A Day at Dachau
Since Keeley visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, she’s been fascinated by the Second World War. She claims she never learnt about it at school, but I’m sure did but just didn’t listen. Travel is a great teacher. She wants to know everything about the war, including the concentration camps. I’m not keen — I think it’ll be too sad — but I acquiesce to her wishes and decide we’ll go to Dachau. It’s not too far from Munich.
We catch a train to Marienplatz, then change trains to Dachau, then bus it to the Concentration Camp. The group all introduced themselves. Lots of people from Texas, a few from Brazil and Holland, and two other Aussies — Scott from Sydney who’s travelling Europe on his own for 4 months — he’s off to Salzburg on Monday — and Rowan from Melbourne who’s off to Dublin via Zurich and Birmingham! A very friendly group. The sisters from Texas travel a lot together as one of them is a dog show judge and is invited to different countries to judge.
Our guide Stefan is a political studies student and really knows his history. I learn so much that I didn’t know; probably more than Keeley as she has been reading up on it since Amsterdam.
Dachau was the first concentration camp established in 1933 for the containment of political prisoners and was originally supervised by the Bavarian Police Force, but after one month Himmler decided to put the black shirts — the SS — in charge, and from thereon, things got tougher.
The camp was designed to house 4,000 prisoners but at liberation in 1945, there were more than 32,000. These were guarded by only 150 SS officers. I learnt lots of other very interesting facts but have just been told in no uncertain terms by my roommates that no one wants a history lesson!