Sunday, February 13, 2005

Roadtrip

“Nothing prepares you for it. It is overwhelming and the smell is still there.” That is what First Sergeant said and he was right.

I am not the smartest guy on the planet and I know that, so I will not write a thousand word essay on going to Dachau, much better has been done in the past by others.

Here are some photos and I will just give you a few random thoughts:

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It cost two Euros to park your car there. Why? Do we still have to make a few bucks on this?

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As you can see it was a grey and rainy day. The weather matched the location and my mood.

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Most of the cars were German, with a few from France and Italy. A couple of visitors were from China or Japan.

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While walking through the exposition there were a map of Germany with just not the major camps(Dachau, Flossenburg,….) but collection camps, major work farms, youth camps and factories where skilled or able bodied concentration victims worked. The map had locations all over Germany. There were copies of victim’s photo ID cards who worked for BMW, Agfa and other major German companies who contributed to the Nazi war effort. Have those companies made reparations to the workers/victims? They had to put in bids (Reich marks per person per day) for slave labor that the SS supplied. The management of the companies must have known what was going on.

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I will now laugh when I hear that Germans at the time did not know what was going on in the camps. How stupid were they? The Dachau facility was not in the countryside; it was across the street from the industrial park of the town. Did the residents see the victims get off the trains and the corpses shoveled out the train? Could they not hear what was going on in the camp? Did the smell of the crematorium give a clue? It is only a few blocks from the center of the town. Did the SS, guards and camp administrators go in to the surrounding area and tell the truth and boast about their great deeds for the fatherland?

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Some of the guards and others involved were pardoned, released from jail or the statue of limitations just ran out on their crimes.

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One of the prisoners was Irish.

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Many of the victims were hanged right in front of the crematorium ovens.


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This there the ashes of thousands are buried.

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Dauchau was liberated by a US army unit. (more here)

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Now some Germans are saying they were victims too; give me a break.

4 Comments:

Blogger JACK ARMY said...

My visit to Dachau was very sobering. That was back in 1996 I believe. You are absolutely right about the Germans knowing what was going on. There were too many camps all over Germany, Poland, and other countries for the people not to know.

Good post with excellent photos.

3:26 AM  
Blogger Sean said...

There's a German movie from 1990 called The Nasty Girl about a woman who started investigating what the town fathers did during the war. I think it was based on a true story.

4:01 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Good pics.

On a tangent, I find it interesting that the Germans wish to portray themselves as victims, yet appear to have learned nothing from the Nazi period. Instead of responding to the neo-Nazis by ignoring and marginalizing them, Schroeder is trying to ban them. Banning political parties..sound familiar, anyone?

4:44 AM  
Blogger ChargeOfQuarters said...

I went there 3 times while I was over there, each with a different family member. I could have sworn that the temperature dropped 10 degrees when you enter through the gates.... Sobering indeed.

ChargeOfQuarters

5:48 AM  

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