Dachau

Old photo of the Bunker

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Crematorium in 2015-Elser was shot dead outside and cremated on April 9 1945

Plaque for British SIS agent Richard Stevens

Central passage of the Bunker

Wall opening made to give Elser a 3 cell suite

floor plan of the Bunker

Plaque in Elser's cell

Typical cell door in Bunker

The Bunker in 2015

Portable altar used by clergy

In March 1933, only weeks after Adolf Hitler was appointed Reich Chancellor, a concentration camp for political prisoners was set up at Dachau, 20 kilometers north of Munich.

 

The camp served as a model for all Nazi concentration camps and as a "school of violence" for the SS men under whose command it operated. In the twelve years of its existence over 200.000 persons from all over Europe were imprisoned in Dachau and in numerous subsidary camps.

 

Georg Elser and the British agents, Best and Stevens, were incarcerated in the prison building know as the Bunker following their time spent at Sachsenhausen.

 

 

 

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Gate in electric fence leading to the crematorium

 

Dachau was the first Nazi concentration camp and was opened on 22 March 1933, less than two months after Hitler seized power. The camp was built on the grounds of an old munitions factory from the First World War and was designed to hold 5000 prisoners. The first victims of the Nazis in the camp were communist political prisoners, but the Nazis were soon imprisoning Jewish people as well. Later all classes of people persecuted by the Nazis would follow, including Sinti and Romani, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals and so-called ‘anti-socials’. For years, the camp was able to maintain a facade as a ‘re-education camp’, despite international reports of torture, murder and suicide coming from former camp prisoners.

 

After the so-called Reichskristallnacht pogrom of 9-10 November 1938, 11,000 German and Austrian Jewish men were deported to Dachau. By the start of the war in 1939, the SS had established their own for-profit enterprise in the camp. The amount of foreign prisoners increased dramatically, with Poles remaining the single largest national group in the camp until its liberation. From early 1941, prisoners who could no longer work were deported as part of the T4 euthanasia program to other locations and murdered by gas (there was an experimental gas chamber in Dachau, but it was never used for mass killings.). Other prisoners in Dachau were used in medical experiments and killed by lethal injections.