Militaria Archive

Dachau Concentraion Camp - Konzentrationslager (KZ) Dachau

Opened in March 1933 (Northwest of Munich) as a camp for Communists and political undesirables. Münchner Neueste Nachrichten ("The Munich Latest News") "The Munich Chief of Police, Himmler, has issued the following press announcement: On Wednesday the first concentration camp is to be opened in Dachau with an accommodation for 5000 persons. 'All Communists and—where necessary—Reichsbanner and Social Democratic functionaries who endanger state security are to be concentrated here, as in the long run it is not possible to keep individual functionaries in the state prisons without overburdening these prisons, and on the other hand these people cannot be released because attempts have shown that they persist in their efforts to agitate and organise as soon as they are released.'" Throughout it's exsistence Dachau came to be the holding place for many Criminals, Catholics (including over 3000 Catholic Priests), Jews, Social Democrats, Communists, Homosexuals & others. Following the surrender of the camp in 1945 up to 520 German soldiers (including the wounded from the hospital) were executed by the Americans (according to Col. Howard Buechner in his book 'Dachau: The Hour of the Avenger : An Eyewitness Account'). In the immediate post-war aftermath American sources reported gas chambers as having been used at this camp, though in later years these claims have been discounted. After the war this camp was once more put to use, this time to house German civilians who had been ethnically cleansed from across Europe.

Konzentrationslager (KZ) Dachau. Memorial Sculpture.