Road Trip to Dachau

Dachau concentration camp memorial was the next place on our itinerary. We left Steinberg am see around 9am and continued our journey south towards Munich.

The journey was only an hour and a half so we arrived at Dachau mid morning allowing us plenty of time to view, learn and experience this site that represents a critical and brutal point in history. 

The Route

To see the entire tour click here

Route – Steinberg am see to Dachau  – Route A93 / A92

Journey time – 1 hours 30 minutes

Distance – 151km

Route from Steinberg am see to Dachau
Route so far
Total route so far
The Site

Site Name – Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial

Address – Visitors’ Center Dachau Memorial Site, Pater-Roth-Str. 2a            D – 85221 Dachau

View in google maps

Website – http://www.kz-gedenkstaette-dachau.de

 This is not a campsite but a place to visit on route to our next night stop.

The solemnity and gravity of this memorial site is overwhelmingly apparent on arrival marking an important place in the history of Europe and indeed of mankind.

Established as a concentration camp for political prisoners in March 1933, only a few weeks after Adolf Hitler had assumed the role of Chancellor, Dachau was the blueprint for all later concentration camps.

This was a template not only in terms of layout and design but also as a “school of violence” for the SS men under whose command it stood. In it’s twelve years of existence over 200.000 persons from all over Europe were imprisoned there and in the numerous subsidary camps. 41.500 were murdered. On April 29 1945, American troops liberated the survivors.

Dachau-the significance of this name will never be erased from German history. It stands for all concentration camps which the Nazis established in their territory.

Eugen Kogon
Dachau Entrance
Left: Entrance to the camp. Rail track and platform to the right.
Right: The entrance to the camp viewed from the inside of the camp.
The Entrance

As I approached the Jourhaus I could only imagine what it must have felt like for those people in the past who’s footsteps I was following as I approached the entrance. The Jourhaus was the main exit and entrance to the prisoners’ camp and also served as the main office of the camp SS personnel. The alam systems to the camp, power to the electrified fences, interrogation rooms and offices were all located here. I walked towards and passed through the metal gates and as I did so I stared at the words “Arbeit macht frei” (Work brings freedom) that the SS had affixed to the camp gate. I pondered for a moment and gave thought to those who had passed through those gates in the past, whose lives were changed forever and for those whose lives were ended. 

Gates inscribed with Arbeit Macht Frei
Albeit Macht Frei (Work brings freedom)
Torture cells
Perimeter fencing Dachau
Perimeter electrified fencing at Dachau
A moving memorial

I’ve kept this post deliberately short. I felt I couldn’t do it justice by attempting to express in words the importance of this memorial as a reminder to all mankind not to allow, whether unintentionally or by design the repetition of such atrocities ever again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *