inner group to survive the transition to Eicke and went on to develop the Bunker as a place of raw and personalized terror: in their own gruesome nod to the Bavarian past its resident attack dog was named Arco.192 Karl Ehmann was another, older, member of the group with a political sol- dier’s CV.193 Born in 1896, Ehmann served on the Eastern Front in the First World War. In 1923 he moved to Augsburg, married, and worked as an oil and fat salesman before losing his job with the crash in 1929. In 1928 he joined the Augsburg NSDAP and SS, and his activities there offer an insight into the grubby street wars of its Standarte which, as has been seen, provided a sizeable propor- tion of the early Dachau SS. Already notorious in the city for binge-drinking and wife-beating, Ehmann apparently had his motorbike emblazoned with a swastika and as a member of ‘Terror Group Augsburg’ devoted his time to violent alterca- tion with the local KPD, an idealism he was able to combine with an extensive range of gangster-like extortions.194 Ehmann’s repertoire of bar brawls and stab- bings took a fateful turn in August 1932. Drunk, he paid a post-pub visit to the home of local KPD functionary, Josef Goss, and fired shots through the bedroom window, seriously injuring Goss’ wife in the neck. Ehmann’s long-suffering wife denounced him and Augsburg KPD councillor StA 34462/4, Zeugenvernehmungsprotokoll Karl Ziegler, 20 March 1950. 40 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence his picture to local Party members. Unfortunately for Hausmann, the KPD seem not to have caught up with Ehmann, and when, as a Communist, he was taken into protective custody in Dachau, Ehmann was among his captors. On 17 May 1933, Ehmann led Hausmann out to the woods near the camp and shot him at point blank range ‘trying to escape’. He was later overheard boasting of the deed in an Augsburg pub.195 A final, and altogether different, member of the inner circle was Karl Wicklmayr. Wicklmayr, born in 1909, came to Nazism and the SS in 1931 via the students’ movement at Munich University where he was reading philosophy.196 A war of the totalitarian doctrines seems to have played out in his own mind: in the late 1920s he evinced a passionate commitment to Leninist communism and would harangue classmates on the need for ‘heads to roll’ to change the world. Then, influenced it seems by Nietzsche, he switched allegiance to the far Right and immersed himself in local beer hall politics. Prisoners are united in the judgement that Wicklmayr was an oddball (Sonderling). In the toxic environment of Dachau he became a murderer also; shooting Josef Goetz, KPD organizational leader for South Bavaria, in his cell on 8 May 1933.197 THE EARLY VIOLENCE IN DACHAU As this brief survey of its leadership corps makes clear, the early Dachau SS did not come to the concentration camp as the ‘ordinary’ men discussed by universalist perpetrator literature. They were deeply imprinted with a Bavarian narrative which embraced, and served to politicize, innumerable localized grievances and vendet- tas. It is not, perhaps, all that surprising that early concentration camp personnel felt empowered to murder under the rubric of revolutionary justice. For on 18 March, just a few days prior to the opening of Dachau, the SA perpetrators of a particularly brutal and notorious murder in the Upper Silesian village of Potempa had been pardoned in a national blaze of publicity. In common with many of the murders committed by the early Dachau SS, the Potempa murder had com- bined ideological enmity with squalid personal grievances; revolutionary patriot- ism disguised and indemnified base vendetta.198 The judicial value of human life, cheapened already by successive amnesties for political murder during the Weimar Republic, was drained further. A number of the deaths in early Dachau stood squarely in the tradition of Weimar political murder. Major Herbert Hunglinger of the SA and Sebastian Nefzger of the SS met horrific ends in the Bunker on suspicion of having betrayed the Nazi cause in Munich. Such killings had a rich heritage in right-wing German 195 SAM, StA 34462/4, Zeugenvernehmungsprotokoll Therese Kraft, 21 March 1950. 196 SAM, StA 34461/2, Zeugenvernehmungsprotokoll Otto Seemüller, 17 July 1950. 197 SAM, StA 34461/2, Zeugenvernehmungsprotokoll Otto Seemüller, 17 July 1950. 198 Richard Bessel, ‘The Potempa Murder’, Central European History, Vol. 10, No. 3 (Sep., 1977), pp. 241–54. The Early Dachau SS 41 paramilitarism.199 Höß, to take a well-documented example, was imprisoned dur- ing the Weimar Republic for the slaying of a purported turncoat and embezzler in the Freikorps Rossbach. In May 1923, he and some comrades had dragged Walter Kadow into woods near Parchim in Mecklenburg, beaten him unconscious, cut his throat with a knife, and finally shot him twice.200 In his autobiography, Höß looked back on the incident with evident pride: The Freikorps and their successor organisations administered justice themselves, after the ancient German pattern of the Vehmgericht [secret court of honour, CD] of olden times. Treachery was punished with death, and there were many traitors so executed.201 Steeped in the mythology of the Freikorps, here too the early Dachau SS rehearsed their behaviour. Hunglinger was brought to Dachau in the same transport as Beimler along with six other SA men designated as traitors to the cause. The excite- ment among the SS at their arrival had been ‘electric’, Steinbrenner recalled.202 All the prisoners were severely beaten and the brown uniforms of the SA were soon in shreds.203 Hunglinger was afforded special treatment. After shrieks of ‘you traitor, you sow, you skunk’, the SS dragged him to arrest cell 1 of the Bunker. According to Beimler, Hunglinger confided to him that he had joined the NSDAP in 1920 and helped to run a school for Nazi leaders in Munich.204 When the Nazis gained control of the records of the Bavarian Political Police (BPP) in 1933, however, these revealed that he had been an informant. After several days and nights of tor- ture and violence, Hunglinger hanged himself in his cell. The fate of traitors from the hallowed ranks of the SS could be grimmer still. Nefzger, an amputee who had lost a leg in the First World War, endured a charac- teristic Feme execution. A salaried member on the staff of Standarte Munich, BPP records revealed that he, too, had been passing sensitive Standarte information onto both the police and his brother, a member of the KPD.205 Steinbrenner, who from his post-war prison cell took to sending helpful letters to Naaff on the crimes of the early Dachau SS, suggested that Gauleiter Wagner had played a role in arranging Nefzger’s murder.206 On 25 May two guards, Szustak and Walter Kaune, came to visit Nefzger in his cell. The details of the ensuing murder are not entirely clear, for the two displayed little comradeship in their post-war interrogations, accusing one another of sole perpetration. Undoubtedly, however, it was of a nature gro- tesque even by Dachau standards. According to Kaune, Szustak beckoned Nefzger, already savagely beaten, towards him.207 As Nefzger hopped forward, supporting himself with his hand on the wall, Szustak knocked him over, removed a length 199 On Feme murders in Bavaria, see the monograph by Ulrike Claudia Hofmann, ‘Verräter ver- fallen der Feme!’: Fememorde in Bayern in den zwanziger Jahren (Cologne, 2000), esp. pp. 50–171. 200 In Orth, Konzentrationslager SS, pp. 110–12. 201 Höß, Commandant, p. 43. 202 SAM, StA 34479/1, Erweiterer Lebenslauf des Hans Steinbrenner, 3 January 1953. 203 Hans Beimler, Four Weeks, p. 21. 204 Hans Beimler, Four Weeks, pp. 23–5. 205 SAM, StA 34479/2, Zeugenvernehmungsprotokoll Steinbrenner Hans, 9 December 1951. 206 SAM, StA 34479/2, Steinbrenner to Untersuchungsrichter, 14 February 1953. 207 SAM, StA 34479/2, Zeugenvernehmungsprotokoll Walter Kaune, 12 November 1952. 42 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence of cord from his pocket and wrapped it around his neck. Either Szustak or Kaune then slashed Nefzger’s left wrist three times with a table knife and, finally, hanged him via his prosthetic leg. The autopsy revealed the cuts had been bone deep, and it was unclear whether Nefzger had died from strangulation or bleeding.208 Violence and murder against internal traitors is a common mechanism of cohesion and radicalization in group dynamics. Carried out internally, the murder of pur- ported traitors highlights the value placed on loyalty in the collective, and signals the consequences of betrayal to the remainder. The same principle would operate during the ‘Night of the Long Knives’ in June 1934, when senior SA officers were executed by the SS in Dachau for their involvement in the supposed ‘Röhm con- spiracy’ (see Chapter 2). These murders both punished the internal dissidents and advertised the unflinching loyalty of the perpetrators on both an individual and collective level. The early violence in Dachau, then, was deeply inflected by its cultural and historical context. Each of the initial murders was premeditated and not, as such, a form of the everyday violence understood by universalist literature as a mani- festation, above all, of a toxic environment. The latter in these cases was permis- sive, rather than prescriptive. It is also striking, to say the least, that fourteen of the twenty-two murder victims in Dachau in 1933 were Jewish, whereas Jews comprised less than 10 per cent of the prisoners.209 Although not imprisoned qua Jews, being Jewish rendered Communist inmates highly vulnerable to lethal vio- lence in the camp in part because they were held to unify the lessons of 1918/19. Jewish Communist prisoners, in this sense, represented a validation of the Nazi world view. It was from this matrix of localized racism and vendetta, framed still in the imagery of civil war and revolutionary justice, that the very first and definitive murders by the early Dachau SS stemmed and a Rubicon was crossed. On 12 April, just two days after the SS takeover of the protective custody com- pound, Erwin Kahn and three other Jewish prisoners, Ernst Goldmann, Rudolf Benario, and Arthur Kahn, were shot in woods near the camp allegedly ‘trying to escape’. Vogel later testified that he was approached in the afternoon of 12 April by a group of four or five armed SS men bearing a slip of paper with the names of four inmates. He was told that these prisoners were to be assigned to ‘punishment labour’ (Strafarbeit).210 The prisoners were then set to work shovelling earth under the personal supervision of Steinbrenner, who led them back to the compound in the evening. The subsequent course of their murder is difficult to reconstruct due to the prevalence of hearsay and speculation in prisoner testimony, and evasion in that of former SS men. It seems that Steinbrenner handed the prisoners over to Erspenmüller and two comrades from his Munich Sturm, who led them out 208 DaA, 8.834, Lagerarzt to Amtsgericht, 27 May 1933. 209 DaA Häftlingsliste Statistiken. Todesfällen im KL Dachau 1933-17.02.1940; Richardi, Schule, p. 88. On Jewish prisoners in Dachau, see the comprehensive and definitive study by Kim Wünschmann, ‘Jewish Prisoners in Nazi Concentration Camps 1933–1939’ (PhD thesis, University of London, 2012), passim. 210 SAM, StA 34461/3, Zeugenvernehmungsprotokoll Anton Vogel, 12 January 1951. The Early Dachau SS 43 to the woods by the camp from whence up to twenty shots were soon heard.211 Erwin Kahn, nevertheless, survived and was taken to Schwabing hospital, where he told medical staff about the incident before succumbing to his wounds. One of the more perplexing and grotesque aspects to these murders is why the SS would attempt to murder a prisoner and then send him to a hospital for treatment, even though he was now a ‘bearer of secrets’ (Geheimnisträger) who had witnessed the premeditated slaughter of three fellow prisoners. The answer is contained in Naaff’s post-war interrogations of the State Police. Police Lieutenant Schuler, the ranking police trainer for the SS troops in Dachau, was shaving in his office when he heard pistol shots.212 He rushed out- side with his revolver in the direction of the nearby woods. There he encountered Erspenmüller who, in a military fashion he was not required to adopt to Schuler, announced that four prisoners had been ‘shot while trying to escape’. The scene was gruesome. Two prisoners lay motionless, while a third was seriously wounded, crying in agony and begging to be ‘finished off’. This Erspenmüller proposed to do until Schuler warned it would be murder. Schuler ran off to fetch the police doctor but another shot soon rang out and he returned to find this third man now dead, shot in the back. Further moaning then alerted Schuler to the fact that the fourth prisoner, lying deeper in the woods, had also survived. This man, too, Erspenmüller proposed to ‘finish off’, but Schuler’s ongoing presence prevented him on this occasion. Evi Kahn saw her husband once in Schwabing hospital before he died.213 His room was guarded by two SA men. He told her that on the evening of the shoot- ings, he had been gathering roofing paper with Benario, Goldman, and Arthur Kahn. An SS man approached him and Benario and asked whether the load was heavy. With a polite smile, Kahn replied that it was not. The SS man com- mented ‘we’ll soon wipe that filthy smile off your face’ before shooting Benario at point-blank range. Kahn, who had covered his face with his hands in horror, remembered nothing else before falling unconscious. He had been shot twice in the head. Kahn’s death in the hospital some days later is more than suspicious, for its staff initially believed he was recovering: one historian argues plausibly that he was murdered by the guards posted at his bedside to prevent him being interro- gated by the judiciary.214 The murder of these four Jewish prisoners was of incalculable importance to the institutional psychology at Dachau. A set-piece of centripetal group complicity, it was decisive in framing Dachau concentration camp as a ‘murder camp’, as the title of Beimler’s memoir put it.215 Yet the immediate, biographical, motivation for 211 Richardi, Schule, pp. 88–90. 212 SAM, StA 34465, Zeugenvernehmungsprotokoll Schuler Emil, 29 March 1951. 213 SAM, StA 34465, Aussage Euphrosina Ehlers, 4 February 1953. 214 Seubert, R., ‘“Mein lumpiges Vierteljahr Haft . . .” Alfred Anderschs KZ-Haft und die ersten Morde von Dachau: Versuch einer historiografischen Rekonstruktion’, in Jörg Dörig and Markus Joch (eds), Alfred Andersch ‘Revisited’: Werkbiographische Studien im Zeichen der Sebald-Debatte (Berlin, 2011), pp. 47–146, here, pp. 91–2. The official cause of death was meningitis. 215 Hans Beimler, Four Weeks. 44 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence the murders remains unclear. None of the four men were headline Communists like Beimler, although Benario and Goldman were members of the KPD.216 Their racial status undoubtedly inflated their resonance as enemies of Nazism at a time when antisemitic passions were running particularly high in the movement after the economic boycott earlier in the month.217 Lieutenant Schuler recalled that Wäckerle had been particularly jumpy on the day of these murders, and specu- lated that ‘in his rage and fear of a communist revolt’ he had ordered the murder of the four Jewish activists.218 The timing of the murders, the day after the SS had taken control of the protective custody compound, suggests that the intent was exemplary, an opportunity to demonstrate the sincerity of the declaration of martial law in the camp.219 It would not, of course, have been a great surprise to activists of the Left that Nazi paramilitaries would resort to murder; the precedents of 1919 and the violence towards the end of the Weimar Republic were eloquent enough. But in street brawls and assassinations there had always been at least an occasion, a suggestion of proportionality, absent in these four murders. They also introduced the prisoners to the fictive official explanation which would be given for their deaths and become an internal camp SS euphemism—‘trying to escape’. Vogel apparently lectured the inmates that the alleged attempted escapes merely confirmed the cowardice of the leaders of the labour movement, so many of whom had already fled Germany.220 Steinbrenner later wrote that Erspenmüller had previously bragged about an imminent ‘trial of strength’ (Machtprobe) for the SS.221 If true, it seems likely that the guard troop commander had the Bavarian police, as much as the prisoners, in mind. The scene in the woods brings the relationship between the SS and the police into stark focus. It is worth reiterating that Kahn was one of twelve prisoners murdered before the camp was handed over fully to the SS on 30 May 1933. To what extent were the State Police complicit in this criminality? The post-war testi- mony of police personnel is unanimous in averring that they treated the prisoners with courtesy, as equals, and sought to protect them from the predations of the SS.222 Many prisoner memoirs concur: others, however, contend that some police- men partook in beatings and chicanery.223 Relations between Communists and the Weimar police had been dire: unlike the Nazis, who postured as agents of order, Communist paramilitaries were often involved in violent altercation with the police. Nor is there any doubt that the Bavarian State Police, brought into being during the post-war revolutionary firmament, were fully paid-up members of the 216 Excellent biographies of these men provided by Seubert, ‘Vierteljahr Haft’, pp. 81–92. 217 Wünschmann, ‘Jewish Prisoners’, pp. 79–81. 218 SAM, StA 34465, Zeugenvernehmungsprotokoll Schuler Emil, 29 March 1951. 219 Erklärung Kasimir Dittenheber, Munich 1 November 1947, cited in Seubert, ‘Vierteljahr Haft’, p. 103. 220 Grünwiedl, Dachauer Gefangene erzählen, pp. 5–6. 221 DaA 19.862, Hans Steinbrenner, Hinter den Kulissen von Dachau, s. 2. 222 SAM, StA 34465, passim. See also Richardi, Schule, pp. 48–57. 223 Nazi-Bastille Dachau: Schicksal und Heldentum deutscher Freiheitskämpfer (Paris, 1938), pp. 24–8; SAM, StA 34461/3, Vernehmung Oberbürgermeister Michael Poeschke, 23 July 1948; SAM, StA 34462/7, Zeugenvernehmungsprotokoll Josef Gabriel Weilheim, 19 July 1951. The Early Dachau SS 45 great antisocialist consensus in Bavaria. Decades later, Schuler himself penned a potted history of the organization making clear that it saw itself very much as the successor to the forces of counter-revolution in 1919: Civil war raged in Munich until the ‘Freikorps’ Epp and other formations moved in on the city and restored orderly relations . . . These units, who were able to quell the chaos reigning in Germany were not, however, suitable to guarantee peace and order throughout the land on a permanent basis . . . Thus did the governments in the indi- vidual states turn their minds to the creation of an organisation able permanently to preserve peace and order.224 The very insignia of the Bavarian State Police, a panther, symbolized this proactive, martial heritage. And unlike in Prussia, it had not been subject to the processes of purge and reform associated with extended state governance by the SPD: the Bavarian police were very much products of the ‘nucleus of order’.225 Many of its officers came from the army, another hotbed of reactionary and punitive opinion. It is also noteworthy how many future luminaries of the Bavarian SS have spells in the State Police on their CVs. They include Dietrich, Hermann Fegelein, Carl Demmelhuber (commander of SS Standarte ‘Germania’), and Dachau’s final com- mandant Eduard Weiter. The first two commanders of the Dachau guard units, Erspenmüller and Michael Lippert, were graduates of the Bavarian State Police. At least one police officer in early Dachau, Sebastian Wimmer, went on to become a commander in the Dachau guard formations, while Höß’s memoirs suggest there were others besides.226 Even the more critical prisoner testimony does not suggest that the behav- iour of the police in Dachau was comparable to the early Dachau SS. Yet their presence in the camp failed to hinder a developing murderous habitus at a time when the power of the SS was far from unbound. Indeed, Captain Winkler offered unflinching support to Ehmann in his deposition to the judiciary over Hausmann’s murder. Ehmann claimed that he had been minding Hausmann as he unearthed saplings near the camp when the prisoner suddenly bolted into the undergrowth.227 Numerous injunctions to return being unheeded, Ehmann continued, he had been forced to fire in Hausmann’s direction from a distance of ten to twelve metres. The post-mortem quickly ascertained that the shots had been fired from a distance of less than a foot. Yet Winkler commended the thuggish, boozy Ehmann as a ‘calm and sober man’ and declared himself ‘fully convinced of the truthfulness of Ehmann’s account’.228 This solidarity on the part of the ranking police officer in the camp borders, to say the least, on situative complicity. 