Germany’s First Concentration Camp

Despite not having family directly affected by the Holocaust, today was a rough day.  After my daily sandwich, we took a bus to Dachau to see what was the first concentration camp in Germany.  The whole tour was hard to take part of.  We first saw the large open area where the prisoners, both alive and dead, were forced to go every morning.  As we were told this, our tour guide told us that exactly where we were standing was where the concentration camp’s only mass shooting took place.

Next, we entered two buildings.  One was where most of the prisoners slept.  In this building, we saw the “beds” that they shared, sometimes with multiple other people.  The beds were basically boards smaller than a twin bed.  In the other building, we saw where prisoners of higher class were kept.  These people included priests, bishops, and rich people.  A lot of these people had their own cells, but were nonetheless prisoners.  One room seemed pretty small, even just for one person, but I was sickened when our guide told us that they split these rooms into four sections and had “standing cells.”  People in these cells did not have room to sit and remained in these small, dark cells for days at a time.

To conclude the tour, we saw a gas chamber.  The other buildings were difficult to see and experience, but in the gas chamber, I actually had to make myself leave.  It was too much for me to be in the room where unknowing people were killed, usually just because of their religion.  Even writing about the day is hard for me, but tomorrow, hopefully I will have more to say and more details to describe.

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