Dachau… part 2… I think my face pretty much says it all…

a 1Are there words to explain a place like this?

a 2Words don’t do it justice.

a 3The windows in the top of that little tower make it look harmless and commonplace… when there aren’t machineguns sticking out of them…

a 4The sky is still blue, the grass is still green, just as it was back when this place was operating.

a 5And then you pass out of a little gate and find the ovens…

a 6Ovens not for baking bread but burning human beings.

a 7And it kicks you right in the stomach…

a 8And for some weird reason, the fact that there were no fresh flowers in the ovens struck me even harder… they were there the last time I was at Dachau, nearly ten years before…

a 9Those are the shower blocks. They were all set up to be used. You can see where the gas canisters would have been placed. But the Nazis decided it was more efficient to just work and starve and torture people at this particular camp.

a 11Our tour walked back across the huge field, past the rows and rows of spaces where the barracks once stood…

a 12There are now two monuments to commemorate what took place here.

a 13This one symbolizes the people who gave in to despair and walked towards the barbed wire. Once they were inside the death zone, the guards could shoot them… or just let them die on the electrified fence.

a 15There was one thing missing that is more heartbreaking than the missing flowers in the ovens. See those triangles? The prisoners all had triangular patches sewed on the sleeves of their striped uniforms. The patches came in different colors. One color meant a political dissident. One meant the prisoner was Jewish or Gypsy. One color meant they were a criminal. One color stood for prisoners of war… there were Russian POW’s held here towards the end of the war. And pink triangles meant the prisoner was a homosexual. If you look closely, some of the triangles in the memorial above are empty. That is because there are two colors missing from the memorial. The green… for professional criminals… and pink… for homosexuals are both missing.

In their infinite wisdom, the people who put this memorial together decide that criminals might have been executed by the state anyway, so they shouldn’t be honored on the memorial… and homosexuality was a criminal offense… so there is no green glass and there is no pink glass.

The artist left a few triangles empty to show what he felt about this oversight.

a 16It says; ‘never again’… but it is placed right beside the memorial with the missing pink glass…

a 17What part of ‘never again’ do we not understand?

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48 Responses to Dachau… part 2… I think my face pretty much says it all…

  1. pastopresent says:

    Thank You for sharing your frustration with the memorial. It is frustrating many times how it is presented, however, I think it is great that they continue to remember what happened and don’t ignore it. Many times they try to ignore the past, and then I think it is much worse. I recently was in Europe visiting different memorial sites and there are A TON of different ones to visit, and I also wrote about them: https://discoverww2now.wordpress.com/category/sightseeing/

  2. Dan says:

    The sad truth is we have to maintain ugly reminders of what otherwise “good” people were once capable of to stay alert that “good” people are still capable of doing a “little evil” for a perceived “greater good.”

  3. Glazed says:

    Just plain sobering.

  4. Trent Lewin says:

    Too much. Way too much. You know, there is more slavery in the world right now than there was when it got abolished in the States? There’s more genocide than ever before. These things have to change, because we are better than this.

  5. Gibber says:

    It’s very sobering to just see these pictures. I can’t imagine how it felt for you to actually be there.

  6. My dad was in the group that liberated Dachau – he was one of the first medics in.
    The pictures and letters from him at the time that we have are darker than these.
    Outside on the rail lines headed to that place were abandoned trains with boxcars of people stacked in like firewood…live people originally. The US soldiers broke into the cars and moved bodies when they heard weak cries – a few managed to survive those trains. The survivors knew they would destined to either die in the cars or in the camp.
    Do you know what the lampshades on the SS commanders’ desks were made of?
    And how the few SS who did not manage to escape the US liberators arrogantly demanded to be treated with respect according to international laws?
    It happened. And people must remember it . Those that witness it are few now.
    Talk about it loudly. Those who do not know history….
    It can happen again.
    War is hell, but it can also stop hell.
    Worthy post.

  7. Paul says:

    Excellent Art – thank you. I will never have the chance to see this in person – so thank you.

  8. jensenempire2551 says:

    A war not done, still very alive those old minds, memories or haunting, who is to say! i should count myself lucky to not live throughout their day..

    Great post hoser!

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