224 Schuler, Landespolizei, p. 5. 225 The best general account of the Weimar Bavarian Police remains Johannes Schwarz, Die bayer- ische Polizei und ihre historische Funktion bei der Aufrechterhaltung der öffentlichen Sicherheit in Bayern von 1919 bis 1933 (Munich, 1977). 226 Höß, Commandant, p. 236. 227 IMT Prozesse gegen die Hauptverbrecher, Vol. XXVI, Document 641-PS, pp. 172–3. 228 DaA, 8.883, Zeugenvernehmung Hauptmann Winkler, 18 May 1933. 46 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence The State Police seem to have been less impressed with the early Dachau SS as a military phenomenon. Kasimir Dittenheber, one of the camp’s first prisoners, noted one policeman’s patronizing verdict on the SS trainees: asking with under- standable concern whether the rumours of a full handover to the SS were true, he was told that for all their swaggering talk in the camp canteen, the Dachau SS could ‘barely hold their guns’.229 The SS themselves appear to have been conscious of their limitations in the event of a Communist counter-strike. There are indica- tions of a defensive, even siege, mentality which seem inexplicable save in terms of an investment in the civil war narrative. Schuler, for example, testified that Wäckerle who was not a courageous man, lived in perpetual fear of an assault by communists and repeatedly came to me for advice as to what he should do in such an eventuality. After all, at this time my police trainers were the only line of defence, as the SS men did not yet know how to shoot.230 Prisons, as symbols of injustice and repression, had certainly been a historic focus of insurrection. In 1918, the historian Nikolaus Wachsmann notes, ‘German penal institutions were in the thick of the revolution’, as crowds led by armed soldiers sought to spring free political prisoners.231 Dachau concentration camp, soon known by exile groups as the ‘Nazi Bastille’, would have made a prime target. The local political topography would not have assuaged such concerns. Dachau had suffered severe economic contraction in the post-war era and by 1929 had the highest level of unemployment in Weimar Germany.232 The political beneficiaries were the SPD and, increasingly, KPD, both of whom developed a commensurate paramilitary presence.233 In the November 1932 Reichstag election the NSDAP polled just 12.4 per cent in Dachau compared to a Bavarian average of 30.5 per cent, whereas the KPD vote of 20.5 per cent was twice the state mean. The local middle classes remained staunchly loyal to the Catholic Bavarian People’s Party (BVP), with whom Nazi relations were largely rancorous and not improved by Frick’s forcible dissolution of Held’s venerable BVP state government. The early Dachau SS, then, was not in friendly territory. With this in mind, Wagner had ordered a round-up of seventy local Communists on the eve of the camp’s open- ing.234 Even the prisoners pinned some hope on a Communist uprising sponsored, perhaps, by the Soviet Union. As one memoirist recalls, ‘this help, it was said, was closer than you think’.235 Dachau’s first set of guard regulations seem to register such concerns. They include contingent defence plans for attacks from the woods to the north-west 229 DaA, Deutsche Häftling-Bericht: Kasimir Dittenheber, ‘Ich war Hitlers Gefangener’, p. 3. 230 SAM, StA 34465, Zeugenvernehmungsprotokoll Emil Schuler, 29 March 1951. 231 Nikolaus Wachsmann, Hitler’s Prisons: Legal Terror in Nazi Germany (New Haven, 2004), p. 36. 232 Steinbacher, Dachau, p. 227. 233 Steinbacher, Dachau, pp. 58–60. A speech by Rudolf Hess in the Hoerhammer pub was cut short in February 1933 in a rare moment of ‘iron front’ cooperation between Reichsbanner and Red Front paramilitaries. 234 Steinbacher, Dachau, p. 189. 235 Walter Hornung, Dachau: Eine Chronik (Zurich, 1936), p. 75. The Early Dachau SS 47 of the camp, or from the south-west where barracks inhabited by former muni- tions factory workers afforded cover. The early recognition of an assault is ranked first in the list of guards’ responsibilities.236 A reflection of, and contributor to, this apprehensive mentality was Beimler’s escape from the camp on 9 May, spar- ing himself certain death. He was able to unscrew the wooden board over his cell window and crawl through it, force a gap in the electrified barbed wire, and egress using the insulation provided by the board. He then crept undetected to the 2 m high perimeter wall of the camp and climbed out without being noticed by the SS sentries. Beimler’s escape was undoubtedly bold and ingenious, but greatly abetted by the fact that the camp’s defensive installations and, it would seem, perimeter guards, were mainly directed outwards: focused on deterrence rather than contain- ment. He never revealed its full details for fear of endangering his accomplices.237 The humiliation for the early Dachau SS was complete when Beimler, from the relative safety of the Soviet Union, published an international account of his nightmarish experience called Four Weeks in the Hands of Hitler’s Hell Hounds. Steinbrenner, catapulted to international infamy by the text, was shown a copy in 1951 by the Munich prosecutors. He remarked sniffily that it was ‘hateful and extremely tendentious’.238 Four Weeks was indeed conceived as Communist propaganda, but its atmospheric depiction of early Dachau, and of Steinbrenner in particular, is amply supported by other sources: this SS man merited his life imprisonment. The escape also furthered an increasingly unhinged turn in camp discourse. Steinbrenner recalled the wild imagery Wäckerle had invoked in order- ing him to murder KPD functionary Karl Lehrburger two weeks later: The day before Ascension in 1933 commandant Wäckerle gave me the order to shoot Lehrburger. He explained that Lehrburger was a Soviet agent, trained by the Cheka in bacterial warfare. It was assumed that a further agent was at large who would be tipped off were a trial held. In order not to alarm the local populace, the captured agent had to be shot immediately.239 This was good enough for Steinbrenner, who shot Lehrburger in his cell the fol- lowing day. The murderous conduct of the early Dachau SS, however, had by now attracted the attention of conscientious individuals in the local state pros- ecutor’s office. Deputy Prosecutor Josef Hartinger was a regular visitor to the camp. Wäckerle, with his ever-present and menacing dog, he found obstructive and sinister. Wilhelm Birzle, on the other hand, a guard whom he visited in the SS infirmary for questioning, was astonished at his presumption. He accused Hartinger of being ‘an agent of the Commune’ and conveyed his ‘outrage’ that he, Birzle, who was fighting the critical battle with the Communists, should be called to account.240 Hartinger’s complaint to the commandant’s staff met with a volley of invective. A wave of five feebly disguised murders in two chaotic weeks after 236 DaA, A4118, Übergabe-Protokoll, 30 May 1933. 237 Richardi, Schule, pp. 12–15. 238 SAM, StA 34462/7, Beschuldigtenvernehmungsprotokoll Hans Steinbrenner, 13 June 1951. 239 DaA, A3856, Vernehmungsniederschrift Hans Steinbrenner, 19 August 1948, s. 7. 240 DaA, A3194, Zeugenvernehmungsprotokoll Josef Michael Hartinger, 27 March 1951, s. 59. 48 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence Beimler’s escape sealed Wäckerle’s fate: Himmler was forced to remove him from his post at the end of June. Among the Bavarian officials ranged against him was the Minister of Justice Hans Frank, evincing a punctiliousness for which he was not noted later in his career. But both Frank and German political culture had far to travel, and the SS and its Reichsführer were still small fish in a complex poly- cratic pond. Fundamentally, the unilateral declaration of martial law in Dachau had no validity: murder remained illegal and the camp’s obstructive attitude to the judiciary had alienated powerful interests. Wäckerle had to go.241 Under his successor, Eicke, the majority of the early Dachau SS NCOs were also gradually moved on. By now the Nazi regime was established, the organizations of the Left had been brutally routed.242 According to its historical schema, accounts with these particular villains of 1918 had been settled. On 6 July 1933 Hitler averred that the revolutionary impetus of the Nazi movement should henceforth ‘be channelled into the secure bed of evolution’.243 The summary execution of leading Communists in Dachau, a rehearsal of Freikorps behaviour from 1919, was incongruous in a stabilized post-revolutionary state. For years to come, KPD pris- oners were bullied and beaten to find out where Beimler was, where the weapons and death lists were hidden.244 The discourse and memory of 1919 were kept alive by the presence of figures from the Bavarian revolutionary era as prisoners on the heavy roller work brigade, while the Munich authorities dedicated a procession of streets and monuments to the Bavarian Freikorps.245 The Bavarian past provided a rhetorical resource and rationale for Dachau’s distinctive and self-important cul- ture of nightmare order and proactive, gleeful guards. Although the undisguised executions abated, the early Dachau SS established a tone to SS–prisoner relations from which the camp never emerged. Years later, Höß recalled of his transfer to Sachsenhausen in 1938 that here ‘there was not the same atmosphere of hatred as existed in Dachau’.246 Many prisoners unfortunate enough to offer a comparative perspective of camps concur.247 For the next six years, guards and functionaries were schooled in Dachau and dispatched to other concentration camps in the expectation that they would export with them the ‘Dachau spirit’. Steinbrenner, purportedly disillusioned with one-sided violence in Dachau, had left the camp in August 1933 to take up a post guarding the Ministry of the Interior in Munich. The role of auxiliary policeman, however, was still not to his taste. In a matter of months the primary entrepreneur and protagonist of the ‘Dachau spirit’ was back at the camp, instilling it into the next cohort of sentries as an SS drill instructor in the Dachau School. 241 Detailed account in Tuchel, Konzentrationslager, pp. 121–41. 242 For recent scholarship on the camps and the Left in 1933, see Nikolaus Wachsmann and Sybille Steinbacher (eds), Die Linke im Visier: Zur Errichtung der Konzentrationslager 1933 (Munich, 2014). 243 In Jeremy Noakes and Guy Pridham (eds), Nazism: 1939–1945, Vol. 1 (Exeter, 1997), p. 171. 244 Examples in Nazi-Bastille Dachau, pp. 21–30. 245 Hornung, Dachau, p. 155; Rosenfeld, ‘Monuments’, pp. 231–3. 246 Höß, Commandant, p. 82. 247 Detailed memoirs include Bruno Heilig, Men Crucified (London, 1941), pp. 154–278, esp. 211; Laurence, ‘Dachau Overcome’, pp. 9–22; Neurath, Society, passim. 2 The Dachau Guard Troops The guard troops (Wachtruppe) were the sentries of the concentration camps. They guarded the perimeters against external threat, manned the guard towers and their machine guns, accompanied prisoner work details to and from their sites of toil, and stood watch over them during the day. The composition, organization, and outlook of the Dachau guard personnel changed considerably during the era of the Dachau School. Initially, all 250 members of the early Dachau SS not appointed to Wäckerle’s prototype command staff partook in sentry duty with daily rotation for weapons training under the Bavarian State Police. Guns and ammunition were in short supply, accommodation was crude, and the longevity of both camp and the employment it provided were unclear. By the eve of the war the Dachau guard units, rebranded the SS Death’s Head ‘Upper Bavaria’, comprised some 3,200 men who usually spent one week in the month on rotating guard detail and their remaining time on military training and exercises consonant with the Third Reich’s bellicose foreign policy at the vast adjacent SS Übungslager (training complex). The unemployed Party activists had become, SS documentation suggests, elite profes- sional soldiers, holding the line against the enemy within and posed for deploy- ment against foes without. Detailed regulations governed their every action, and military discipline had replaced the chaotic violence of the camp’s first years. The Death’s Head guards were forbidden both to enter the prisoner compound and to interact with the prisoners, still less to abuse them. ‘The Führer alone decides over the life and death of an enemy of the state’ ran one of the many sworn statements signed by Dachau guards, and ‘no National Socialist is entitled to lay a hand on him’.1 The reality, of course, was quite different. The Death’s Head troops enjoyed only modest prestige, even within the SS. Many of the principles, techniques, and narratives of the early Dachau SS endured; arbitrary violence remained the order of the day. Prisoners lived in daily fear of the disposition and competitive chicanery of guard units and individuals. They dropped off to sleep hoping above all, as one put it, for ‘halfway decent sentries’ on their work detail the next day.2 Often, they were to be disappointed. Many sentries undoubtedly did have very little direct contact with prisoners, and did not avail themselves of the ample opportunity 1 BAB, BDC RS B223, Ehrenwörtliche Verpflichtung, 7 September 1938. 2 Schecher, ‘Rückblick’, p. 15. 50 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence to lord it over them which existed beneath the regulations. For others, abusing inmates was an escape from the tedium of sentry duty, as well as a well-trodden path to recruitment to the commandant staff. A key function of the guard troops was to provide a manpower reservoir for the latter, and transfers between the two areas were frequent. Indeed, many command staff personnel, as will be seen, had extensive prior experience in the Dachau guard units. This chapter will focus on the latter’s composition, self-conception, command culture, and training, and con- sider which factors most shaped the behaviour of Dachau sentries. It will explore the important processes of militarization and the activities of the guard battalions as ‘political soldiers’ beyond the watchtowers. Before this, however, it will address the key topic of recruitment and the guiding role played here by Theodor Eicke, Wäckerle’s successor as Dachau commandant. VOLUNTEERS Theodor Eicke (Figure 2.1) will feature prominently throughout this study. Born in a small village in Alsace in 1892, he was the eleventh son of an austere, devout, and patriotic station master.3 Eicke studied at his village school for eleven years with modest success before joining the Imperial Army as a paymaster at the age of seventeen. From here on his biography was contested, for Eicke was a much mythologized figure in the SS. Höß, for example, recounts him as follows: Eicke came from the Rhineland and during the First World War fought on every front and was many times wounded and decorated. When the Rhineland was occupied he took a leading part in the resistance movement against the French. He was sentenced to death in his absence by a French military tribunal and remained in Italy until 1928.4 The first five words aside, it is doubtful whether any of this is true. Eicke’s war record is elusive, and the role of paymaster less front-line and heroic than SS hagiographies imply. He claimed to have chosen to leave the army after the war, but was probably discharged. Eicke then took a course in police administration attracted, no doubt, by the continuities of uniform, discipline, authority, and prestige.5 His passion was not requited. Eicke failed to hold down three successive jobs with the police, foster- ing the kind of embittered loathing and self-pity which would characterize his later world view. He claimed to have been released from his final post as a consequence of ‘Red terror’ in the force, but most likely it was a lack of educational attainment and social nous which held him back. The tale of heroic struggle against the French occupation of the Rhineland is cut entirely from cloth. Eicke certainly lived in the Rhineland at this time, for in 1923 he found employment as a salesman and then 3 Of the many detailed biographies of Eicke in secondary literature the most rigorous is Tuchel, Konzentrationslager, pp. 128–40. See also the more ambitious, if speculative, profile in Segev, Soldiers, pp. 137–55. 4 Höß, Commandant, p. 235. 5 Such is also the assumption in Tuchel, Konzentrationslager, p. 129. The Dachau Guard Troops 51 Figure 2.1 Theodore Eicke, Dachau’s second commandant and subsequently head of the Concentration Camp Inspectorate. Here displaying his medals for service with the Death’s Head Division, in 1942 or 1943. Bundesarchiv, image 146-1974-160-13A. security officer in the I.G. Farben plant in Ludwigshafen. There is no evidence, however, of any partisan resistance to the French and it seems likely that Eicke later peddled an early biography inspired by proto-Nazi martyrs such as Leo Schlageter, who had indeed been sentenced to death by a French military tribunal. A memo- rial to Schlageter was built in Dachau during Eicke’s tenure as commandant and beatings of inmates were known as ‘Schlageter parties’ (Schlageterfeier), a pun on the German verb schlagen, to beat.6 Eicke remained undisturbed at I.G. Farben, rather than in Italian exile, until 1932. On 1 December 1928 he joined the NSDAP and the Ludwigshafen SA, transferring to its SS in July 1930. In October of the same year Himmler promoted him to officer rank and charged him with building up the local SS. So successful was Eicke in this regard that he was promoted to Standartenführer in October 1931. It is illustrative of the cheapness of rank in the early SS that within fifteen months of joining the organization, Eicke had risen to a position purportedly commensurate to colonel in the Reichswehr.7 6 SAM, StA 34462/7, Zeugenvernehmungsprotokoll Karl Lindner, 24 October 1950. 7 Charles Sydnor, ‘Theodor Eicke: Organisator der Konzentrationslager’, in Ronald Smelser (ed.), Die SS: Elite unter dem Totenkopf. 30 Lebensläufe (Paderborn, 2000), p. 150. 