Thursday, June 25, 2015

The European Trip, Day 19 - Dachau and Nuremberg's Nazi Documentation Museum

A rather somber day of touring and pictures today.

First stop was the first concentration camp constructed by Germany in 1933: KZ Dachau.

A name that will forever be associated with the atrocities committed by the Nazi Party and the S.S. troops that guarded the camp.

Not going to go into too much historical detail, it's out there on the Internet if you've never heard of the name Dachau.

The infamous sign "Arbeit Macht Frei"
(Work will make you Free)
Turns out, the sign there now is a reproduction, the original was
stolen a few years ago by some low life(s)

The gate house through which new prisoners were marched
as they arrived in Dachau

A grim monument depicting the cycle of pain the camp
inmates went through, hopefully with relief at the end.
Relief that over 32,000 victims were not granted.

Only one barracks building remains to show the crowded living conditions that the prisoners had to live through.  The rest of the buildings are gone, only their cement foundations remaining.

The barracks are the twin rows of buildings in the upper 
right quadrant of the above picture of a model of the camp.

One of the guard towers in the center, here's a pano of the
remaining foundations, where prisoner barracks once stood.

The Mortal Agony of Christ Chapel, the Catholic
memorial at the end of the center road bisecting the rows
of prisoner barracks.

Jewish Memorial
My own pictures didn't come out, so I am using one I found
via google.  Source: LINK

Interior of the Jewish Memorial

Entering the Carmelite Convent

After the major religious memorials, it was time to view the crematoriums.  In the same building were the poison gas "showers" and disinfecting facilities which used poison gas to clean off the clothing left behind by the murdered prisoners.

Although seemingly functional, the crematorium devices in the
building above were never used.  Instead it was the crematoriums
in the smaller, older building to one side that was used.

The lying sign that led to the poison gas chamber

The ovens used in the older crematorium

As we left the crematorium area, we saw the small
Russian Orthodox Church Memorial, but it turned out
to be closed today.

A view from the Catholic Memorial to the administration
buildings at the end which now serve as the museum.

We saw the exhibits, the photographs, and displays.  We left, soberly reminded in the case of myself and Martha, of the evil that happened here and in other concentration camps.  The boys were quiet as well, I think they perhaps learned something today.

We left shortly before Noon and were in Nuremberg by 2PM I believe.  We were visiting the Nazi Documentation Museum there.  Not a lot of pictures I'm afraid.  It was mainly a display of old photographs and films depicting the history of the rise of the Nazi Party.

What we had thought was the "Hitler Stadium" turned out to be the not fully completed Congress Hall for the Nazi Party.  Never used for such purposes, it now serves mainly as the museum site, storage and a concert hall.

The Congress Hall as it is today, the museum entrance is
at the lower right corner.  
source: museum picture

A model of the stadium that was never built.

Martha did point out a film that showed German Army sidecar rigs in action.  I watched it a couple of times, and captured just the relevant parts for your viewing pleasure.  I removed the sounds and put some music in its place.


RichardM said...

I think that I would have difficulty visiting this place.

redlegsrides said...

RichardM, we felt uneasy as well. But then again, that's one of the reasons for the preservation of this evil place, to remind future generations. The school groups we encountered mostly lacked the usual cheerfulness and laughter one sees of kids that are on a field trip from their classrooms.

I could see they didn't like seeing this part of their past with their own eyes, instead of reading about some "old" history in a school book.

Rascal said...

I visited Auschwitz outside Krakow, Poland. Similar reaction! Our taxi driver's sister was intern there and survived,, he said, "she was not Jewish but she was a little dark."

My cousin, Allan Granum of Volga, SD, was at one of the C camps (maybe Dachau) on Day ONE, the opening day in 1945. Liberation is not the right word. He talked about it only once.

redlegsrides said...

Rascal, thank you very much for your comments and info.

Trobairitz said...

A grim reminder at the cruelty that humans can inflict.

The atrocities this world sees at the hand of man never fail to astound me.

redlegsrides said...

Trobairitz, man's capacity for evil, and good, are limitless....places like Dachau serve as reminders of the urgent reminder to never let it happen again.