Gateway to Dachau

Built in March 1933 by Heinrich Himmler to house political prisoners, KZ-Gedenkstatte Dachau was the first of the Nazi concentration camps.

By the time it was liberated by the US Army in April 1945, over 200,000 inmates had been “processed”. Although not initially designed as a “death” camp (a gas chamber was added at a later date) approximately 43,000 people were killed during the 12 years the camp operated.

Dachau is now a moving memorial and serves as a sobering reminder to events that should never be forgotten.

Concentration Camp, Dachau, Bavaria, Germany

Concentration Camp, Dachau, Bavaria, Germany

Concentration Camp, Dachau, Bavaria, Germany

© Mark Simms Photography (2017)

6 Responses to “Gateway to Dachau”

  1. Chillbrook

    I visited Auschwitz and Birkenau when I was in Poland Mark. It left a huge impression. I couldn’t believe that Auschwitz was sitting there in the middle of the town, surrounded by houses. There is no doubt the Catholic Church knew what was going on and ignored it. Work makes you free. How chilling those words are given what happened to those that slaved for Third Reich in these camps. At Birkenau we visited the dorms, huge places with rows of bunks and just two stoves per dorm. It was February when I was there and to think of those people in little more than pyjamas trying desperately to survive in the bitter cold of a Polish winter, it beggars belief. It seems incredible that we have holocaust deniers then again, it’s bizarre we have climate change deniers too. I think black and white was the perfect treatment here.

    • Mark Simms

      Thanks Adrian. We visited Auschwitz and Birkenau a few years ago. It was a lovely day when we were there and I remember thinking the red brick buildings and leafy trees looked very attractive in the sunshine……until you start reading about the conditions and horrors that the “inmates” endured. Then you go to Birkenau, and the scale of that place is just shocking…..state managed extermination on an industrial scale with no attempt to hide what was going on. You’d think we would have had enough of such places, but I feel its important to visit and to learn.

  2. Jane Lurie

    Excellent shots in monochrome to document this horrific place. I know it was shocking to be there.

    • Mark Simms

      It’s difficult to comprehend what happened in these camps, but its fascinating and important to visit.


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