52 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence In summer 1931 Eicke was tasked by the Palatinate Gauleiter, Joseph Bürckel, with carrying out a terrorist campaign in Bavaria for the Nazis. He was arrested in March 1932 for possession of high explosives and sentenced to two years in penitentiary, a misfortune he attributed to treachery by Bürckel. Thanks to a judiciary still robustly partisan in favour of the Right, Eicke was able to secure a stay of sentence of six weeks due to ill-health during which, at Himmler’s instructions, he did now flee to Italy. Promoted yet again to Oberführer, Eicke was put in charge of a Nazi refugee camp at Malcesine near Lake Garda. On 16 February 1933, now the beneficiary of an amnesty, Eicke returned to Germany to participate in the seizure of power. His first priority, characteristically, was vendetta. Eicke launched a clumsy armed Putsch against Bürckel but the latter, now a powerful Nazi potentate, was soon rescued by the police and had Eicke arrested. Eicke retorted with a two-day hunger strike, which saw him committed to a psychiatric clinic in Würzburg with Himmler’s approval. This interlude did not feature in SS biographies. He was found sane by the institution’s staff and passed the time writing lengthy petitions for release to Himmler. The latter was convinced that Eicke still had something to offer the SS and, after being forced to dismiss Wäckerle as Dachau comman- dant, it was to Eicke he turned. Eicke arrived at Dachau directly from the Würzburg clinic. He was evidently resolved to redeem himself in Himmler’s eyes, to replicate the heady days of his meteoric rise through the ranks on the strength of an undoubted organizational talent. Eicke was by now in his forties and Dachau offered him the opportunity finally to make something of his life. A keen sense of theatre, characteristic of Nazi paramilitary Führer, was to the fore. Max von Dall-Armi, Eicke’s ‘work service leader’ (Arbeitsdienstführer) in Dachau, later penned an account of Eicke’s first weeks in the camp: When Eicke arrived at the camp in June 1933 everything at first carried on as before. Eicke often walked around the camp on his own, asking questions and making notes. One day he summoned the whole camp SS and introduced himself as the new com- mandant . . . The state police gradually disappeared . . . New positions were created. Now Eicke is in his element. He works day and night at the reorganisation of the camp. He sleeps in the camp by his office (his flat was not yet built and his family joined him later). He is the first at work in the morning, and the light in his office is on late into the night. New camp regulations are drawn up and he issues directives and orders on all matters. The troops adore him and he knows how to treat them. The name ‘Papa Eicke’ was coined even then. He is an excellent orator . . . He is tough on the rank and file, but stricter still against officers. He hates his enemies behind the barbed wire . . . He speaks of their destruction and annihilation. He instils this hatred into the SS through speeches and conversations. Eicke is a fanatical SS officer and ardent National Socialist for who there is no compromise . . . ‘SS men must hate . . . the heart in their breasts must be turned to stone.’8 8 SAM, StA 34461/4, Max von Dall-Armi, Bilder und Skizzen aus dem Konzentrationslager, 13 April 1951. The Dachau Guard Troops 53 In a typically self-celebrating letter to Himmler in 1936, Eicke claimed that on appointment as Dachau commandant he had inherited a ‘corrupt guard troop’ of just under 120 men.9 SS Group South, he claimed, had until then used employ- ment in the camp as a sinecure for unwanted personnel. Dachau’s sentries lived in ‘draughty factory buildings’, and were stricken by ‘poverty and hardship’. Eicke depicted his stewardship as one of uninterrupted progress. Fortified by the ‘ideals of loyalty, courage, and fulfilment of duty’, his sentry units expanded and pro- fessionalized ‘in the quiet of the concentration camps’. By October 1933 there were nearly 400 guards in Dachau, 764 in June 1935, and over 1,000 by the beginning of 1936. With the outbreak of war in September 1939, SS personnel records registered no fewer than 3,179 guards posted at the camp.10 In numerical terms, Dachau’s sentry formations had certainly come far from their modest begin- nings: who were these SS guards, and how did Eicke and the ‘Death’s Head’ units recruit them? The first point to emphasize is that the SS was a volunteer formation. This was fundamental to its collective psychology, patterns of authority, and sense of historic mission. Voluntarism and idealism, highly prized concepts in the Third Reich, reached discursive apotheosis in its ranks. The SS located itself in a heroic European ancestry of soldier volunteers stretching back through Garibaldi and Lord Byron to the Wars of Liberation.11 In this nationalist tradition, the volunteer was associated with earnest patriotism, with disdain for material gain, and with an almost biblical willingness for sacrifice.12 Most proximate of all in the German consciousness were the volunteers of August 1914. The mythology of 1914’s ‘civil truce’, of German youth of all classes rallying to the colours, was a primary refer- ent for the People’s Community and the volunteer was a hallowed figure in Nazi discourse. In Mein Kampf, guiding text of the Third Reich and the staple of SS ideological instruction, Hitler dwelt on him at length: the amount of irreplaceable German heroes’ blood that was shed in those four and a half years was enormous. Just sum up all the hundreds of thousands of individual cases in which again and again the watchword was: volunteers to the front, volunteer patrols, volunteer dispatch carriers, volunteers for telephone squads, volunteers for bridge cross- ings, volunteers for U-boats, volunteers for airplanes, volunteers for storm battalions etc.—again and again through four and a half years, on thousands of occasions, volun- teers and more volunteers—and always you see the same result: the beardless youth or the mature man, both filled with fervent love of their fatherland, with great personal courage or the highest consciousness of duty, they stepped forward.13 9 Letter printed in Christian Goeschel and Nikolaus Wachsmann (eds), The Nazi Concentration Camps: A Documentary Reader (Lincoln and London, 2012), pp. 157–9, here p. 157. 10 BAB, NSD 41/37, Statistische Jahrbücher der Schutzstaffel der NSDAP 1937 and 1938. 11 A narrative sketched in great detail by one SS luminary: Felix Steiner, Die Freiwilligen der Waffen-SS: Idee und Opfergang (Oldendorf, 1958), pp. 13–40. For a typically stylish overview of war volunteering in Europe see Mosse, Fallen Soldiers, passim. 12 Mosse, Fallen Soldiers, pp. 15–33. 13 Hitler, Mein Kampf, p. 473 (emphasis in original). SS men were presented with a wood-bound copy of Mein Kampf at their marriage ceremonies. 54 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence It was no accident that Hitler prefaced his ‘final testament’ of 29 April 1945 with the observation that he had been a volunteer in 1914. The author Ernst Jünger, an icon of interwar German militarism (see Chapter 5), was also one of them. He pointedly contrasted the commitment of volunteers like him in the trenches with that of conscripted men.14 Conscripts were indeed somewhat suspect to conserva- tives and nationalists, associated with desertion and the treacherous soldiers’ coun- cils of 1918, while Jünger and his peers cast volunteers as Nietzschean supermen, escaping the shackles of mediocrity in committing every fibre of their being to the cause.15 The ‘assault squads’ of the Western Front were volunteers, the Freikorps were volunteers, the Reichswehr were volunteers: this was an ancestry the SS was anxious to claim and mobilize. In 1938, a consortium of Party and business organizations inaugurated an annual ‘Langemarck Studies’ educational programme for German youth to explore and replicate the idealism of 1914. The SS urged talented young recruits to apply.16 The Battle of Langemarck, near Ypres, was the centrepiece of the romantic cult of 1914. The cream of German youth, volunteers one and all, fired by pure ideal- ism, were said to have charged the British lines with patriotic songs at their lips.17 Perhaps 145,000 German soldiers fell in what was in reality a reckless and futile offensive, but in nationalist mythology it became a distillation of the fervent pat- riotism of the German Youth Movement, and of how German youth still one day might be. The poignant vocabulary of ‘irreplaceability’ abounded in talk of the 1914 volunteers, and it was one Nazism and the SS sought to refute with a renais- sance through German youth.18 Recruits to the Dachau School were frequently reminded of the sacrifices of this earlier generation of volunteers. In June 1937, Eicke was moved to poetics by the trope in his orders of the month: Officers and NCOs should always bear in mind that our men have volunteered to come to us in good faith, in the first flush of youth, and with great excitement. With bright eyes they see their new surroundings, trusting deeply in SS officers and NCOs who enjoy great social prestige. These young men willingly subordinate themselves and enter full of expectations into the school of obedience. These men are not called up by conscription law, they come voluntarily to serve the Führer; following their inner yearning, they forego their parents’ house to allow themselves to be sculpted in body and mind by the SS. This free will counts for more than law, it should be 14 Ernst Jünger, The Storm of Steel (London, 1975), p. 8. 15 Mosse, Fallen Soldiers, p. 211; Hans Buchheim, ‘Command and Compliance’, in Buchheim et al., Anatomy, pp. 308–20; on conscripts, see Himmler’s speech to the Wehrmacht in January 1937, discussed in detail below. IMT, Vol. XXIX, 1992 (A)-PS, Himmler to National-Political Course of the Wehrmacht, 15 to 23 January 1937, here s. 209. 16 IfZ, MA 847, SS Hauptamt Langemarckstudium 5 March 1939, s. 2958662 17 Mosse, Fallen Soldiers, pp. 70–3; Eksteins, Rites of Spring, pp. 310–11. On the Langemarck Myth in Nazi Germany, see especially Bernd Hüppauf, ‘Langemarck, Verdun and the Myth of a New Man in Germany after the First World War’, War and Society, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Sep., 1988), pp. 70–103. The topos of the Verdun soldier is explored in Chapter 5 of the present book. 18 Richard Bessel, ‘The “Front Generation” and the Politics of Weimar Germany’, in Roseman, Generations, pp. 121–8. The Dachau Guard Troops 55 gratefully recognised and carefully nurtured, for out of it come the finest deeds and performance. Without this free will, there can be no obedience, no loyalty, no honour, and no sense of duty.19 Eicke’s saccharine vocabulary clearly draws on romantic mythologies of the vol- unteer embedded in German nationalist discourse: ‘with bright eyes’ (mit hellen Augen) is particularly lyrical formulation. The volunteer principle lent added reso- nance to soldierly ideals of comradeship and youthful masculinity (see Chapter 5). It also aligned with notions of self-abnegation and disdain for material gain very useful in Eicke’s under-resourced Death’s Head troops. Another of his monthly orders from 1937 was sharply critical of guards who were apparently tempted to apply to join the German police for the better pay and pensions on offer there.20 Eicke contrasted this materialism with the countless sacrifices old fighters such as him had willingly made in the ‘time of struggle’. He claimed that he had never bothered to check what he would receive on retirement and opined that ‘young people who have the great privilege to fight for their country under the Führer’s flag do not even have to give a passing thought to so marginal a question’. The doc- trine of personal sacrifice to the greater cause drew on the principle of voluntary allegiance to the SS and was part of a broader sacralization of the Great War experi- ence on the nationalist Right.21 ‘A soldier does not expect thanks and recognition’, wrote future Dachau commandant Hans Loritz in 1934: implying, of course, that both would be merited.22 Closely linked to the imagery of the selfless ‘bright eyed’ volunteer was the youthful profile of recruits to the concentration camp guard formations. National Socialism had elbowed its way into German politics in part by its gospel of youth- ful redemption: ‘Make way you old ones’, as Gregor Strasser’s famous slogan had put it.23 The ‘seizure of power’ was depicted as a victory of a young and vibrant Germany over the gerontocracy of the Weimar establishment, and the SS saw itself very much as young Germany’s avant garde. Within it, the Death’s Head were the most youthful formations, and their ranks became progressively younger during the pre-war, Dachau School, era. In August 1936 their average age was 23.2, in September 1937 22.9, and by December 1939 just 20.7. This compared with an average age at the latter date elsewhere in the SS of 28.7.24 The youthful profile of the Death’s Head personnel delighted Himmler. He enthused to an audience of SS Group Leaders in November 1938 that younger guards offered a balance of mal- leability and resilience ideal for carrying out such a demanding role.25 From time to time, he confided, SS officers came to him with concerns about the potentially 19 IfZ, MA 293, IKL Befehlsblatt 1 July 1937, s. 2550154. 20 IfZ, MA 293, IKL Befehlsblatt 1 March 1937, s. 2550207. 21 Mosse, Fallen Soldiers. 22 BAB, BDC SSO Loritz, Loritz to Himmler, 9 January 1934. 23 Peter D. Stachura, The German Youth Movement 1900–1945: An Interpretive & Documentary History (London, 1981), p. 113. 24 BAB, NSD 41/37, Statistische Jahrbücher der Schutzstaffel der NSDAP 1937 and 1938. 25 IfZ, MA 312, Rede der RFSS bei der Gruppenführer-Besprechung in München, 8 November 1938, s. 2012547. 56 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence corrupting influence on young SS men of daily exposure to the criminal elements held in the camps. He, however, saw their youth as an advantage. The SS had seen the problems which arose from deploying older personnel as camp guards in the first years of the Third Reich: either they became sadistic, corrupted by their power, or they turned into ‘a kind of faith healer, forever sympathising with the prisoners’. Himmler believed that young SS guards were better able to avoid these twin pitfalls. Moreover, as a reserve force to defend the Reich in the event of war, it was vital that they acclimatize young to demanding tasks; youngsters should be capable, even when they were seventeen or eighteen, of guarding dangerous ele- ments during peacetime. Eicke fully shared this enthusiasm for what were referred to in SS discourse as blutjung recruits. Blutjung means something like ‘in the first flush of youth’, and this in Eicke’s view was no older than twenty-one.26 Even a 16-year-old with a well-developed frame should be admitted without reservation; those older than twenty-one were merely a ‘burden’ for the Death’s Head troops whose training programme should be bestowed only on the finest racial material. German law, not coincidentally, regarded a young male as a minor until he reached the age of twenty-one; another salient facet to the paternalist construct of ‘Papa Eicke’ and ‘Eicke’s boys’. To an extent Himmler and Eicke were making a virtue out of a necessity. Rank-and-file sentry service in the camps was modestly remunerated, of dubious prestige, and entailed a life spent away from family and friends in the SS barracks. The two were also obliged to source new recruits in an increasingly competitive manpower environment, as the rearmament-fuelled economic recovery soaked up male labour from the market. A circular from the mid-1930s noted that the total SS complement of 300,000 men already required an intake of 30,000 new volun- teers per year simply to replace those stepping down from active service.27 Given an annual cohort in Germany of some 300,000 to 500,000 young men reaching serviceable age, the SS needed to secure between 7 and 10 per cent of these sim- ply to replenish its ranks. Its ambition to build up the Death’s Head and its sister SS Verfügungstruppe (‘Special Purpose Troops’) to substantial military resources notched up these demanding minima higher still. The prized reservoir of young males for the many military institutions in Nazi Germany was the Hitler Youth, the NSDAP organization for boys aged fourteen to eighteen. This comprised some 55,000 boys in late 1932, 568,000 at the end of 1933, 1.17 million at the end of 1936, and 1.67 million by the end of 1938. In March 1939 membership was finally made compulsory for ‘Aryan’ children.28 The Hitler Youth was Nazism’s main tool for indoctrinating German youth, and the SS regarded it as invaluable preparation for service in its own ranks. Like the SS, the Hitler Youth stressed physical conditioning, Darwinian competition, tough- ness, will, loyalty, and all-round ‘character’. It was suffused with military prac- tices and ideals: even the Social Democratic underground conceded that many 26 IfZ, MA 293, IKL Befehlsblatt 1 May 1937, s. 2550182. 27 BAB, NS19/1457, ‘Der Weg des SS-Mannes’, n.d., s. 10. 28 Figures in Noakes and Pridham, Nazism, Vol. 2, p. 421. The Dachau Guard Troops 57 young Germans revelled in ‘the novelty, the drill, the uniform, the camp life’.29 The American journalist William Shirer recalled his weekend picnics around Berlin constantly interrupted by Hitler Youths ‘scrambling over the woods or over heath, rifles at the ready and heavy army packs on their backs’.30 Nurtured on militarism, anticlericalism, and racial vigilance, the most committed of these young males were highly compatible with the SS. Systematic recruitment from the Hitler Youth seems not to have been discussed until 1935, but at the end of 1936 Himmler boasted to his Group Leaders that he had given more speeches that year to the Hitler Youth than to internal audiences.31 At the institutional level Hitler Youth and SS officers were enjoined to establish a ‘permanent comradely relationship’.32 They were to organize joint camps and schooling sessions, and to participate jointly in cultural events. SS formations were to teach the Hitler Youth about their historic tasks and world view, while in return the Hitler Youth would pass on ‘new music and songs crafted by the younger gen- eration’. Solemn torchlit festivals provided opportunities to draw Hitler Youth into the woodsy aspects of SS culture. One such event was the summer solstice festival near Dachau on 21 June 1938. A torchlit parade of the men of the Death’s Head troops and flag-bearing local Hitler Youth was set to music by an SS band. The participants heard speeches by officers from both organizations and sang ‘Flame rise up’ as the Hitler Youth passed a burning torch to Max Simon, commander of the Dachau guard units.33 No systematic data exists for the number of Dachau guards who were recruited directly from the Hitler Youth, but it can be assumed that most young recruits by the mid-1930s had served some kind of apprenticeship in this antechamber to paramilitarism. In April 1936, Eicke wrote to Himmler that the current near dou- bling of the national Death’s Head ranks comprised the finest boys from the Hitler Youth, who were volunteering ‘with enthusiasm’.34 There is evidence, however, that some young men ‘volunteered’ for SS service at NSDAP and Hitler Youth offices under considerable pressure, in which reluctance to do so was depicted as a symptom of ideological and patriotic insincerity.35 When ideological exhorta- tion failed, recruiters linked service in the SS to future career prospects in Hitler’s Germany. SS ‘mustering commissions’ roamed the Reich and, despite a ban on recruiting 17-year-olds, conducted ‘quiet observations’ at Hitler Youth events and Labour Service camps.36 The General SS was exhorted to track down recruits for the Death’s Head units and in November 1936 every SS Group set up a dedi- cated recruitment office. According to SS statistics, in 1937 some 6,000 volunteers 29 Noakes and Pridham, Nazism, Vol. 2, p. 427. 30 William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (London, 1991), p. 254. 31 Gerhard Rempel, Hitler’s Children: The Hitler Youth and the SS (North Carolina, 1989), p. 24. 32 Karl Heinz Jahnke and Michael Buddrus, Deutsche Jugend 1933–1945: Eine Dokumentation (Hamburg, 1989), pp. 124–5. 33 BAB, NS19/530, Sommersonnwendfeier Dachau, 5 July 1938. 34 BAB, NS19/1925, Eicke to Himmler, 10 August 1936, s. 3. 35 Wegner, Waffen SS, p. 306. For pragmatic recruitment practices, see also Hein, Elite, pp. 136–9. 36 Rempel, Hitler’s Children, p. 30. 58 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence from the General SS applied to join either the Death’s Head or Verfügungstruppe, of whom 1,400 were accepted.37 One recruit from this era was Heinrich S., an 18-year-old volunteer from Worms. In June 1936 he was told to report to Dachau for a medical examination and prepared for the day with a detailed list of instruc- tions.38 He was provided with a discounted rail ticket and warned that non-appear- ance would result in being struck from the list of candidates. He should bring a letter of consent from his father or guardian. If accepted, he would need to register with the local police, and provide a certificate of cancelled registration (Abmeldebescheinung) from his previous residence. Heinrich S. was also told to bring a washing and sewing kit, undergarments, and slippers. Many such recruits barely trouble the historical record; as will be seen, service in the Death’s Head formations was often an intermediate stage between the Hitler Youth and an early grave in France or Russia. Henrich S., however, survived the early campaigns and returned to Dachau as a guard after being wounded in 1943. As he built up the Death’s Head formations, Eicke also increasingly sought per- sonnel with military experience and training, especially those who had completed compulsory service with the Wehrmacht. The military expansion of the SS, given Hitler’s explicit endorsement in August 1938, forced the latter to adopt a less obstructive posture towards such recruitment.39 General Jodl accordingly agreed with Himmler that three months prior to the conclusion of their service, soldiers would be made aware by their commanding officer of the opportunity to join the Death’s Head troops.40 Eicke also sent ‘headhunters’ equipped with SS propaganda and recruitment literature to army bases, often to the chagrin of garrison com- manders. Ultimately, Eicke enjoined his headhunters to use their initiative: Bring them from bars, bring them from sports clubs, bring them from the barber. As far as I’m concerned you can bring them from brothels. Bring them from everywhere you meet them.41 Such remarks lay bare the tension between the Death’s Head formations’ pro- claimed eliteness and their ravenous appetite for recruits. In truth, the SS com- mitment to recruiting the racial cream of German youth had been abandoned by the late 1930s. Although Himmler bragged to Wehrmacht officers in 1937 that only 10–15 per cent of applicants were accepted into the SS, local statistics suggest that the figure was much higher; around 75–80 per cent in Region (Oberabschnitt) Elbe, for example.42 Nevertheless, the SS remained a volunteer formation throughout the pre-war period of the Dachau School and, in theory at least, throughout its existence.43 37 BAB, NSD 41/37, Statistisches Jahrbuch der SS 1937, s. 42. On recruitment via the General SS, see also Hein, Elite, pp. 258–61. 