December 21, 2017 (part 2): Dachau, Germany. An appropriately bleak and cold day.
With the current rise of Nationalism throughout Europe and the U.S., it was all the more important that we visit the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial 30 minutes from Munich. We need to reflect on the atrocities of the past and learn from them so they aren’t repeated. Refugees are fleeing horrors we can’t imagine. What side of history do we want to be on?
The second photo is from the edge of the property, looking down row after row of barracks that held the prisoners of the labor camp from 1933-1945. The official death toll was 32,000, but those were only the documented deaths. Political dissenters, Jews, homosexuals, the list goes on. The death toll was 32,000, but those were only the documented deaths.
A month before liberation, the coal supply to Dachau was cut. The furnaces that burned the corpses were no longer fueled and 3,000 bodies were buried in a shallow mass grave. The American soldiers could smell the camp as they approached. The remaining prisoners were in such bad shape that another 1,600 died after the troops arrived. It was such a horrific scene that the American soldiers forced every resident of Dachau to visit the camp, to face what they’d ignored for so long. Now we are the ones turning blind eyes.
A sign on the entrance translates to “Work will set you free.” A bold, infuriating, heartbreaking lie written in iron for the world to see. We need to look at our present world and continue to call out these lies.
#december2017 #tb #oneyearlater
#dachauconcentrationcamp #learnfromthepast #wwii
#holocaust #workwillsetyoufree #wroughtirongate #barbedwire