Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site

Dachau was the first of the Nazi concentration camps built in Germany and was constructed in March 1933.

The Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, situated on the grounds of the former concentration camp, is a poignant reminder of the atrocities committed during the Holocaust. Established in 1965, the Memorial Site was the initiative of the surviving prisoners who formed the Comité International de Dachau, with financial backing from the Bavarian state government.

The Dachau concentration camp was established on 22 March 1933, a few weeks after Adolf Hitler was appointed Reich Chancellor. It was initially a camp for political prisoners and served as a prototype for all subsequent concentration camps. The camp also functioned as a “school of violence” for the SS men who were in charge. Over its twelve-year existence, more than 200,000 individuals from all over Europe were incarcerated here and in its numerous subsidiary camps. 41,500 of these prisoners were murdered. On 29 April 1945, American troops liberated the survivors, marking the end of a horrific chapter in human history.

After the liberation, the camp grounds were initially used to house former prisoners who were sick and unable to return to their homelands, or were waiting to be repatriated. From July 1945 to the summer of 1948, the U.S. military used the former SS camp and the former prisoners’ camp for the internment of Nazi party officials and members of the SS. The Dachau Trials took place on the grounds of the former SS camp, with 489 trials hearing 672 indictments before American military courts. In 1948, the U.S. military authority returned the grounds of the former prisoners’ camp to the Bavarian state.

The Camp Memorial Site features several permanent exhibitions. The main exhibition, located in the former maintenance building, traces the prisoners’ journey from arrival to liberation or death. The former camp prison or “bunker” houses an exhibition detailing its history and function, with various artifacts and multimedia materials. The barracks exhibition, set in a reconstructed barrack, illustrates the living conditions during different periods. Lastly, the former crematorium, “Barrack X,” provides insight into its function, with memorial plaques commemorating specific victims.

Alte Römerstraße 75, 85221 Dachau

+498 131 669 970 / info@kz-gedenkstaette-dachau.de

See the website