38 BAB, BDC RS F5393, RuSHA to Heinrich S., 4 June 1936. 39 For detail, see below and Wegner, Waffen SS, pp. 112–21. 40 IfZ, Fa 127/1, Jodl to Himmler, 2 September 1938, s. 116. 41 Segev, Soldiers, p. 131. 42 Longerich, Himmler, p. 303. 43 Above all, as Longerich points out, the ‘voluntary’ enlistment of so-called Volksdeutsche (ethnic Germans) into the Waffen SS was often ‘a farce’. Longerich, Himmler, p. 612. The Dachau Guard Troops 59 This self-selection indelibly shaped its patterns of authority and compliance, and its approach to discipline and personnel retention. Self-selection is an important vari- able in scholarship on perpetrators. Social psychology has long identified volunteer- ing as a salient factor in subject behaviour. Milgram and Zimbardo, for example, both advertised for volunteers to participate: this self-selection accentuated their initial identification with and commitment to the experiments.44 Perpetrators vol- unteering for a task, then, should be deemed more attuned to its requirements than those merely ‘at hand’, to use the historian Raul Hilberg’s phrase.45 Individuals frequently take decisions to place themselves in, or to avoid, certain situations and environments in the first place.46 Two potential decisions need to be addressed here: volunteering for the SS, and deployment at Dachau. By the later 1930s the two in practice were normally coeval, as recruits volunteered directly to serve in the Death’s Head units. In many ways, the early Dachau SS was the least-selected cohort of sentries. Largely unem- ployed activists from the part-time Bavarian SS, they were deployed at Dachau not because their Standarten believed they would be the best guards for a concen- tration camp—whatever that might mean at this time—but because they were unemployed and available. And yet these men founded the murderous ‘spirit’ of Dachau and did much to establish the behavioural norms of the SS concentration camp guard. But a good deal of self-selection, of course, had been involved in joining the SS in the first place. SS activism before 1933 brought financial, social, and legal complications: membership required substantial personal investment. After 1933 many of these drawbacks were reversed and it was socially beneficial, if not universally prestigious, to be an SS man. The SS was now also able to pay salaries to some members from Party funds, courtesy of the German taxpayer. Hence the reverence in SS circles for veterans from the ‘time of struggle’. Older men joining after 1933 were disdained as ‘March violets’, as potential opportun- ists signing up only after the Enabling Law signified a certain permanence to Hitler’s regime.47 The principal recruitment channel prior to the period of direct enlistment remained the part-time General SS. In stark contrast to the contemporary SS emphasis on voluntarism, guards from this era who were interviewed by post-war prosecutors almost always used the passive voice when recounting their deploy- ment to Dachau. The characteristic phraseology is of being ‘called up’ (eingezo- gen), ‘posted’ (abkommandiert), ‘transferred’ (versetzt), ‘enlisted’ (herangezogen), 44 See the discussion of both experiments in Zimbardo, Lucifer, pp. 267–76. According to Milgram, ‘[i]n the case of voluntary allegiance to a legitimate authority, the principle sanctions for disobedience come from within the person. They are not dependent on coercion, but stem from the individual’s sense of commitment to his role. In this sense, there is an internalized basis for his obedi- ence, not merely an external one’. Milgram, Obedience, p. 142. 45 Hilberg, Destruction, p. 649. 46 There is a useful summary of issues and specialist literature in Thomas Carnahan and Sam McFarland, ‘Revisiting the Stanford Prison Experiment: Could Participant Self-Selection Have Led to the Cruelty?’, Personal and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 33, No. 5 (May, 2007), pp. 603–14. 47 Höhne, Order, p. 134. The literal translation of the German Märzgefallene is ‘March fallen’, an allusion to the casualties of the 1848 revolutions in Vienna and Berlin. 60 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence ‘assigned’ (zugeteilt, abgestellt), even ‘conscripted’ (einberufen).48 This of course reflected judicial calculation as much as the personnel policies of the SS. The more forthcoming testimony by recruits from this era suggests a kaleidoscope of paths to the camp. Josef D. had been forced to give up his university studies due to lack of funds, and ‘heard’ that volunteers were being sought for the camp.49 Steinbrenner, too, had financial problems and went to see Eicke to offer his services anew for the guard detail.50 Other guards, like Ottmar H., came via friends and comrades already in the guard troops.51 Alfred Ernst transferred to the camp at the suggestion of his home SS Standarte.52 Many others claimed to have requested transfer from part-time to active SS service solely due to unemployment.53 There is no evidence here of violation of the voluntary principle in deployment to Dachau. The prospect of paid employment in these early years of economic distress was clearly an important extrinsic motivation for guard service. When Dachau guards offered employment as the primary reason for signing up to Dachau—rather than to the unsalaried General SS—they were not necessarily being disingenu- ous.54 The initial pay for the early Dachau SS was certainly far from munificent and, according to Steinbrenner, even the 1 Reichsmark per day they earned as auxiliary policemen was often not forthcoming and had to be begged or bor- rowed from various sources in Munich.55 Yet the remuneration soon switched to a monthly pay scale financed by the Bavarian state.56 The rank and file guard earned 115 Reichsmark per month gross, netting to 67 Reichsmark after deduc- tions for insurance, Labour Service contributions, taxes, and meals. For married guards the respective figures were 130 and 82 Reichsmark. These men received an additional 2 Reichsmark as compensation for living away from their families and 6.25 Reichsmark per month per child. Every sentry received free accom- modation and uniform, and a loyalty scheme was devised to pay a lump sum of 1,800 Reichsmark to any guard who left service in the camp after serving at least five years. 48 For example, SAM, StA 34832/3 Zeugenvernehmungsprotokolle Ernst Angerer, 30 August 1951; SAM, StA 34462/4 Vernehmungsprotokoll Otto Franck, 28 December 1949; SAM, StA 34405 Beschuldigten-Vernehmung Erwin Busta, 12 July 1962; SAM, StA 34402 Vernehmung Maximilian Seefried, 21 May 1947; SAM, StA 34462/1 Beschuldigtenvernehmung Karl Stoelzle, 7 December 1949; SAM, StA 34764 Vernehmungsniederschrift Karl Minderlein, 20 February 1970; SAM, StA 34668 Vernehmungsprotokoll Josef D., 10 September 1965. See also Gabrielle Hammermann, ‘Verteidigungsstrategien der Beschuldigten in den Dachauer Prozessen und im Internierungslager Dachau’, in Ludwig Eiber and Robert Sigel (eds), Dachauer Prozesse: NS-Verbrechen vor amerikanis- chen Militärgerichten in Dachau 1945–1948 (Göttingen, 2007), pp. 86–108, here p. 91. 49 SAM, StA 34668, Vernehmungsprotokoll Josef D., 10 September 1965. 50 SAM, StA 34462/7, Beschuldigtenvernehmungsprotokoll Hans Steinbrenner, 13 June 1951. 51 SAM, StA 4132, Vernehmungsprotokoll Ottmar H., 8 August 1938. 52 BAB, BDC RS B223, Verpflichtung, 6 November 1933. 53 E.g. SAM, StA 34452/2 Urteil Spruchgerichtsverfahren gegen Josef Blank 6 January 1949; SAM StA 34479/2 Zeugenvernehmungsprotokoll August Ludwig Seyler, 28 May 1953. 54 Buggeln, Arbeit, p. 390; Koslov, Gewalt, p. 133 Riedle, Angehörigen also stresses these material, extrinsic inducements. 55 DaA, 19.862, Steinbrenner, ‘Hinter den Kulissen’, s. 4. 56 DaA, 6.698, Besoldung, n.d. (1933), s. 1. More generally on the complex early financing arrangements for Dachau, see Drobisch and Wieland, System, pp. 86–7. The Dachau Guard Troops 61 Table 2.1 Pay scale for Death’s Head units, July 1937. Single RM per month 65.00 77.00 95.00 105.00 118.70 158.53 181.84 186.50 Married Rank SS Mann (first year) SS Mann (second year) SS Sturmmann SS Rottenführer SS Unterscharführer SS Scharführer SS Oberscharführer SS Hauptscharführer Annualized 780.00 924.00 1,140.00 1,260.00 1,424.40 1,902.36 2,182.08 2,238.00 RM per month 127.80 153.85 193.03 228.93 233.59 Annualized 1,533.60 1,846.20 2,316.36 2,747.16 2,803.08 In 1935 Hitler agreed that, as of the following April, the sentry units would be financed from the Reich budget, with the other camp running costs met by the individual states. Candidates could now apply to join the Death’s Head units directly, and pay for entry-level personnel was much the same as before at 65 Reichsmark per month. Substantial pay rises, however, were now available on pro- motion (see Table 2.1). To place these figures in context, in 1936 the average monthly income of male German blue collar workers was 147 Reichsmark and 250 Reichsmark for male white collar workers.57 Almost two thirds of German taxpayers reported monthly incomes of under 125 Reichsmark. Remuneration in the Death’s Head formations lagged behind the police and army, but considering the subsidized food and accommodation, recruits attaining the non-commissioned rank of Unterscharführer would be doing well for often unskilled young men. The gener- ous pay increments available on promotion were a powerful material incentive and binding mechanism. Kurt-Fritz Mayr was a guard in the early Dachau SS. He had joined the SS in February 1932 and came to the camp as SS-Mann. Yet he was promoted to Sturmmann in September 1933, Rottenführer in January 1934, Unterscharführer in June 1934, Oberscharführer in November 1934, and Hauptscharführer in July 1935, putting him at the top of the NCO pay scale when the above levels were introduced. By the time he headed off to the field with the Death’s Head Division in 1939, he was drawing an Obersturmführer salary of 312 Reichsmark per month: double the average pay of a male German manual worker.58 With this in mind, it is striking that recruitment posters for the Death’s Head formations appeal almost solely to extrinsic, rather than intrinsic (role-related), motivations. They stipulate that volunteers should be ‘morally, mentally and racially pure, ideologically committed to National Socialism, [with] hunger and 57 Adam Tooze, The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy (London, 2007), pp. 141–2. 58 BAB, BDC, RS D5301, s. 1147; BDC, SSO Mayr. 62 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence devotion for SS service’.59 The height and age criteria are set out, while wearers of glasses and those with criminal convictions since the Weimar era are excluded. Yet beyond this the inducements are material rather than ideological. Volunteers are promised accommodation, uniform and standard troop provision, and the oppor- tunity to progress to officer rank. The standard period of enlistment is four years, with six and twelve years optional. Those serving the latter are guaranteed a post in the police at its conclusion, standard practice in the German Reichswehr.60 The Dachau guard who attributed his decision to join the Death’s Head troops after military service to his need for additional years to qualify for the civil service career track was presumably not alone.61 The Death’s Head recruitment pitch, then, was framed in terms of economic benefits and social mobility. Concentration camps and prisoners are nowhere to be found in this material. This is an important point. For had the SS believed that these intrinsic aspects of the job would appeal to potential volunteers, that many young men would find the prospect of guarding inmates enticing ideologically, they would surely feature somewhere in the material. To be sure, military recruit- ment posters throughout history have seldom offered an accurate or comprehen- sive depiction of military life.62 Their objective is to get recruits through the door after which they can be resocialized into the values and behaviours of the service. But the material and military inducements in the Death’s Head recruitment lit- erature clearly counsel against mono-motivational, dispositional hypotheses for concentration camp guard conduct. Naturally, applicants would have been well aware of the connection between the Death’s Head units and the concentration camps, although even here it is important to remember that this meant something quite different in 1937 than in 1944. For the majority of recruits coming directly from the Hitler Youth, ideologi- cal sympathy and the prospect of joining a familiar organization and self-styled, smartly uniformed elite were clearly important factors.63 Some no doubt were attracted by the idea of military life and comradeship, others to independence from parents or to the prospects for promotion not available to those from non- privileged backgrounds in the Wehrmacht. The ideological and the material are difficult to disentangle in the Third Reich and the scattered post-war testimony of rank-and-file Dachau sentries is not detailed enough to do this. What can be said for certain is that no Death’s Head volunteer had reservations over life as a concentration camp guard strong enough to offset whatever positive investment he made in signing up. 59 IfZ, Fa 127/1, Merkblatt für Einstellung in die SSTV (Ausgabe Juli 37), s. 1. 60 IfZ, Fa 127/1, Merkblatt für Einstellung in die SSTV (Ausgabe Juli 37), s. 4. 61 SAM, StA 34462/1 Vernehmungsniederschrift Simon Meier, 2 February 1948. 62 On this, see the monograph on US military recruitment by Melissa T. Brown, Enlisting Masculinity: The Construction of Gender in US Military Recruiting Advertising during the All-Volunteer Force (Oxford, 2012). 63 These functionalist factors are (predictably) privileged by Sofsky in SS recruitment: Sofsky, Order, p. 99. The Dachau Guard Troops 63 COMMAND AND COMPLIANCE The passive vocabulary and military terminology later used by ex-guards to account for their deployment in Dachau was intended to suggest that they had no real choice in the matter. Whereas the voluntarist diction of the SS implied ideologi- cal assent and enthusiasm, their vocabulary connoted soldierly compliance: that the guards had, in a well-worn phrase, merely ‘followed orders’ like soldiers in the Wehrmacht. This was untrue. For whereas Wehrmacht personnel did indeed have a legal duty to the state to obey orders insofar as they complied with the law, SS men had simply sworn voluntary political allegiance to Hitler.64 They may have pledged ‘obedience unto death to you and those you appoint’ but this was a para- military oath and had no legal status. From this perspective they were perfectly entitled simply to leave the SS should they not wish to comply with assignments or instructions. Himmler came close to acknowledging this during his speech to the Wehrmacht. He observed that SS discipline during the Weimar era had depended on consent because, as he put it, an SS man could just say ‘I quit, I want no more of this’.65 Yet the legal situation during the Third Reich was little different and the implication, tailored here to the audience, that discipline in the SS was no longer a voluntary matter, was disingenuous. Although the juridical status of the armed SS formations was increasingly blurred, in June 1936 the SS Main Office confirmed that desertions from the Death’s Head or Verfügungstruppe would not legally be recognized as such, unlike in the Wehrmacht.66 Not until October 1939 was the SS permitted to set up an independent judicial system with a military penal code to oversee its armed units.67 Throughout the era of the (pre-war) Dachau School, then, the SS had no legal sanction against non-compliance by guard personnel. Himmler told his Wehrmacht audience that rigorous processes of racial selection had staffed the ranks of the SS with men who understood obedience as a moral virtue rather than legal requirement. As he put it elsewhere, SS obedience was the product of honour and loyalty, ‘a matter of the heart’ rather than rational calcula- tion.68 The decisive commitment in matters of compliance was joining the SS in the first place, as in Eicke’s comments on the voluntary entry of guards into his ‘school of obedience’. Yet this commitment was not irrevocable on either side and release (Entlassung), both elective and involuntary, was quite frequent from the SS. Involuntary release could be imposed by the Standartenführer of the man concerned 64 Buchheim, ‘Command and Compliance’. Like most German historians of his generation, Buchheim tends to present a rather optimistic picture of a ‘clean’ Wehrmacht, but the underlying legal and organizational arguments are sound. 65 IMT, Vol. XXIX, 1992 (A)-PS, Himmler to National-Political Course of the Wehrmacht, 15 to 23 January 1937, s. 209. 66 IfZ, Fa 127, Heissmeyer Memorandum, 4 June 1936, s. 408. 67 Bianca Vieregge, Die Gerichtsbarkeit einer ‘Elite’: Nationalsozialistische Rechtsprechung am Beispiel der SS- und Polizeigerichtsbarkeit (Baden-Baden and Berlin, 2002), pp. 6–12. Vieregge argues against the assumption that the introduction of SS jusrisdictional autonomy was a response to the criminal activities of SS units in Poland and stresses the pre-war planning and antecedents. One of the punish- ments handed out by SS courts was hard penal labour in the ‘SS and Police Penal Camp’ at Dachau. 68 Himmler, Schutzstaffel, p. 13. See also Hein, Elite, pp. 93–5. 64 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence for reasons such as physical deterioration, ‘lack of interest’, or unexplained absences from service.69 Elective release was equally common. An SS man whose choice of bride was rejected by the RuSHA, for example, was entitled to leave in order to pursue the marriage. Josef D., a Dachau SS NCO and veteran of the Freikorps von Epp did just this in August 1937.70 That year, according to the SS annual statistics, 7,960 men were released from the organization: 146 came from the Death’s Head troops, eighty-one at their own request.71 Requests for release were often made on professional grounds and, if not granted in good spirit, were at least tolerated, as the following order to the Sachsen guard detail in the mid-1930s suggests: Requests for release are continually being received from sons of farmers on the grounds that they are suddenly desirous of taking over their family farm. Such men are of no interest to the guard unit, the duties of which they have clearly failed to grasp. All such requests for release will be forwarded to higher headquarters with a recommendation for acceptance.72 Eicke’s addresses to the Death’s Head troops are peppered with such rhetorical invitations for the uncommitted to leave guard service. The guard battalions, he wrote, did not demand ‘enforced loyalty’ and any man who was not up to the job ‘could walk away from us in peace’.73 In a speech at Dachau, he invited ‘weaklings’ to ‘withdraw to a monastery as quickly as possible’.74 In orders of the month for March 1937, he commented that personnel were entitled to grouse about orders provided that they carried them out loyally and immediately. Whether a particular command was ‘suitable’ or ‘military’ was no business of the recipient to evaluate and ‘whoever does not happily and willingly obey orders is no SS man, but rather a calculating man (Zweck-Mann); there can be no greater pleasure for us than to be rid of him’.75 This is not to say that the process was as smooth and painless as Eicke implied or that some personnel might have feared retribution afterwards. After deserting from the early Dachau SS in May 1933, Karl Wicklmayr claimed to have spent nine months lying low as a farm labourer in Landshut in fear of being ‘finished off’ by Himmler.76 Even if true, however, this had more to do with Wicklmayr’s fragile mental condition than with any objective danger. Indeed, the disciplinary sanctions available against SS men were rather limited even when they were on site and committed to the ‘school of obedience’. The principal quotidian punishments, or ‘means of education for SS men schooled as soldiers’, as Eicke put it, were formal warnings and brief periods of arrest.77 His 69 For example, SAM, NSDAP 750, Gruppenbefehl Nr 5, 27 October 1933. On release and other sanctions in the General SS, see also Hein, Elite, pp. 191–200. 