ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

My Adventures Touring Europe in 1982 (8) Dachau

Updated on June 5, 2020


Friday, July 2

Though Munich was one of the high points of the tour for me, it also carried the darkest note. The morning after we arrived, we visited the concentration camp Dachau. The mood was solemn as our bus made the short drive there. Johannes gave us a brief intro, and played a song some of the Jews had composed about life there, and their hopes for survival and a better life. It was a slow march, sung in German.

Once we arrived, we were shown a film about the camp. It turned out many of the residents of Munich had no idea what was going on, and only found out after the war! I find that hard to believe; most likely they knew and were too afraid of the Nazis to acknowledge it.

Dachau courtyard
Dachau courtyard
Eating area
Eating area
Eating area
Eating area
Work area
Work area
Memorial close up
Memorial close up
Crematoriums close up
Crematoriums close up

Then we toured the grounds. The bunks only had a few feet clearance above each one, and there was a small cloistered eating area. Some of the crematoriums were preserved, hidden inside a building. Everywhere were signs describing life there, how the situation was made as unbearable as possible. There was a museum with huge photographs of the prisoners working, being tortured, and used for medical experiments. What really creeped me out was that I knew Billy Joel’s father had been in Dachau, and I wondered if he was in any of the photographs.

I went totally numb. I think most of the others did, too. I saw Jennifer quietly weeping as she walked through the site; everyone else was stone-faced. I wondered if she’d had any relatives there, or if any of them had been in the Holocaust, but I felt too uncomfortable to ask. I think most people go numb during horrific events. I understand Anne Frank didn’t; while in Auschwitz, she would weep while seeing people waiting their turn to enter the gas chambers.

When we left Dachau, Johannes stood at the front of the bus and solemnly told us, “You all saw the sign at the exit that said, “Never Again”. May this worst chapter in history never repeat itself. Now, let us put this behind us and enjoy our freedom.”

It was jarring, returning to the boisterous beer-guzzling, street musician filled town of Munich under a clear blue sky, surrounded by a warm summer day. Jennifer disappeared immediately, and the others dispersed. I drowned my guilt with beer.

The impact didn’t hit me until that night, though I was no longer even in Germany. I couldn’t sleep; the images of Dachau kept filling my mind. When I finally dozed off, I had nightmares; in one, I needed to take a shower, and the only one available was this nasty decrepit tiny stall painted yellow. When I went in, I found a miniature adult skeleton sitting near the top of the shower head. The other nightmare wasn’t set in Europe, but in it, I was being followed by a guy with criminal intent.

I had roomed with Chris’ mother and aunt. The next morning, I told them about the nightmares, and they answered, “Oh – you must be a thinker instead of a feeler.” It turned out they hadn’t had any bad dreams; soon as they left Dachau, they were able to put it behind them. Perhaps they were already familiar with that sort of thing, or maybe it would catch up with them later.

I started ruminating on it, which I have a tendency to do. They told me to cut it out, and enjoy the rest of my tour of Europe. “That was nearly 40 years ago, and they’re doing their best to make up for it. Just stay alert and make sure nothing like that happens in the US,” they said.

I remembered the warning Johannes had given me in Berlin, and made up my mind to become more politically aware once I got home.

© 2013 Yoleen Lucas


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)