Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial: Place of remembrance near Munich

KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau mit Fahne, Foto: Stadt Dachau
Foto: Stadt Dachau

Find all information about the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial

On the grounds of the former concentration camp in Dachau, an exhibition recalls the suffering and deaths of the prisoners as well as the crimes of the Nazi era.

The most important information at a glance

  • Location: approx. 29 kilometers northwest of Munich in Dachau
  • Museum category: Memorial
  • Concept: The fate of the persecuted is documented from their arrival, life, suffering and death in the camp until liberation.

The central theme of the main exhibition: "The path of the prisoners"

The focus of the main exhibition in the former utility building is the fate of the prisoners. In six sections and 13 rooms, the "path of the prisoners" is outlined using reports, drawings and biographies, but also through the historical site itself: arrival at the concentration camp, life in the camp, death or liberation.

The permanent exhibitions also include the exhibition in the former camp prison, the barracks exhibition and the former crematorium, which can be visited. The memorial room is also located at the end of the exhibition.

On the grounds there are the Catholic Deathly Fright of Christ Chapel, the Protestant Church of Reconciliation and a Jewish memorial.

In addition to the permanent exhibitions, the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial also regularly hosts special exhibitions.

Guided tours, audio guides, film and more

Inschrift des Internationalen Mahnmals auf der KZ Gedenkstätte Dachau, Foto: Yure / Shutterstock.com
Foto: Yure / Shutterstock.com
  • Guided tours of the former camp grounds, the outdoor areas, through the buildings and partly through the permanent exhibition take place daily at 12 noon.
  • With the help of audio guides, visitors can also explore the memorial site on their own. The guides are available in a total of eight languages and contain reports by contemporary witnesses.
  • In the film room, the documentary film "Dachau Concentration Camp" is shown several times a day in German, English, Italian and French.
  • Guided tours for groups can be booked in advance via the website.
  • Thanks to digital offerings, even those interested who are not on site can gain insight into the history of the Dachau concentration camp as well as the work of the concentration camp memorial. Among other things, live digital tours, Dachau audio tracks and online seminars are offered.

Opening hours and entrance fees

  • Opening hours: The museum is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm. The concentration camp memorial is closed on December 24. Administration, archives and library are open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.
  • Information on admission prices and discounts: There is no charge to visit the concentration camp memorial.
  • Food and drinks: There is a bistro with a small outdoor area at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Visitor Center. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and offers cold drinks, coffee and cake, snacks and sandwiches, and hot meals.

 

Directions: How to get from Munich to Dachau

  • By car: Via highway A9 on A99 to interchange München-Feldmoching. Continue on A92 until exit "Oberschleißheim", follow Dachauer Straße until you reach your destination.
  • By public transport: S-Bahn S2 direction Dachau Bahnhof. From there, take bus 726 in the direction of Dachau, Saubachsiedlung to the bus stop "Dachau, KZ-Gedenkstätte" (travel time: approx. 40 minutes).

History of the Dachau concentration camp

Wachturm auf der KZ Gedenkstätte Dachau, Foto: K3S / Shutterstock.com
Foto: K3S / Shutterstock.com

In 1933, the very year Adolf Hitler seized power, the Dachau camp was commissioned by Heinrich Himmler as the first concentration camp in Germany.

Commandant Theodor Eicke was largely responsible for the camp organization, which was to become the model for all later concentration camps. He called the Dachau camp the "school of violence" for members of the SS. In the beginning, mainly political prisoners were imprisoned in Dachau Concentration Camp.

With the introduction of the Nuremberg Laws on racial discrimination, new groups of prisoners such as Jehovah's Witnesses, emigrants or homosexuals were quickly added, later also Sinti, Roma and prisoners of war.

Over 200,000 prisoners from 34 countries were held there by the Nazis in the years between 1933 and 1945. At least 41,500 people died in Dachau concentration camp from hunger, disease, torture, murder and the consequences of concentration camp imprisonment. On April 29, 1945, the camp was finally liberated by the U.S. Army.

After the end of the war, the former camp grounds initially served as an Allied prison and a reception camp for homeless people. In 1965, the memorial was built at the behest of former prisoners who had founded the Comité International de Dachau ten years earlier. The financing was provided by the Free State of Bavaria.

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