70 BAB, BDC RS B32 Josef D. Entlassungsgesuch aus den SS-TV Dachau, 2 August 1937. 71 Buchheim, ‘Command and Compliance’, p. 392; IfZ, MA 293, IKL Befehlsblatt, 1 May 1937, s. 2550182. 72 Cited in Buchheim, ‘Command and Compliance’, p. 393. 73 BAB, NS 31/372, Eicke Circular, 2 December 1935, s. 4. 74 Höβ, Commandant, p. 68. 75 IfZ, MA 293, IKL Befehlsblatt, 1 April 1937, s. 2550196. 76 SAM, StA, 34461/1, Vernehmungsniederschrift Karl Wicklmayr, 10 September 1948; SAM, StA, 34461/2, Claus Bastian to Munich Strafkammer, 22 October 1949. 77 IfZ, MA 293, IKL Befehlsblatt, 4 June 1937, s. 2550182. The Dachau Guard Troops 65 circulars suggest that the most common occasions for these measures were convers- ing with prisoners, tardy implementation of orders, drunkenness, and reporting late for roll call.78 Beyond this, the only substantial sanctions the SS had against guards were demotion in rank, with the financial penalty this also brought, or dismissal from the organization. There were two types of dismissal. The first was temporary or permanent ‘exclusion’ (Ausschluss) and could be imposed by Gruppenführer. It included reduction to the rank of SS Mann and was applied to serious discipli- nary infractions, mutiny, and particularly egregious damage to the reputation of the SS. The second, imposed only by Himmler himself, was permanent ‘expul- sion’ (Ausstossung). This was accompanied by expulsion from the NSDAP and applied to the most serious of misdeeds: robbery, murder, and embezzlement.79 For some SS men there was a path back from ‘exclusion’, though not from ‘expul- sion’. In July 1938, Himmler ordered the creation of a special ‘Education Platoon’ in Sachsenhausen near Eicke’s offices in Berlin for former SS men to work their way back into the fold. By the outbreak of the war some seventy-three former SS men were detained here in comparatively comfortable conditions, their uniforms marked with crossbones as a reminder of their disgrace. Although only a small number were from the Death’s Head units, the ‘education’ section of the platoon included men who had committed military infractions on guard duty, and its ‘cor- rection’ section guards who had fraternized with inmates in some way.80 Eicke made quite regular use of the one-way tool of expulsion and depicted it in the starkest of terms as a psychological and social catastrophe for the guard concerned.81 An individual who deserted, applied for a position outside the guard units behind his superior’s back, or committed a serious disciplinary infraction at his post, he warned, would be expelled from the Death’s Head units. The process would be emotional and humiliating. First, the man concerned would be demoted and expelled in front of his former comrades. He would find himself removed from a select minority and thrown back into the ‘nameless mass’. He would discover that he was no longer a ‘free’ man, but an ‘unfree, pitiful civilian’. The taint of expulsion would follow him everywhere: marked as unreliable, rarely would such a man find work. The SS, the regular police, and the Gestapo would keep a file on him and he would be permanently excluded from any position in the movement. All awards and decorations would be rescinded. Eicke concluded his dystopian narrative with the fervent hope that in the future he would no longer find himself obliged to hand out this most draconian of ‘hard fates’. Yet even Eicke did not suggest that expulsion would lead to physical retribu- tion against the guard concerned. He would simply forfeit the financial security, prestige, and comradeship he supposedly enjoyed in the Death’s Head units. The allure of conformity and belonging, set against the spectre of exclusion, should not 78 IfZ, MA 293, IKL Befehlsblatt, 1 July 1937, s. 2550161. 79 SAM, NSDAP 750, Gruppenbefehl Nr 5, 27 October 1933. 80 Nikolaus Wachsmann, ‘KL: A History of the National Socialist Concentration Camps’ (Unpublished MS), ch. 2; Goeschel and Wachsmann, Nazi Concentration Camps, pp. 165–6. 81 IfZ, MA 293, IKL Befehlsblatt, 1 March 1937, n.p. 66 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence be underestimated as an integrative force.82 In the absence of coercive instruments, it was fundamental to command and compliance among concentration camp guards. Milgram’s ‘obedience to authority’ studies are of particular relevance here. A staple of universalist perpetrator literature, they command broad recognition in the field of social psychology and have been replicated many times.83 One replica- tion carried out with male volunteers in Munich elicited 85 per cent compliance, higher even than Milgram.84 Among historians, conversely, Milgram’s conclusions meet heavy criticism: some well-founded, some rather desperate.85 At first glance, the notion of ‘obedience’ seems incongruous, distasteful even, when applied to Nazi perpetrators. Defendants at Nuremberg, Dachau, Jerusalem, and Frankfurt readily alighted on the defence that they had merely been obeying orders, whereas scholarship on Holocaust perpetrators has documented a protracted excess, zeal, initiative, and creativity which map poorly to a narrowly defined concept of ‘obe- dience’.86 Acts of violence and murder by guards at the Dachau School, too, were generally encouraged implicitly rather than ordered explicitly. No tenable case could be made that Milgram’s work fully ‘explains’ the con- duct of perpetrators of violence, National Socialist or otherwise. His later propo- sition that subjects enter a discontinuous, almost robotic ‘agentic state’ under authority is unconvincing.87 Instead, and more directly than the Stanford Prison Experiment (see Chapter 4), Milgram registered the contribution of social and 82 Historians have of late applied this much more broadly to Nazi German society. See Michael Wildt, Volksgemeinschaft als Selbstermächtigung: Gewalt gegen Juden in der deutschen Provinz 1919–1939 (Hamburg, 2007); Thomas Kühne, Belonging and Genocide: Hitler’s Community, 1918–1945 (Yale, 2010). 83 See the interesting scholarly biography by Thomas Blass, The Man Who Shocked the World: The Life and Legacy of Stanley Milgram (New York, 2004), here pp. 309–11; Arthur G. Miller, ‘Reflections on “Replicating Milgram” (Burger, 2009)’, American Psychologist, Vol. 64, No. 1 (2009), pp. 20–7. See also the excellent discussion of Milgram in Welzer, Täter, p. 107ff. The broader relevance of Milgram’s work also reflects the fact that he deliberately avoided using college students: his subjects were highly heterogenous—see the (often insensitive and judgemental) character sketches by Milgram in Obedience, pp. 45–55; 74–91. 84 David Mark Mantell, ‘The Potential for Violence in Germany’, Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 27, No. 4 (1971), pp. 101–12. 85 For a positive assessment, see Browning, Ordinary Men, pp. 171–6; for a measured critique, see the comments by Richard Overy in conversation with Haslam and Reicher: ‘Milgram and the Historians’, The Psychologist, Vol. 26, part 9 (September, 2011), pp. 662–3. For hostile reception from an influential particularist, see Cesarani, Eichmann, pp. 15, 352–6. For the more hysterical, see Omer Bartov, Germany’s War and the Holocaust: Disputed Histories (USA, 2003), p. 182 as well as his unchar- acteristically rambling critique of Sofsky in the same volume, pp. 99–111. Bartov complains that Milgram’s ‘is a behaviourist explanation par excellence’. It is not. Behaviourism, dominant in the social sciences in the first half of the twentieth century, regarded human behaviours as (largely) involuntary functional responses to environmental stimuli and ‘reinforcers’. In our context, this would imply that anyone could have sat in Milgram’s teacher’s chair, or been posted as a concentration camp guard, and acted in a cruel manner. Milgram claims no such thing and nor could he, given that in his main experiment one third of subjects refused to follow his instructions to the end. Milgram’s subjects were agents and decided to comply with the experiment, often with considerable stress. On behaviourism, see John A. Mills, Control: A History of Behavioural Psychology (New York, 2000). 86 For all its myriad shortcomings, Goldhagen’s Hitler’s Willing Executioners is indispensable in this regard. 87 For a critical discussion, see Waller, Becoming Evil, pp. 173–5. The Dachau Guard Troops 67 institutional setting to compliant behaviour: it is worth remembering that the obedience experiment was inspired by Solomon Asch’s studies of social conform- ity.88 Indeed, it is perhaps most useful to think of Milgram as having exposed the social and psychic costs of disobedience, of non-compliant behaviour. His sub- jects entered the laboratory as volunteers, sympathetic to the stated pedagogic objectives of the experiment and earning a fee for their time. They were inclined to identify with the experimenter as a man of status and to seek his approval. In doing so they were entering into an authority situation, one predicated on an orientation to authority.89 As with most recruits to an unfamiliar environ- ment with strong authority structures, it was difficult to discern whether the first instructions they were given were legitimate. Thus not a single subject refused to administer the first purported shocks: as is well-known, some two-thirds contin- ued right to the end of the dial. Perhaps the most powerful finding of the experiment was the extent to which par- ticipants found it difficult to disengage after taking these first steps. If the Dachau School was limited in its range of disciplinary instruments against guards, Milgram lacked any kind of coercive means. Most of his subjects expressed strong misgiv- ings during the experiment and many exhibited symptoms of extreme stress.90 Yet the majority either perceived no way to extricate themselves from the situation or evaluated the social costs of exit as too high. The earlier a subject expressed misgiv- ings, the likelier it was that he or she would eventually defy the experimenter.91 Yet as with Eicke’s comments on ‘grousing’ at orders, the situation was perfectly able to navigate a strong element of dissent. The social tug of compliance and loyalty to the experimenter increasingly placed the confederate learner beyond the primary social field. ‘For many subjects’, Milgram concluded, ‘the learner becomes simply an unpleasant obstacle interfering with the attainment of a satisfying relationship with the experimenter’.92 88 Blass, Man Who Shocked the World, pp. 26–30. Milgram worked as Asch’s research assistant in the academic year 1955 to 1956. 89 Milgram, Obedience, pp. 141–4. ‘An authority system . . . consists of a minimum of two people sharing the expectation that one of them has the right to prescribe behaviour for the other’ (p. 142). Milgram uses the example of spectators at a military parade, who have not entered into an author- ity relation with the Colonel barking instructions, so do not respond to them. More broadly on this important point see Herbert C. Kelman, ‘Violence without Moral Restaint: Reflections on the Dehumanization of Victims and Victimizers’, Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 29, No. 4, pp. 25–51. 90 As has been pointed out, for this reason the experiments raise a series of pertinent issues even in their institutional conception, funding, and organization. Given that Milgram’s two paid—civil- ian—‘confederates’ were inflicting substantial psychic stress on hundreds of naive subjects, their own motivations and relationship to Milgram are themselves highly pertinent to the very issues (trust, responsibility, fragmentation, dissonance, devaluing of subject) explored by the experiment. The confederates evidently believed either that the interests of psychology outweighed the distress of the victims, or that their fee was more important. Milgram himself privately experienced inner conflict between the (self-interested) claim of science, and the human claim of his subjects: and seems himself to have ‘blamed the victim’ (in this case the ‘naive subjects’). See Nestar John Charles Russell, ‘Stanley Milgram’s Obedience to Authority Experiments: Towards an Understanding of their Relevance in Explaining Aspects of the Nazi Holocaust’ (PhD thesis submitted to Victoria University of Wellington, 2009), pp. 171–90. 91 Blass, Man Who Shocked the World, p. 104. 92 Milgram, Obedience, p. 146. 68 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence A key feature of training at Dachau was to break down residual cognitive inter- ference. Here the binding factors were also of course much stronger in the first place. Dachau recruits were much younger on average than Milgram’s subjects, in a pseudo-military environment, and subject to the pull of comradeship and tough, masculine norms. They were also entering into the more anticipated and predefined role of concentration camp guard. Yet, like Milgram’s subjects, they passed through a series of ‘escalating commitments’.93 After volunteering they were brought into the controlled environment of Dachau and visually marked for their role with an SS uniform and military haircut. They were then pushed through the resocializing drill and training processes. The recruit was placed on a probationary period of three months as an SS Death’s Head candidate. During this period he could be released at any time and Eicke reported five releases of candidates, for example, during April 1937.94 During this period they were posted as sentries but initially only under close supervision. Eicke threatened with expulsion an SS officer who had left blutjunge SS men unattended together on a sentry post and Simon, too, stressed the need to mix up green and seasoned SS men on guard duty.95 Observational learning and imita- tive performance of the role of sentry, under the watchful eye of more experienced and hardened seniors, furthered internalization of the accompanying values and the normalization of Dachau guard culture. Comradely recognition reinforced and rewarded compliant, normative behaviour. Once socialized into the attitudinal and performative aspects of the role, the recruits were posted independently around the prisoner compound or at external work details. As they gathered experience and demonstrated their commitment they became eligible for promotion and the finan- cial rewards this brought. Eventually, the most experienced and committed sentries could be brought onto the commandant’s staff. In Milgram’s much more telescoped situation, the escalating commitments were compressed into the incremental electric shocks. He identified a paradox of ‘sequen- tial action’ in which the fact of compliance with earlier steps complicated the pro- cess of disengagement at the next.96 Each previous commitment had confirmed the existing authority structure and its construal of the situation. To determine that the next step was too daunting or objectionable, or to entertain a crisis of confi- dence or conscience, required confronting both a legitimized authority structure and the moral propriety of the commitments hitherto undertaken. The impulse to disengage was therefore ‘collapsed’, to use Erving Goffman’s terminology, into the situation.97 Throughout the process the subject was hampered by the desire not to renege on the initial voluntary commitment to the experimenter. Interestingly, when the latter was physically absent from the experiment and relayed instructions 93 See the useful theoretical discussion in Waller, Becoming Evil, pp. 230–42. 94 IfZ, MA 293, IKL Befehlsblatt, 1 May 1937, s. 2550182. 95 IfZ, MA 293, IKL Befehlsblatt, 1 May 1937, s. 2550190; BAB, NS4 Da/30, Richtlinien für Ausbildung, 15 April 1939, s. 3. The same principle was applied with trainee female guards at Majdanek: Koslov, Gewalt, p. 157. 96 Milgram, Obedience, pp. 150–1; see also the cogent discussion in Bauman, Modernity, pp. 157–8. 97 Erving Goffman, Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates (New York, 1961), p. 41. The Dachau Guard Troops 69 over a telephone, compliance not only sank, but many subjects also merely acted out their role without actually administering the agreed level of purported shock to the learner.98 Milgram also noted a gathering tendency for subjects to blame the victim—the accomplice ‘learner’—for their actions. Processes of cognitive dis- sonance led them to ‘harshly devalue the victim as a consequence of acting against him’.99 Even during the brief duration of Milgram’s experiment the adversarial mindset of institutions and impulse to pathologize their inmates began to take hold (see Chapter 4). The key point is that Milgram’s subjects acted as conscious deliberative agents, rather than as helpless subordinates or passive receptacles of anonymous forces: this was an intersubjective social field.100 Again, all of these countervailing pressures against exit from the situation, against even countenancing an ‘open break with authority’, were present for recruits to the Dachau School and many more besides. They could seek to leave at any time but only in the face of rapidly accumulating social and situational inhibitions. To seek release would be either an admission of weakness or appear to cast implicit judge- ment on one’s comrades and, in turn, the entire regimental history of the Dachau SS. For the early years of the camp, when the incremental commitments outlined above were still developing, there is also evidence of more practical ‘binding mech- anisms’. The personnel file of a guard who joined in December 1933 contains a series of sworn statements and incentives to keep him at the camp. On arrival he signed a declaration pledging to remain with the guard detail for a minimum of three months, and that he would give at least twenty days’ notice of his intention to leave thereafter.101 On 5 February 1934, at the conclusion of this initial spell, he was awarded the formal black ceremonial SS uniform. He now signed a further declaration that it would become his personal property only after another four months of service: should he cease employment as a guard before this it had to be handed back undamaged.102 The guard concerned remained at Dachau until 1940, when he transferred to Neuengamme. These social and material binding incentives may appear insubstantial, even trivial, when viewed independently as explanatory variables for service as a concentration camp guard. Yet while they do not wholly account for personnel retention in an environment with few formal sanctions, any analysis omitting or dismissing them would be inadequate. They take their place alongside the cultural and situational stimuli discussed hitherto, and the training and leadership to be discussed next. LEADERSHIP The ‘leadership principle’ (Führerprinzip) was fundamental to National Socialist authority structures, and above all in its volunteer paramilitary formations. A Schooling in Violence those other hallowed concepts of comradeship and community, it drew on an idealized view of aspects of German military culture and a visceral loathing of the supposedly rootless and calculating individualism of Weimar German ‘society’.103 The Freikorps were an important historic referent. These volunteers were said to have been driven and disciplined by intense personal devotion to officer and Fatherland rather than formal hierarchies of command.104 The modern Freikorps recruited in the wake of the German Revolution of 1918, too, were mobilized and affiliated to charismatic commanders like von Epp and only loosely integrated into a military hierarchy. As will be seen, many of the senior personnel at Dachau had served in the Freikorps and the imagery of the charismatic, mobilizing leader of men found fertile soil there. Great importance was therefore attached to the character and pastoral aptitude of these men. A Führer in the right-wing German paramilitary milieu had a sta- tus rather different from that of an Offizier, with its class connotations, in the army.105 His authority was said to be conferred less by rank than by the character and charisma which pushed him to command through ‘self-selection’ (Führer- Selbstauslese). In an environment of voluntary discipline and allegiance, leadership was dependent upon assertion and affirmation: this goes some way to accounting for the restless dynamism of Nazi political culture.106 As in the Freikorps, dur- ing the Nazi ‘time of struggle’ charisma and leadership were measured partly by recruitment. Men like Eicke and Dietrich, successful SS recruiters in an era when competition for volunteer manpower was intense and opportunists nowhere to be seen, were revered after 1933. The ideal paramilitary Führer was gregarious and paternalistic: like Eicke, Dietrich made great play of dining in the rank-and-file mess hall with his men.107 The ideal paramilitary Führer inspired and developed his men. Like Hitler, whose virtues he transmitted, he had a sense of theatre and the ability to connect and communicate.108 He was ‘authority’ in Milgram’s sense, but as much as the embodiment of the values of the movement as a formal superior. He was a role model whose approval recruits would naturally and ardently seek. Eicke’s ‘Papa’ soubriquet was held very much to be a product of these twin processes of assertion and affirmation. As he wrote, with customary self-regard, to Himmler in August 1936: 103 Paul Brooker, ‘The Nazi Fuehrerprinzip: A Weberian Analysis’, Political Science, Vol. 37, No. 1 (1985), pp. 50–72; see also the lively, if dated, Joseph Nyomarkay, Charisma and Factionalism in the Nazi Party (Minneapolis, 1967), pp. 9–51. On Hitler and charismatic leadership, see Ian Kershaw, The Hitler Myth: Image and Reality in the Third Reich (Oxford, 1989), passim, esp. pp. 8–14. 