Dachau Concentration Camp

Today, I rode Christian’s Kawasaki Versys 650 & my brother rode my BMW f650GS to Dachau.

The ride out there was lovely, sunny, hot, great roads & German countryside to ride through.

In fact, it was a special day. I haven’t ridden with my older brother for years, it felt like old times (only in another country & on much better bikes than we used to have!!)

We went to visit Dachau Concentration Camp


‘Work Sets You Free’


The main entrance (from inside the camp)
Dachau served as a prototype and model for the other Nazi concentration camps that followed.

Almost every community in Germany had members taken away to these camps.
Newspapers continuously reported of “the removal of the enemies of the Reich to concentration camps”, and as early as 1935 there were jingles warning: “Dear God, make me dumb, that I may not to Dachau come” (“Lieber Gott, mach mich dumm, damit ich nicht nach Dachau kumm”)

Part of the perimeter fence
Prisoners were not allowed on the grass areas. If they were to walk on the grass, they were shot. Many did though just to end their pain & suffering.

The camp was in use from 1933 to 1960, the first twelve years as an internment center of the Third Reich. From 1933 to 1938 the prisoners were mainly German nationals detained for political reasons. Subsequently the camp was used for prisoners of all sorts from every nation occupied by the forces of the Third Reich. From 1945 through 1948 the camp was used as a prison for SS officers awaiting trial. After 1948 the German population expelled from Czechoslovakia were housed there and it was also a base of the United States. It was closed in 1960 and thereafter, at the insistence of ex-prisoners, various memorials began to be constructed there

The door leading to the gas chamber.

Over its twelve years as a concentration camp, the Dachau administration recorded the intake of 206,206 prisoners and 31,951 deaths. Crematoria were constructed to dispose of the deceased..

The Ovens

2 to 3 bodies were burned at anyone time

The Crematorium from the outside.


The outline of where the prisoners barracks once stood


The last two remaining prison barracks are on the right of the picture


I’m glad I visited Dachau today. I’ve seen many television programmes about concentration camps, but being there, in real life, brings home the size, scale, undertaking & enormity of what went on there & in other camps like it 70 years + ago.

The camp is now a memorial to all that met there gruesome end there.

It has a calm, sombre & quiet serenity, which it deserves if nothing else.

It should be visited by all, just to make us aware of what did happened & what must never happen again.

We stayed at the camp for a good few hours. After a while it was time to head home, only the heavens were about to open up. The sky had turned a nasty grey & as we were walking out of the camp we saw fork lightening not so far away.

We waited for a while thinking it would pass, but unfortunately it didn’t. I had my open face crash helmet & sunglasses, & no waterproofs with me, which is not a great combination for rain.

After a while we sucked it up, saddled up & set off in the pouring rain & within 10 minutes, I was soaked. My vision was impaired because of the rain on the glasses, my face was stinging from the rain hitting my face (which felt like needles poking me all the way home) It was like this all the way back to Regensburg. When we arrived I was soaking wet head to toe, including my pants! Elliot was pretty much the same! his boots were filled with water!

Even though it was raining I still took a picture of this vintage tractor!!

My crippled, wrinkled, soaked hands after the ride back!
It took about 1 1/2 hours for the feeling to come back to my hands.

I shall be buying new WATERPROOF gloves tomorrow for sure!

 

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