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Dachau & The Nazi Regime

Updated on January 26, 2015
The gate: where the deception begins. The Jourhaus was the only opening to the camp. The gates said: Work Sets You Free.
The gate: where the deception begins. The Jourhaus was the only opening to the camp. The gates said: Work Sets You Free.
The barracks where they packed the prisoners in like sardines.
The barracks where they packed the prisoners in like sardines.

Blame everything on the jews

1916, the slanderous claims were being circulated by anti-Semites and clearly directed at Jews. The was only helped the sentiment spread rapidly. By 1919, Hitlers blaming of the loss of World War I on the Jews control of banks, stock, etc had become known as the "Stab in the back" campaign. It helped Hitler achieve his goals and work to take control.

He established many concentration camps and sub camps, but his model for them all would be Dachau. It opened March 22, 1933, under state control and was quickly taken over by Adolph Hitler's regime. They had originally planned on housing 5,000 prisoners but quickly expanded as their need to exploit, not only the jews,but gays, political prisoners, etc. the prison population grew.

When the prison was run by the Bavarian State Police, it was pretty much a prison, once the SS took over, torture began immediately. Almost instantly, prisoners were killed, using the pretext that they were trying to escape. In just one month, 13 prisoners were killed. By May of 1933, the camp commandant was given judicial authority and nothing or no one would stop them in achieving their goals.

The camp refused to take help from the state so that they would not have to disclose what was going on inside, however, they would continue taking the financial portion from the state to keep the camp running.

Dachau from the Outside Looking In

Today we can only see the buildings and imagine the pain, the hunger and the agony that these prisoners endured.

The prisoners lined up daily for roll call, the dead and dying had to be carried to roll call because if there were suspicion of escape, they could remain standing and enduring the weather in the threadbare clothing that they had until the missing was found.

Although escape was usually not the problem as the camp had electrified wire fencing and seven towers. The prisoners were taught to stay in a certain area of the camp. Grass strips showing them the demarcation of where they couldn't go. If a prisoner even stepped on the strip of grass he was shot.

When prisoners were taken to the "Bunker" it was known that they were being punished and tortured because death by execution were carried out in the courtyard as an example of what it held for each prisoner that disobeyed their rule.

In 1940, the "non-existent" crematorium was build in Dachau. The number of dead continued to rise. Then by 1943, they added a second crematorium with gas chamber for mass extermination of prisoners and four furnaces to dispose of the bodies.

In 1944, a bordello was built at Dachau using the women prisoners from the Ravensbruck sub camp for prostitution.

From the outside looking in, the Nazi's left the impression that these workers were being well taken care of, especially when dignitaries visited. The Nazi's were all about putting on a good show.

Sub Camps

 
 
 
Unterfalhlheim
Heidenheim
Burgau
Ulm
Lauingen
Horgau
Augsburg-Pfersee
Augsburg- Haunstetten
Eischelbach
Germering
Utting
Feldafing
Seestal
Landshut
Markt-Schwaben
Mittergars
Steinhoring
Trotsberg
Gendorf
Traunstein
Halfing
Thansau
Ampfing
Muhldorf/Mettenheim
Thalham
St. Johann
Itter

The Liberation

Coming to an end

As the end of Dachau grew near in 1945, the system had risen to 750,000 prisoners. Himmler; as if these people had not been exploited and endured enough, attempted to use the prisoners lives as bargaining chips with allied forces.

As loss seemed eminent, the prisoners were being exterminated as quickly as possible. A plan of the SS was to take northern prisoners to sea and drown the "accidentally", of course. Their goal in the end was to kill as many if not all of the prisoners. By this point, the racism was the least of their worries, it was self preservation. They did not want to leave behind any "witnesses".

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