Today, we went to Dachau, a concentration camp. We started the tour with an introduction from our guide about Dachau. I learned that it was not an extermination camp but a reeducation camp. A lot of the prisoners had to work, but anyone who did not or could not work was killed. The camp contained political opponents, Jehovah witnesses, gay people, people who were married to jewish people, Italians, and Russians.
When we first walked in, there was a seriousness that came upon everyone. There was a lot of open space with some scattered buildings. We first went into the rooms, where there was about 20 bunkbeds, but it stored a massive amount of prisoners; I don’t remember the exact number, but there were at least 3 to 4 people per bed. The beds were made of wood with no mattress, and they were the size of a small single mattress.
A lot of the details of the camp and what the Nazi’s did to prisoners was absolutely horrendous. The Nazi’s treated them like they were subhuman creatures. Walking into the gas showers brought another dimension of seriousness to what the Nazi’s really did. It’s one thing to read about it, but it’s another thing to be there and realize that it all happened here.
Overall, I think that it was very important to go to Dachau. You realize the evils that humans are capable of doing to other humans. You realize the power of rationalizing morality and the importance of having strict moral convictions in life.