104 Mosse, Fallen Soldiers, pp. 23–8. 105 Reichardt, Faschistische Kampfbünde, pp. 418–26, 492–7; Hein, Elite, pp. 57–8. 106 See the collection of documents from the late Weimar era in Noakes and Pridham, Nazism, Vol. 1, pp. 50–4. 107 James Weingartner, Hitler’s Guard: The Story of the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler 1933–39 (London, 1974), p. 17. See also Hein, Elite, p. 146. 108 Excellent discussion in Reichardt, Faschistische Kampfbünde, pp. 472–516; a vivid literary example of the construction of this ideal by a participant is the Freikorps veteran Ernst von Salomon, The Outlaws (London, 1931), pp. 342–71. The Dachau Guard Troops 71 If my men call me Papa in their barracks, then this is the finest expression of a heart- felt community found only when a superior is constantly in touch with his men, when they know that he does not simply command but also cares about them.109 Eicke expected his own officers to follow suit and frequently reminded them that their relationship with their men, too, should be personal and emotional, extend- ing beyond formal working hours: The good officer is also the good spirit of his unit . . . officers and their deputies must ensure always that they retain the loyalty and affection of their men . . . For an SS officer there is no such thing as hours on duty; he is always on duty and never stands alone, for he is to be there for his men from dawn till night.110 Aloof commanders acting like officers in the army, Eicke warned, would be trans- ferred to the General SS. Simon, too, stressed that a Dachau guard officer had a personal, elemental connection to each and every man under his command whether on or off duty.111 This cult of leadership ensured that officers in the Dachau Death’s Head units wielded great influence over the culture of the guards, and in turn the experiences of inmates. The process started at the top with the post of ‘Commander of the Guard Troops’ (Führer der Wachtruppe). The first incumbent was Erspenmüller, whose path to the early Dachau SS was traced in Chapter 1. His impact on the camp was toxic and his brief tenure, lasting only until July 1933, was characterized by relations of suspicion and loathing with the State Police, the commandant staff, and the pris- oners. His relationship with both concentration camp commandants in this period, Wäckerle and Eicke, was notably poor and highlighted immanent tensions between the command staff and guard formations. Erspenmüller was the ranking officer from Standarte Munich and Wäckerle the same for Standarte Augsburg. This geopoliti- cal rivalry contributed to the chaotic culture of early Dachau. As early as 11 April, the very same day the SS took over the prisoner compound from the State Police, Wäckerle wrote to Malsen-Ponickau requesting Erspenmüller’s transfer.112 A number of irresolvable ‘differences of opinion’ had emerged between them. Guard platoons, he complained, were routinely late to arrive for sentry duty and their predecessors there- fore had to stand guard for six hours or more without relief. Erspenmüller himself was frequently absent from his post. This was setting a demoralizing example and imped- ing much-needed training. Even when on site, Erspenmüller and his Munich cronies were often drunk, leaving everything to the unqualified NCOs of the guard platoons. Wäckerle requested a new commander of the guard troops who could be trained by the State Police if necessary and then remain in the camp as his duties required.113 109 In René Rohrkamp, ‘Weltanschauulich gefestigte Kämpfer’: Die Soldaten der Waffen-SS 1933– 1945 (Paderborn, 2010), pp. 226–7. 110 IfZ, MA 293, IKL Befehlsblatt, 7 July 1937, s. 2550161. 111 BAB, NS4 Da/30, SS-TK Oberbayern, Auszüge aus den Richtlinien für Ausbildung im Winter 1937/38, s. 1. 112 BAB, BDC SSO Erspenmüller, Wäckerle to Führer der Politischen Hilfspolizei Bayerns, 11 April 1933. 113 BAB, BDC SSO Erspenmüller, Wäckerle to Führer der Politischen Hilfspolizei Bayerns, 11 April 1933. 72 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence The Dachau commandant evidently had second thoughts, however, believ- ing that a veteran National Socialist like Erspenmüller should be given another chance to prove himself. Yet the underlying problems simply festered. Eicke wrote to Malsen-Ponickau with identical complaints on 3 July 1933 and demanded Erspenmüller’s transfer back to the Munich SS.114 Despite many ‘comradely’ dis- cussions, Erspenmüller continued to absent himself from the guard troops with comrades from Munich. On 1 July he had embarked on a marathon drinking session in the city, returning to the camp only in the early hours of 3 July. Eicke had therefore been obliged to take command of the guard units in addition to his many other duties as camp commandant. Again, Erspenmüller’s behaviour was setting a deleterious example to his NCOs, who showed signs of demoralization on guard and in training. Eicke signed off his letter requesting the immediate recall of Erspenmüller, ‘the final hindrance’ to an efficacious reordering of the Dachau SS. As so often, he got his way. Erspenmüller was transferred back to Munich.115 His successor was Michael Lippert, a man with an eventful future in the SS. Born in 1897 in a small village in Upper Franconia, Lippert was a 1914 volunteer and saw action on the Western and Eastern fronts.116 After demobilization he made his way, like so many future SS officers, to the Bavarian State Police. There he was well-regarded: a report on his eight-year tenure praised him as a ‘faultlessly reliable and punctual, devoted, dutiful and indefatigable policeman . . . a skilled horseman and an outstanding cavalry instructor’.117 In June 1930, Lippert joined the NSDAP and then the SS with the prestigiously low SS membership number of 2,968: lower even than Erspenmüller’s 3,528. His personnel file does not explain his path to Dachau on 10 July 1933, but Lippert soon caught Eicke’s eye as a capable officer with military experience. He was formally appointed the new commander of the guard troops on 3 August. Eicke depicted Lippert as the ideal National Socialist leader and an antitype to the disloyal Erspenmüller. He was quickly recommend- ing an extraordinary promotion from Sturmführer to Sturmbannführer: Lippert, who in a short space of time has been able to turn a rather loose guard detail into a tight troop should also be recognised externally as the commander of the guard units. In Lippert I have an extremely valuable support on whom I can rely in every way; in his capacity as commander of the guards he relieves me of a great burden and forms the bridge between guards and commandant. In addition to his moral qualities his knowledge of his duties is faultless, as every superior requires. I have complete faith in his loyalty.118 Lippert was involved far less than Erspenmüller in the daily lives of the prison- ers, devoting his time to moulding the Dachau sentries into a self-consciously 114 BAB, BDC SSO Erspenmüller, Eicke to Führer der Politischen Hilfspolizei Bayerns, 3 July 1933. 115 Erspenmüller eventually transferred to the SS Verfügungstruppe where he was killed com- manding an artillery regiment during the French campaign: SAM, StA 34461/4, Max von Dall-Armi, Bilder und Skizzen aus dem Konzentrationslager, 13 April 1951. 116 BAB, BDC SSO, Lippert, Lebenslauf, n.d. 117 BAB, BDC SSO Lippert, Landespolizei Regensburg Beurteilung 1929. 118 BAB, BDC SSO Lippert, Eicke to Malsen-Ponickau, 26 July 1933. The Dachau Guard Troops 73 professional corps of gaolers, with local group loyalties subordinated to collective identity. He played a central role in the purge of the SA, to be discussed below. There are indications that his conduct was not quite as remote from Erspenmüller’s as Eicke implied: a written rebuke from Himmler cites drunken parties outside his Dachau flat in the company of persons ‘not morally desirable’.119 Lippert was repri- manded for this lapse in self-restraint which had, in the familiar formula, ‘damaged the reputation of the SS’. Yet Eicke continued to hold Lippert in the highest regard as a vector of militarism and professionalism, and appointed him commander of the guard formations at later camps as they were set up, including Sachsenhausen and Buchenwald.120 Eicke’s power to appoint and transfer within the guard for- mations proved a highly effective mechanism for spreading the ‘Dachau spirit’ throughout the Reich. Lippert’s successor at Dachau was Ernst Schulze, of whom little is known. Höß describes him as a Prussian drill fanatic dispatched to Dachau by Eicke to keep the guards from regressing to their native Bavarian training preference for the ‘jolly’ and ‘comradely’, for ‘plenty of sociable evenings and a lot of Bavarian beer’.121 A police captain, Schulze does not appear to have been a member of the SS, which no doubt contributed to the ‘ill-feeling’ Höβ recalls towards him among the Dachau sentries.122 According to Höβ the guards managed to obstruct the ‘Prussian pig’ to the extent that he was moved on in 1936. Schulze was replaced by another obscure figure, Obersturmbannführer Otto-Friedrich Augustini. Born in 1891 in Minden, Augustini’s SS number suggests that he joined the organiza- tion in 1932. He was an officer at the SS Training School at Bad Tölz from April 1934 to July 1935, when he came to Dachau as leader of a guard battalion. He was promoted to command the entire guard contingent in April 1936.123 The appointment probably stemmed from him being the highest-ranked officer in the guard units, but given that both camp commandants during his tenure held the far loftier rank of Oberführer his overall influence on camp life was muted. The military exercises he arranged for the Dachau SS have been appraised as ‘extraordinarily amateurish in conception and execution’ by one historian.124 Nevertheless, Augustini eventually left Dachau at his own request in 1937 and joined the Wehrmacht. His successor, Standartenführer Max Simon, was a very influential figure in the history of the Dachau guard units and the Waffen SS. Born in Breslau in 1899, like most concentration camp guard commanders Simon was a member of the ‘front generation’.125 In 1917 he joined the Imperial Army and claimed to have served in Macedonia and France, winning the Iron Cross 1st Class for gallantry under 119 BAB, BDC SSO Lippert, Himmler to Lippert, 30 October 1934. 120 Wachsmann, ‘KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps’, ch. 2. 121 Höß, Commandant, p. 237. 122 Schulze is listed in the 1936 Dienstaltersliste as a Sturmbannführer but with no SS number. 123 BAB, BDC SSO Augustini. 124 Franz Josef Merkl, General Simon: Lebensgeschichte eines SS-Führers (Augsburg, 2010), pp. 96–7. 125 Orth has found that 58 per cent of the men in this post had front experience of some kind. Orth, Konzentrationslager SS, p. 76. 74 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence fire.126 Simon may well, however, have been indulging in the biographical spin of war record so common among Nazis: his biographer doubts that he saw front- line action.127 After the German capitulation he volunteered with the Freikorps on the Eastern border battling alleged ‘Polish insurgents’. Between 1919 and 1929 he served in the Reichswehr, leaving to take up the civil service post to which he was then entitled. Simon came to the NSDAP in April 1932 via the National Socialist Civil Servant League and joined the SS in May 1933. In 1934 he was granted leave from his job to take command of the SS formation at Sachsenburg, where he apparently greeted the camp’s assembled prisoners with the observation that the ‘good times’ were over for them.128 With this outlook, and experience in the Reichswehr, Simon was a man after Eicke’s own heart and rose swiftly in the Death’s Head units. In May 1937 Eicke appointed him to command a Dachau guard battalion. Within seven weeks he had replaced Augustini as commander of the entire guard formation, where his promotion seems to have been welcomed.129 Eicke’s annual appraisals of Simon were as glowing as those of Lippert and identified him as just the man to drive the militarization of the Death’s Head units. His grasp of comradeship was exemplary, his ‘rough manner’ balanced by an ‘inner warm heartedness’. In ideological matters Simon was apparently ‘fired by the ideas and objectives of the movement and prepared always to commit himself mercilessly to these goals’. Eicke’s disdain for the class-ridden Wehrmacht is evident in the judge- ment that Simon’s ‘men would go through fire for him . . . he is a soldier, loves all to do with weapons, but hates the military’.130 Simon did indeed insist that the ‘SS officer is in the first instance a National Socialist, in the second a soldier’ but devoted greatest energy to bringing the guard battalions up to scratch as a mili- tary, field-worthy phenomenon.131 He was a key force in the militarization of the Dachau guard units, both inside and outside the camp. With the large expansion of the Dachau guard personnel from 1936, discipli- nary and operational leadership was shared with three battalion (Sturmbann) com- manders who oversaw guard duty in weekly rotation.132 At least four SS men held this role and they had widely divergent paths to the camp. Heinrich Scheingraber had been Wäckerle’s adjutant in the early Dachau SS. Born in Munich in 1900, Scheingraber served on the Western Front from July 1917 and won the Iron Cross, 1st Class.133 After demobilization he volunteered for the Freikorps von Epp and fought in the crushing of the Räterepublik. He then found a position with a Munich newspaper, before losing his job in October 1931. In July of the same 126 BAB, BDC SSO Simon, Lebenslauf; see also Sydnor, Soldiers, pp. 48–9. 127 Merkl, General Simon, p. 28f. Further examples of such CV-enhancing among senior Dachau figures are given in Chapter 3. 128 Goeschel and Wachsmann, Nazi Concentration Camps, p. 73. 129 Merkl, General Simon, p. 97. 130 BAB, BDC SSO Simon, Beurteilung, 29 September 1940. 131 Merkl, General Simon, p. 99. 132 BAB, NS4 Da/30, Richtlinien für Ausbildung, 15 April 1939, s.2; IfZ, Fa54, Bericht SS Hauptscharführer Hans Jüng, n. d., s. 6. 133 BAB, BDC SSO Scheingraber, Abschrift des Lebenslaufes, n.d. The Dachau Guard Troops 75 year he joined the NSDAP and SS: another veteran of the formative stage of the Bavarian SS. On 25 March, Malsen-Ponickau assigned him to Dachau as adjutant, a position he filled until Eicke’s arrival before switching to the guard troops. In September 1938 he transferred for reasons unknown to the General SS. A sting- ing annual report from the latter in 1939 suggests waning commitment to the cause: Scheingraber is accused of introspection, ideological indolence, and failings of comradeship, among the worst shortcomings imaginable in the SS.134 Scheingraber was succeeded as battalion commander in the Dachau guard units by Karl Künstler. Born in Zella in 1901, the son of a barber, Künstler volunteered for the Reichswehr in 1919 and completed his twelve-year stint in April 1931.135 He joined the NSDAP and SS in May 1932 and, no doubt in view of his military background, was quickly appointed commander of an SS Sturm in Glogau. On 4 May 1935 he moved to the ‘Brandenburg’ sentry units at Columbia House as guard commander, and soon after to the SS cadet school at Bad Tölz as an instruc- tor. In the summer of 1937 he seems to have fallen into bad odour at Bad Tölz, but was welcomed back to the Death’s Head fold by Eicke. After a probationary spell he was appointed a company commander in the Dachau sentry units. Appointed to succeed Scheingraber, Künstler received a glowing first report from Simon, who recommended his formal promotion to Sturmbannführer. In December 1938, however, he fell under a cloud at Dachau too, engaging in unspecified drunken misdemeanours with two other guards. Eicke immediately placed him on leave and penned a highly damning, if typically paternalistic, critique to Simon: SS Stubaf Künstler has not behaved like an SS officer, but like a brewer’s drayman (Bierkutscher). This kind of example ruins the troops . . . It was a grave mistake to promote K to Stubaf. Whoever succumbs to alcohol is unreliable and will lose his Death’s Head officer insignia . . . Künstler has sunk in my estimation, and if I give him another chance despite his disgraceful behaviour, it is because of his little lad, whom I met at Christmas.136 Tellingly, Künstler was indeed given another chance to prove himself in service to Eicke, but not in the Dachau guard troops. Instead, on 1 May 1939, he was appointed camp commandant of Flossenbürg. There he once more enjoyed glow- ing appraisals, although inmates are united in the view that he was a brutal and drunken tyrant. But such behaviour was tolerable in dealings with prisoners as it was not in providing leadership to SS soldiers.137 Eduard Deisenhofer, born in 1909 in Freising, had a very different career in the SS. He joined early, in October 1930, earning the low membership number of 3,642. He volunteered for Dietrich’s Leibstandarte in February 1934 and then for the 134 BAB, BDC SSO Scheingraber, Personalbericht July 1939. 135 Johannes Tuchel, ‘Die Kommandanten des Konzentrationslagers Flossenbürg—Eine Studie zur Personalpolitik in der SS’, in Helge Grabitz, Klaus Bästlein, and Tuchel (eds), Die Normalität des Verbrechens: Bilanz und Perspektiven der Forschung zu den nationalsozialistischen Gewaltverbrechen (Berlin, 1994), p. 207. 136 Tuchel, ‘Flossenbürg’, p. 208. 137 Tuchel, ‘Flossenbürg’, p. 209. 76 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence Verfügungstruppe. He rose very rapidly for his age to Obersturmführer, but in 1935 fell foul of uncomradely intrigue. He was assigned by Himmler to remedial training in the Dachau guard units for three months as a rank-and-file private, on the equivalent pay.138 Himmler depicted this not as a punishment but rather standard procedure for officers not yet fully attuned to the exacting leadership requirements in the SS. Deisenhofer, however, was outraged. From Dachau he penned a lengthy complaint on the matter, which he ascribed to the machinations of a malicious rival and former subordinate.139 He found it painful to have to wear the uniform of a humble private, rather than his Obersturmführer stripes. He objected to the risible pay, unimpressed by the argument that Dachau finances did not stretch to the remuneration appropriate to his rank. In response, a memo noted wearily of his new posting that he was essen- tially too young to be an officer in the Verfügungstruppe, that he had dealt clumsily with subordinates, and that he had repeatedly been seen drunk.140 He was entitled to wear his Obersturmführer uniform at Dachau when off-duty. Yet Deisenhofer clearly reconciled himself to his new environment and to the slight in honour of transfer to the concentration camp troops which lurks unarticulated in his correspondence. After brief postings in Columbia Haus and Sachsenhausen he returned to the camp for the remainder of the Dachau School era. He went on to have a meteoric career in the Waffen SS and was one of fourteen Death’s Head personnel to be awarded the Knight’s Cross medal.141 Hellmuth Becker also arrived at Dachau from the Verfügungstruppe under a cloud. He enjoyed, however, exactly the right kind of CV for advancement in the camp guard formations. Born in 1902, Becker was a volunteer in the Freikorps Grothe and served in the 5th Prussian Infantry Regiment of the Reichswehr from 1920 to 1929. His passing out papers commend him as ‘physically strong, men- tally sharp and in body and soul a soldier’.142 Becker then spent several years as a civil servant and joined the SS in February 1933. In 1934 he volunteered for the Verfügungstruppe in Hamburg. His passing out report from here was less ful- some. It acknowledged his military aptitude and claim to leadership but insisted that it would have to be elsewhere. Becker had been the leader of a ‘clique’ in the officer corps which adversely affected the morale and performance of the entire unit.143 The brief report found space to note tartly that he also wore glasses: aways negatively construed in the SS. Becker transferred to the Dachau guard forma- tions in July 1935 as commander of the 9th platoon where he was once more highly regarded. His 1936 annual appraisal lauded the ‘spirit’ in his guard battal- ion and Becker’s achievement in instilling this despite limited resources.144 Becker is described as a devoted father and as passionately committed to the Dachau 138 BAB, BDC SSO Deisenhofer, Schmitt to Deisenhofer, 27 February 1935. 139 BAB, BDC SSO Deisenhofer, Beschwerde, 2 April 1935. 140 BAB, BDC SSO Deisenhofer, Aktenvermerk Munich, 12 April 1935. 141 French L. MacLean, The Camp Men: The SS Officers Who Ran the Nazi Concentration Camp System (USA, 1999), p. 272. 142 BAB, NS4 Da/38, Persönliche Unterlagen des SS-Untersturmführer Hellmuth Becker, s. 145. 143 BAB, BDC SSO Becker, Versetzung Hamburg, 26 April 1935. 144 BAB, BDC SSO Becker, 1936 Beurteilung. The Dachau Guard Troops 77 SS Sports Association, a site of comradeship and physical conditioning in which Simon invested great importance. Like Deisenhofer, Becker thrived in the less demanding military world of the concentration camp guard units and Death’s Head Division, becoming the latter’s final commander and surrendering it to the USA in May 1945. Some common characteristics can be identified among these guiding figures in the Dachau guard units, the ill-documented Schulze excluded. All had expe- rience in the army. While every overall commander of the guard units, except Erspenmüller, was a member of the ‘front generation’, each of the battalion com- manders hailed from the ‘war youth cohort’. They tended to go on to have highly ‘successful’ careers either in the camps or the Waffen SS, with service in the Dachau School a springboard. Most striking of all is an early commitment to the Nazi movement, with each officer joining either the SS or NSDAP well before the ‘sei- zure of power’, generally in 1930 or 1931. This early commitment and purported prescience afforded them great prestige in SS circles and among their men. It was held to equip them with the cultural capital to militarize the guard units in the spirit of the political soldier facing the ‘enemy within’. The next layer of authority in the Dachau guard troops comprised the leaders of the companies who performed sentry duty in rotation. With the departure of the Bavarian State Police, the early Dachau guard companies were led by Anton Waldmann, Karl Fritzsch, Wilhelm Breimaier, and Max Koegel. All four, like the officers discussed above, were veterans of the SS and NSDAP, having joined the latter in 1930 or 1931. Koegel and Waldmann had served as volunteers in the Imperial Army, while Fritsch and Breimaier were of the ‘war youth’ generation. Himmler was so impressed with their collective achievement under Lippert with the guard troops, when he visited Dachau in January 1934, that all four were promoted.145 Fritzsch and Koegel are examples of early guard personnel who went on to have high-profile careers on the command staff of Dachau and later con- centration camps: Koegel became commandant of Ravensbrück, Majdanek, and Flossenbürg, Fritzsch compound leader in Flossenbürg and Auschwitz. Breimaier and Waldmann remained with the concentration camp guard units. Breimaier offers an illustrative case study in the failings of paramilitary lead- ership. Although a veteran party member with a low SS number, he lacked the character and charisma to lead even within the Death’s Head units. Eventually, in 1937, Eicke asked the SS Personnel Office to transfer Breimaier back to the General SS as, although a worthy ‘old fighter’, he was ‘no longer able to meet the heavy expectations for an officer of a professional (kasernierte) unit’.146 The details are furnished by a report from the guard commander of Buchenwald.147 While hard-working and conscientious, Breimaier lacked ideological clarity, cha- risma, and leadership skills: above all the ability to make decisions on the spot. In this he was frequently upstaged by his NCOs, whom he accordingly lacked the 145 BAB, BDC SSO Koegel, Letter Eicke to SS Oberabschnitt Süd, presence to train and develop. This, the report continues, was only to be expected in the Death’s Head units, the home of such select and demanding material. Perhaps most seriously, the performance of Breimaier’s company on parade before Hitler and Mussolini had embarrassed Himmler and the Death’s Head forma- tions. Breimaier, at this point back in Dachau for remedial training, conceded that his subordinates had lost the requisite deference to him.148 He attributed this to his inability to maintain the distance from the rank-and-file necessary of an SS officer: comradely, but not friendly. One of his NCOs, Hauptsturmführer S., had in consequence been undermining his standing with the men, insinuating that Breimaier’s unusually friendly relations with them were an attempt to disguise his lack of leadership skills. Breimaier was tormented by the thought that his com- pany had dishonoured the Death’s Head formations in front of the Führer and the Duce. If Himmler and Eicke had lost confidence in him as a leader of men, he asked to be released from the SS.149 The machinations of Hauptsturmführer S., similar to those leading to Deisenhofer’s transfer to Dachau, are significant. While in the regular army pat- terns of deference and compliance were governed by hierarchy, in the SS a subor- dinate had far more scope to press a rival claim to leadership. By this time many ‘old fighters’ in the guard formations were falling by the wayside, supplanted by a younger and more adroit generation of officers. The gradual eclipse of the found- ing generation of the SS, and the decline of ‘old fighters’ from the Weimar era in the Dachau guard troops, is evident from Table 2.2. As will be seen in the next chapter, founders and ‘old fighters’ were still given paid roles in the concentration camps, but increasingly only on their command staff, where the stress was less on leadership and soldiering than on terrorizing camp inmates. In demographic terms, too, the clock was ticking for SS veterans among the Dachau guard troops with the beginning of rapid expansion in 1936. By the end of the 1930s even the ‘war youth’ generation of officers was giving way to a post-war cohort born after 1910 with little memory of the Great War and greater socialization in the Third Reich itself.150 Table 2.3 provides a breakdown of 148 BAB, BDC SSO Breimaier, Breimaier to Führer der SSTV und Konzentrationslager, 24 September 1937. 149 For a similar example of failings of paramilitary leadership see Hein, Elite, pp. 58–9. 150 For an analytical summary of the key generations of Nazi leaders, see Ulrich Herbert, ‘Drei politische Generationen im 20: Jahrhundert’, in Jürgen Reulecke (ed.), Generationalität und Lebensgeschichte im 20: Jahrhundert (Munich, 2003), pp. 95–114. The Dachau Guard Troops 79 Table 2.3 Dachau guard troop officers by generation. Generation Front Generation (b. <1900 1901="" b.="" generation="" post-war="" war="" youth="">1910) 1934 1935 1936 27% 38% 12% 4% 4% 23% 0% 2% 9% 1937 1938 8% 15% 30% 40% 24% 65% Dachau guard officers, excluding overall commanders and battalion leaders, dur- ing the Dachau School. Complaints from SS ‘old fighters’ about a lack of preferential treatment in posts and promotions became common in the mid-1930s.151 Yet the implication that later arrivals to the SS were mere opportunists is not borne out by the CVs of Dachau School officers. One statistical indication of the ideological commit- ment throughout its officer corps is that just fifteen men were not members of the NSDAP as well as the SS. Party membership did not follow automatically from joining the SS and had to be applied for individually.152 Moreover, like all Germans, SS men could not join the NSDAP between May 1933 and April 1937 because of the freeze on new members. Applying to join the Party much later, once the ban was lifted, was then an entirely separate decision from joining the SS, an independent statement of enhanced political commitment. An example of the new generation of Führer in the guard units is Georg Bochmann. Born in 1913, he was evidently a young and dashing Death’s Head officer deemed fully to command the personal devotion of his men. His annual appraisals laud his dependability, ideological clarity, energy, comradeship, intel- ligence, and ‘steely diligence’.153 He excelled in the all-important ‘toughness’, had a mature ‘outlook on life’, was socially adroit, decisive, and an excellent developer of men. By 1939, Simon concluded, Bochmann was a ‘capable and proven company commander despite his tender age. His company is in every respect the finest in the Standarte and he is a role model for the younger officers’.154 Bochmann’s legend as a Dachau guard commander was nourished during the war. A hagiography in Das Schwarze Korps, to commemorate him being awarded the Knight’s Cross for gallantry, interviewed ‘an old Rottenführer’ from Dachau who recalled, obligingly: Our company was always the best in the SS Death’s Head Upper Bavaria. At Reich Party Rallies we always shone when marching in front of the Führer. Once we were given special holiday in reward. That was the ‘Bochmann School.’155 Das Schwarze Korps presented this stellar performance in the Dachau School as the natural preamble to Bochmann’s feats in the French campaign and the ‘war of annihilation against Bolshevism’. In the familiar imagery, the paper lauded him as 151 Boehnert, ‘Sociography’, p. 43ff. 152 Riedle, Angehörigen, pp. 76–7. 153 BAB, BDC SSO Bochmann, Beurteilung Dachau, 30 December 1935. 154 BAB, BDC SSO Bochmann, Beurteilung Dachau, 30 December 1935. 155 BAB, BDC SSO Bochmann, ‘Das war Schule Bochmann’ (undated). 80 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence an officer of ‘iron toughness, steely will and the highest daring’. Bochmann is an exemplar of a generation of youthful and ‘starry-eyed’ SS officers who rose to field command in the final years of the war and led the fanatical resistance against the Allied armies.156 It was Simon’s intention that every guard platoon (Zug) at Dachau would be led by an officer with Bochmann’s pre-war rank of Obersturmführer. A guard company (Hundertschaft), comprising three platoons, would be led by a Hauptsturmführer.157 This was still a work-in-progress as of September 1938, but without exception every platoon was commanded by an SS man of officer rank. With the responsi- bilities of guard leadership came financial reward. Even the lowest commissioned rank of Untersturmführer attracted monthly remuneration of least 221 Reichsmark, a substantial increase on the top NCO pay set out previously. An Obersturmführer earned 311 Reichsmark per month and a Hauptsturmführer up to 420 Reichsmark, the level of a top civil servant.158 This was an appealing remuneration package for those personnel with the extensive army service that Himmler and Eicke were try- ing to recruit to the Death’s Head units in the late 1930s. The rewards available to such volunteers, who could be commissioned directly upon enrolment, were extravagant and expeditious. Otto Haslreiter, for example, born in 1906, came to Dachau in 1938 as a sergeant with twelve years of military service behind him. After serving a four-week probationary spell on guard duty he was immediately appointed to the rank of Obersturmführer.159 TRAINING The imagery of the ‘Bochmann School’ illustrates the emphasis in the Death’s Head sentry formations on practical leadership and example, on ceaseless proac- tivity in personnel development. ‘As a rule’, wrote Simon, ‘every young SS man is eager to learn’.160 He was quickly demoralized, however, by slovenly or uncom- mitted officers and comrades. His general outlook developed from the practical example of his commander, who was to provide ideological sustenance to his men just like a field chaplain in war.161 For this reason it was vital that officers were fully up-to-date on political issues and that they develop themselves intellectually ‘through reading good books, watching plays and good films, going to museums’. Every Friday evening between eight and ten Simon led ‘ideological development’ seminars for all officers.162 They were exhorted to lead as National Socialists rather than soldiers, with ideological guidance in no sense restricted to the nominal hours 156 Gerald Reitlinger, The SS: Alibi of a Nation 1922–1945 (London, 1956), p. 86. 157 BAB, NS4 Da/30, Personalbefehl Nr. 63/38, 20 September 1938. 158 IfZ, Fa 127, Appeal to General SS for Technical Officers for Death’s Head Formations, s. 149; Buggeln, Arbeit, p. 401. 159 BAB, BDC SSO Haslreiter, Eicke to SS Personnel Office Berlin, 22 June 1938. 160 BAB, NS4 Da/30, Auszüge aus den Richtlinien für Ausbildung im Winter 1937/38, s. 1. 161 BAB, NS4 Da/30, Richtlinien für Ausbildung, 6 January 1939, s. 11. 162 BAB, NS4 Da/30, Richtlinien für Ausbildung, 15 April 1939, s. 2. Emphasis in original. The Dachau Guard Troops 81 devoted to it in the training programme. There was after all little point, continued Simon, in guards attending lectures on race and honour when the very same even- ing they forgot themselves and grabbed at any passing girl. He expected his officers to be aware of where their men spent their free time. Meal times, too, required his presence. For what was the use of a motivational address on the Four Year Plan, Simon concluded, when at lunchtime no officer was with the men and they gorged themselves like pigs? Sport, too, was a form of training and one in which Simon invested great importance. In another example of rhetorical invitation to leave guard service, he warned that any officer who felt that sport was ‘superfluous’ should immediately apply for a transfer, which he would gladly authorize.163 It was also deemed essential that all officers were present at ideological school- ing sessions for enlisted men so they could tailor their leadership to the topics addressed. It was from this area of the Dachau School curriculum that the finer details of the guard ‘world view’ were built. A minimum of two hours every week was devoted to intensive schooling, whether or not the guard platoon in ques- tion was on sentry duty.164 It was conducted by specialist Death’s Head ‘schooling officers’. Eicke instructed them to divide the time between discoursing on the current ‘political situation’ and the key tenets of SS ideology.165 Topics included the history of the NSDAP and its struggle for power, its transformative impact on the people and state, and the ‘spiritual revival’ of the ‘Aryan’ race. Emphasis was laid on the history of the SS as both ‘protective wall’ and shock troops of National Socialism, the front line soldiers in Germany’s military and racial renaissance. The importance of the strict SS principles of selection, marriage regulations, and the relation between ‘blood and soil’ were to be explored in depth. It went ‘without saying that during this period the men read and discuss the Führer’s Mein Kampf ’. Communal perusal of Das Schwarze Korps was likewise essential. According to Eicke, the Dachau sentries distinguished themselves in zeal to spread the ideo- logical word beyond the camp through circulation of the newspaper, ‘the spiritual weapon of the SS’.166 The guards had arranged a block subscription and then, hav- ing perused and digested the content, sent them back to friends and family in their home towns. In this way, the commendation continues, an additional 500 copies per week found their way to ‘national comrades’. Finally, and perhaps most pertinent of all to concentration camp guards, they were to discuss the many enemies of National Socialism. These ran, in order, Jewry, freemasonry, Marxism and Bolshevism, the Church, and reaction in all its forms. Revolutionary anticlericalism was particularly fervent in the Death’s Head troops. Eicke devoted several pages of his April 1937 orders of the month to the Catholic 163 BAB, NS4 Da/30, Richtlinien für Ausbildung, 15 April 1939, s. 5. On the importance of sport in the SS, see Bahro, Der SS Sport; Hein, Elite, pp. 213–25; Veronika Springmann, ‘“Sport machen”: s. 2550159. 82 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence Church and its ‘monstrous thirst for power’.167 Guards were vehemently encour- aged to renounce Catholicism. Most did so, which can only have enhanced their cognitive dependence on the SS. By the end of 1939 80 per cent of the Death’s Head personnel had no confessional affiliation, compared to 56 per cent in the SS Verfügungstruppe and just 26 per cent in the General SS.168 What impact this ideological emphasis had on guard conduct is difficult to gauge. The SS continued to issue propaganda leaflets, and the Death’s Head units to prize exhortatory lectures and ideological discussions, throughout the Third Reich, which suggests that Himmler and Eicke considered it worth investing scarce resources in. The youth of Death’s Head personnel may be pertinent to assessing their susceptibility to this aspect of the Dachau School. For the young men of the ‘post-war generation’, socialized in the Hitler Youth and barely touched by the German humanist tradition, it was no doubt a powerful influence when aligned to social pressures to performative and discursive compliance.169 Yet SS ideology in the everyday life of the camps was lived rather than theorized. It offered a filter and framework to interpret the camps and their context, the construal and ‘definition of the situation’ in Milgram’s terms.170 It lessened inhibitions and provided retrospective clarity to situational violence. As one historian has written, among National Socialists the ‘deed preceded the thought, constantly molding and confirming it . . . acting in a manner perceived as necessary for the situation, one expected and actually created that situation, confirming one’s expectations and justifying one’s actions’.171 EVERYDAY VIOLENCE Vigilance and distance from inmates were the daily watchwords for the rank-and-file camp guard, as the punishments handed out by Eicke make clear. Aptitude and ideological commitment were measured in tough, proactive conduct, in assimila- tion to the Dachau habitus. When not in training, life as a pre-war Dachau guard entailed daily tedium enlivened occasionally by cruel pieces of public theatre. The most amenable guard duty, recalled one young recruit, was in the guard towers or at the gates where sentry posts were rotated every two hours.172 The worst was at external, prisoner work details which might entail a long march to the site of 167 fZ MA 293, IKL Befehlsblatt, April 1937, s. 2550187 168 In Höhne, Order, p. 277. 