Monday, November 8, 2010

Arbeit macht frei

On our last full day in Munich, we decided to make the pilgrimage to Dachau Concentration Camp. This year marks the 65th anniversary of the liberation of most of the Nazi camps throughout Europe. Dachau was known as the parent camp, the "Academy of Terror". It served as a model camp for all of those to follow.

Dachau was opened in March 1933, the first of its kind in Germany. Over 200 000 prisoners of war were marched through the gates declaring 'Arbeit macht frei', 'Through hard work one will be set free'...except there was no freedom to be had.

Dachau served as a internment centre for the Third Reich for 12 years. Following liberation, it was used to house SS officers awaiting trial after the war.

The day of our visit was overcast, grey and windy. There was a definite chill in the air. Whilst thinking that it was cold standing outside in the middle of 'roll call square' in my long pants, socks, shoes, jumper and coat, I was quickly reminded of my lot in life, compared to all those that walked before me.

In the resonating words of a memorial inside the camp...'never again'.

1 comment:

  1. When I saw Auschwitz/ Birkenau in Poland, it was cold wet and windy as well - and I agree -
    never again.