In 1933, on orders from Heinrich Himmler, the Nazis’ first concentration camp was created at Dachau near Munich. Those incarcerated here were mostly political prisoners. Although gas chambers were built, they were never used and it remained primarily a slave labor camp. By the time of liberation in 1945, 31,591 of the 206,000 prisoners had died, mostly of malnutrition and disease. At liberation, the camp had fewer than 70,000 prisoners, of which about a third were Jews. A local priest, Rupert Mayer, who was interned there, was later declared a saint – see Bürgersaal for details.
The whole camp area is now a memorial site to those who diedl here, as well as to those who suffered under the Nazi regime elsewhere. Many parts of the camp have been restored or rebuilt. In the main building is the KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau Museum (Concentration Camp Memorial), Alte Römerstraße 75, 85221 Dachau. It has photos and information about the tragic and disturbing events.
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