169 Browning’s analysis of the contribution of propaganda and ideological instruction to the behav- iour of Police Battalion 101, for example, accords it little weight because the perpetrators concerned were older, and socialized in an earlier age. Browning, Ordinary Men, pp. 176–84. Sofsky, necessarily, downplays the contribution of ideological training, of hazy cod philosophy and ‘sundry legends’ from the Kampfzeit. He suggests that schooling sessions were probably greeted with at least as much fooling around and grinning insincerity as they are in any organization. This, however, would seem incongru- ous with the ‘bright-eyed’ self-conception of the troops. Sofsky, Order, p. 110. 170 Milgram, Obedience, p. 146. See also Welzer, Täter, passim, esp. pp. 48–75. 171 Omer Bartov, Hitler’s Army, p. 107. 172 Michaelis, Waffen SS, p. 309. The Dachau Guard Troops 83 work, and then eight hours at their post during the working day. Intermediate was watching over smaller groups of prisoners in camp workshops, the Übungslager, and over repair details in the prisoner compound. In Dachau, sentries were generally in closer spatial contact with the prisoners than in more expansive camps such as Buchenwald or Auschwitz and this may have contributed to the proactivity of its guard culture. Just as Dachau prison- ers were almost always in the line of sight of sentries, so too were the guards in that of each other and their superiors. This panoptical effect reduced the scope for shirking or mere performative compliance in contrast to the vast forests of Buchenwald or under-staffed wartime satellite camps, in a manner redolent of Milgram’s findings on the phenomenon.173 Neurath, persuasively, foregrounds the situational in most cases of sentry chicanery: the guards were bored, una- ble to move around, standing for hours on end in the unpredictable Bavarian weather; even the prisoners could move around.174 Sometimes they were hun- gover or otherwise indisposed from the previous day’s drill. Pieces of social thea- tre, which could also be construed as signifiers of ideological zeal, alleviated the shared tedium. Demonstrative acts of violence could earn the perpetrator a cer- tain social capital: here the prisoners were props rather than subjects. Yet often, writes Neurath, guards looked upon what they did to the prisoners less as an act of fiendish cruelty than as a boyish joke: You yelled at a man and the man began to run. You yelled some more, and he got frightened and ran some more. You could feel like a young puppy, barking with joy at an object that moved.175 This gamesome tyranny, also on some level a ritualization of power, pervaded the everyday life of the prisoners. They were often forced to collude in the theatre, chuckling appreciatively at the wit and imagination of the guard in question since, they soon realized, in the grotesque power relations of Dachau it was in the victim’s interest to cede to the guard the recognition he believed he had earned.176 A staple of the genre was the ‘pretending not to hear’ game, in which prisoners seeking permission to go to the toilet would be ignored. Inmates had to abject themselves in this situation, maintaining a prescribed distance from the guard who, accord- ingly, by rotating himself by 90 degrees, would force the prisoner to run around to face him.177 Of course, what started off as an exuberant prank or mirthful theatre could spiral into unrestrained or lethal violence. Another initiative evident across all camps was for sentries to toss bread, or inmates’ caps, into the neutral zone within the perimeter walls to entice inexperienced prisoners into entering it. They might then be shot ‘trying to escape’.178 173 On disinterested sentries, see Neurath, Society, pp. 101–5; Buggeln, Arbeit, pp. 412–13; Cohen, Human Behaviour, p. 255. 174 Neurath, Society, p. 74. 175 Neurath, Society, p. 74. 176 Kay, Dachau, p. 113. 177 Hübsch, ‘Insel’, p. 57; Neurath, Society, p. 74; WL, Herbert Seligman, ‘Drei Jahre hinter Stacheldraht’ (1945), p. 17. 178 Schwarz, ‘Wir haben’, p. 53; Schnabel, Frommen, pp. 46–7; Zámecník (ed.), ‘Aufzeichnungen’, pp. 175–6; Röder, Nachtwache, p. 24. 84 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence For the inmates, much could depend on the mood of guards. Laurence recalls that the majority of sentries caused few problems when they were relaxed and ‘at ease’.179 In such a situation, a sentry was almost as likely as the prisoners to hope for the morning or afternoon to pass smoothly, without having to expend energy disci- plining them or later filling out reports for formal punishments. Prisoners became skilled at discerning guards’ moods from the very outset of shifts, and indications of a hungover or irritable sentry would send their spirits crashing. On these occasions the guard ‘might not even let us take our tools out without previously having ordered us to lie down and roll in the dirt’. It is impossible, naive even, to propose a discrete linear ‘motivation’ for the countless indignities and petty cruelties meted out to pris- oners of every category every day. Primo Levi addressed the topic with customary erudition and concluded that, ultimately, such violence was social in meaning.180 It documented the subjugation of the prisoners and the power of the SS. The somewhat generic, non-biographical character of this discussion is reflec- tive of the available source material. Particularly towards the end of the Dachau School, the guard personnel were simply too numerous and anonymous to find any detailed description in prisoner memoirs. Neurath, once again, puts it best: To the prisoners, the guards were a great herd of animals without any individuality. Usually weeks would pass before one would see the same guard a second time. And usually prisoners did not recognise the guards unless one had been mistreated by a guard in a rather spectacular way. After all, you don’t remember every dog that barks at you in the streets, but you will certainly remember the one that bites you.181 Even when an atrocity was so ‘spectacular’ that the sentry in question was remem- bered, and when in most unusual addition the event was investigated in depth after the war, the evidence points to toxic environment rather than dispositional pathology as the primary cause. This is illustrated by an incident from May 1934 which was pursued by Naaff’s team. The perpetrator was Maximilian Seefried, a 20-year-old guard with six months’ experience in the camp. It was dusk, around six in the evening, between roll call and lights out, and the scene was typical of this era, one slightly less draconian than most under the comparatively restrained tenure of commandant Deubel. The prisoners were mingling on the road between their barracks.182 Some were polishing shoes, some cleaning clothes, some playing football, others just chatting and exchanging jokes. Two inmates were scuffling in good humour on the street. Seefried, meanwhile, was on sentry duty in a zone about 100 metres wide just outside the barbed wire of the prisoner compound.183 According to his first testimony to American investigators, he espied the two scrap- ping prisoners forty metres away and, since fighting was forbidden by camp regula- tions, shot them. He added that he had been afraid of the consequences had he not acted according to the camp regulations and used his rifle.184 179 Laurence, ‘Out of the Night’, p. 57. 180 Levi, Drowned, pp. 83–101. 181 Neurath, Society, p. 76. 182 SAM, StA 34402, Vernehmungsprotokoll Johann Kaltenbacher, 2 February 1948. 183 SAM, StA 34402, Protokoll Maximilian Seefried, 30 September 1948. 184 SAM, StA 34402, Record about Produced Person, 31 May 1947. The Dachau Guard Troops 85 Four months later, the case having been passed as murder to the Munich judici- ary, it had clearly occurred to Seefried or his legal counsel that his invocation of camp regulations did not provide the carte blanche he had initially assumed. His next account of the incident was a cacophony of self-exculpation and muddled logic: I was on guard duty and patrolling up and down my allocated sentry zone outside the barbed wire. My field of vision encompassed the barracks and the road between them, and I noticed that two prisoners were scuffling. It was forbidden for prisoners to fight. Our orders were to use our weapons in the event of fights or gatherings of prisoners in the camp. This was a secret directive we had been told about in a lecture. If I hadn’t stopped these two prisoners scrapping and been caught, I would have been dismissed and perhaps imprisoned for three weeks in punishment. This was a real risk at that time of day, when the duty officer usually did his rounds in the camp. The fight took place around 25 meters away from my sentry zone. I was not allowed to call out when on guard duty, so I raised my hand to order them to stop. I don’t know if they saw my signal. I can’t be sure if they even saw me, but at any rate they didn’t stop fighting. So finally I used my rifle. I only wanted to injure one of them so I aimed for his arm. I dispute that I wanted to kill any- one. However, I couldn’t aim too far away from them as they were surrounded by a crowd of other prisoners and I might easily have hit one. As I had to use my weapon, I was pretty flustered. After the shot both fell immediately to the ground. I then realised that I must have hit them both. However, they weren’t killed immediately as one grabbed his leg and the other raised his hand to his head. Our orders back then were very strict. We weren’t allowed to issue warning shots, or to shoot in the air, or to shout out when on sentry duty. We had to use our weapons as soon as gatherings or fights took place in the camp, since there was the danger that prisoners could try to escape. Also, if we were required to use our weapons, one had at least to hit home.185 There are many contortions in Seefried’s account. On the one hand, Eicke’s regulations instructed guards to shoot, and kill, without warning. On the other, Seefried is anxious to avoid the capital charge of murder, which is based among other things in the German Penal Code on intent to kill. Seefried offers as an explanation for shooting his fear of not complying with the regulations, but wav- ing his arm in the air by way of warning was likewise contrary to them.186 Aiming merely to hit the arm, as he claims, was too, particularly in view of the informal rule cited that shots fired had to hit home. Moreover, if Seefried had nonethe- less genuinely wished to warn the prisoners before shooting, how would raising a hand in the air so far away from two men engaged in a fight have helped? This no doubt explains the reduction in stated distance from the incident from forty to twenty-five metres in his second testimony. Furthermore, Seefried cites the reg- ulations banning ‘gatherings’ (Ansammlungen) of prisoners as the reason he was compelled to shoot. Given that other prisoners were chatting and playing football which, as he admits in subsequent testimony, was customary under Deubel, this is nonsensical.187 Did two prisoners scuffling in the camp street really represent a 185 SAM, StA 34402, Protokoll Maximilian Seefried, 2 February 1948. 186 BAB, R3001/21167, Dienstvorschriften für die Begleitposten und Gefangenenbewachung, 1 October 1933, ss. 62–9. 187 SAM, StA 34402, Protokoll Maximilian Seefried, 30 September 1948. 86 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence more alarming ‘gathering’ than the customary scenes at dusk at this time, a critical mass of trespass against the regulations? This in turn dilutes the underlying argu- ment that guards had no choice and no personal scope for discretion in interpret- ing the regulations. The case brings into focus the contribution of the apparently all-encompassing regulations to muddying the sentries’ sense of personal account- ability, as well as the fundamental lack of protection from judicial competence they provided: it was political clout alone that kept the judiciary at bay from Dachau (Chapter 6). Yet this was scarcely an intentional or premeditated murder. It was also highly unusual, which is why it was remembered by inmates and Munich prosecutors alike. There are no other violent incidents on Seefried’s file. He volunteered for the SS only in March 1933, having previously worked for the Red Cross as a driver and nurse. Seefried’s concern about the scheduled appearance of authority, his company leader, seems the most plausible explanation for his action. The incident was atypical but played out in a normalized social field of pathologized inmates and unbound, desensitized guards who were constantly instructed that tolerance and hesitation were unworthy of an SS man.188 As has been seen, Seefried’s stated concern about being dismissed or imprisoned is plausible. Dachau sentries were disciplined formally, culturally, and socially but, as his action shows, retained a broad margin for personal discretion (Handlungsspielraum) commensurate with a very personal and moral agency. BEYOND THE BARBED WIRE ‘Guard duty’, wrote Eicke in June 1934, shortly before the event which would define his career, is a service of honour to the Fatherland. Performing it demands an elevated sense of duty. We are not prison wardens but political soldiers and the Führer’s bodyguard . . . We are the representatives of the National Socialist revolution and the most loyal defenders of its state . . . But we shall never become officials, we will remain men of action and shock troops in black . . . In times to come we will be needed with our merciless spirit of attack. We rally around our Führer and whenever the interest of the Movement requires us, we must act.189 For the first fifteen months of the camp’s existence, its SS stood formally among the Brownshirts as the sentinels and conscience of the Nazi seizure of power. Röhm had extensive ambitions for the SA and SS, inspired by the conspiratorial paramilitarism of early 1920s Bavaria.190 He saw them as a people’s army, the van- guard of the remilitarization of German society with the Reichswehr reduced to 188 More generally on situational sentry violence, see Buggeln, Arbeit, pp. 480–4. On pathologized inmates, Chapter 4 of the present book. 189 Commandant Order 1/34, June 1934. Printed in Goeschel and Wachsmann, The Nazi Concentration Camps, pp. 150–1, here p. 150. 190 Longerich, Geschichte, pp. 186–7. The Dachau Guard Troops 87 an advisory, technical role. When Hitler decided the time had come to act against Röhm, Himmler’s ambition and the precedents of the early 1930s ensured that the SS would play a central role. And the Dachau SS, as the historian Wachsmann observes, would prove ‘Hitler’s most energetic executioner’.191 Contingent preparations in Bavaria began in early June when Eicke oversaw a practice exercise with SS troops around Munich.192 In the days leading up to the purge, Lippert and other senior Dachau figures were brought into the planning. Sentries were despatched to secure sensitive locations in Munich: four guards, for example, were deployed to watch over Rudolf Hess’s villa.193 On the morning of 30 June Eicke led several hundred Dachau guards, armed with machine guns from the guard towers, out on trucks and buses to rendezvous with a detach- ment of the Leibstandarte. Detailed as backup, they missed out on involvement in Röhm’s arrest only because Hitler had arrived before the scheduled time at Bad Wiessee. Instead they followed his motorcade back to Brown House in Munich, where Eicke was evidently primed to prepare Dachau for the murder ahead. At least twenty people were shot in the camp between 30 June and 2 July, the most prominent the elderly Gustav von Kahr whose role in betraying the Munich Putsch in 1923 had not been forgotten. According to Steinbrenner, Kahr’s arrival fired up the SS, who bundled him vio- lently across to where Eicke was sat smoking in a chair outside his office. Savouring the moment, the Dachau commandant turned his right thumb downwards to signal Kahr’s fate. The 71-year-old was probably executed in the Bunker. Although the SS played loud music to disguise the gunfire, the prisoners endured sleepless nights that Saturday and Sunday, tormented by gunshots, searchlights, and the ‘Indian war-whoops’ of the Dachau SS as another alleged traitor was dispatched.194 An inmate from the first company caught watching proceedings through his bar- rack window was apparently shot at by a sentry, and a party of guards charged into the barracks in a ‘blood rush’. The SS used the occasion of the Röhm purge opportunistically to murder five inmates in solitary confinement in the Bunker. To forestall any political or judicial complications, Eicke told Himmler that these prisoners had announced their support for Röhm’s plot.195 It also seems that Dr Flamm, a State Court physician who had carried out the autopsies on inmates murdered by the early Dachau SS, escaped death only by chance thanks to being at his mother’s in Augsburg.196 On the evening of 1 July Eicke, Lippert, and SS Gruppenführer Heinrich Schmauser, the liaison officer between the SS and army for the purge, set out for Stadelheim prison. The two Dachau men murdered Röhm in his cell and returned to the camp with four more Brownshirts who, stripped to the waist, were shot on 191 Wachsmann, ‘KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps’, ch. 2. 192 Longerich, Himmler, p. 173. 193 SAM, StA Vernehmung Karl Minderlein, Weissenburg, 25 July 1949. The following from Wachsmann, ‘KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps’, ch. 2. 194 Nazi Bastille Dachau, pp. 100–1; Richardi, Schule, pp. 237–8. 195 Wachsmann, ‘KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps’, ch. 2. 196 SAM, StA 34832/3, Zeugenvernehmungsprotokoll Friedrich Döbig, 21 August 1951. 88 Dachau and the SS: A Schooling in Violence the SS shooting range near the Bunker. The assembled SS men gave a round of applause.197 According to a prisoner who worked in the SS canteen, the Dachau SS staged a Homeric ‘victory celebration’ to mark the purge in which they got through some 1,400 litres of beer.198 Eicke was confirmed as Reich ‘Inspector’ of the concentration camps, and in late 1934 Himmler promoted the guard forma- tions to the status of a separate force within the SS. This aside, in the distribution of the spoils the Dachau SS was overshadowed by the generous rewards bestowed on Dietrich’s Leibstandarte for its role in events. A creeping sense of being undervalued in comparison to other SS formations is important to understanding the desperate striving for status and esteem by the concentration camp troops. On 17 March 1933, around the same time as the piecemeal formation of the early Dachau SS, Hitler had instructed Dietrich to set up a ceremonial guard for the Reich Chancellery.199 Initially classified, like the Dachau guard troops, as an auxiliary police formation, on 1 October it was decided to fund it centrally on exactly the same pay scale as the Reichswehr. Unlike the Dachau SS, the thousand or so men of the SS Leibstandarte now enjoyed Reichswehr perks, such as half-price fares on the German railways. Himmler attempted to secure the same for SS camp guards but met with a telling and symbolic lack of success.200 Steinbrenner, characteristically, later looked back on the contrasting treatment of the Leibstandarte and camp SS with bitterness and self-pity.201 In 1935 an SS guard from Columbia House in Berlin, too, com- plained to an SPD exile newspaper that morale there was poor because they were ‘not treated as a force should be treated’, unlike the ‘pampered’ Leibstandarte.202 Many concentration camp guards sought without success to be transferred to the latter which, in accordance with supply and demand, was able to insist on physical minima for recruits that the Death’s Head sentry formations could barely dream of. The Leibstandarte also came to enjoy largely cordial and cooperative relations with the army, in contrast to the respectively dismissive and chippy rela- tionship which developed between the latter and the Death’s Head formations.203 Adding insult to injury, Hitler, after the ‘Night of the Long Knives’, author- ized the formation of further units on the model of the Leibstandarte, stationed throughout the Reich and likewise paid, trained, and equipped on the lines of the army. It was these units, initially known as ‘political emergency squads’ (politische Bereitschaften), together with the Leibstandarte, which formed the SS Verfügungstruppe.204 All were financed by the Reich Ministry of the Interior and paid as per army personnel. Thus, until April 1936, the concentration camp guard 197 Goeschel and Wachsmann, Nazi Concentration Camps, p. 77; Wachsmann, ‘KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps&#