‘Never Again’: Dachau Concentration Camp
Our agenda has kept us all very busy thus far. Happily busy. We have toured many sites, received fabulous in-class lectures, dined in unique restaurants, enjoyed bevies of the region, walked many miles (even climbed a small mountain) and bonded as a group over the past 10 days.
We switched gears a bit today as we took a tour of the Dachau Concentration Camp and received a snap shot of Germany’s history. It was an emotional experience for all of us.
Rewind to the time period between 1933-1945.
Dachau Concentration Camp was first established in March of 1933 by the Nazi Regime and is located near the historical town of Dachau (20km northwest of Munich). Dachau was the very first concentration camp built and it was used by the regime for all sorts of unthinkable and inhumane atrocities until its liberation by the American forces on April 25, 1945. Because it was the first camp established, it acted as the prototype for the rest of the concentration camps that followed. During these 12 years, more than 188,000 were incarcerated. The concentration camp was originally built to house between 8,000-10,000 people, but in reality, the numbers hovered at around 30,000 – three times the camp’s capacity. As a result, people died from starvation, exhaustion, disease and the inability to withstand the unliveable conditions of the camp. Other causes of death were the extreme conditions from forced physical labour and lethal medical experiments.
Today, the former Dachau Concentration camp serves as a memorial site for all the victims of Dachau during the reign of the Nazi government and as a reminder of what happened in Germany during the Holocaust.
We spent our time walking through the various sites of the camp and received a refresher on our German history (during this time period) from our gracious tour guide Mrs. Antje Roser-Huckle. Thank you for taking the time to speak candidly about this horrific time in Germany’s history. Today’s tour was an important and impactful experience.
After the tour, we headed back to the hotel to work on our case presentations (assigned to us last week during our classroom time at WHU). Tomorrow, we are back in class to learn more on Family Business and then present our cases. All in a hard day’s work!
From your blogging team: Thai, Patti, Anju and Sean.