It was cold, overcast and cloudy as we left for the train station to visit Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site.
At the train station we purchased our chocolate croissants and sandwiches for our breakfast and lunch. This became the norm for us as this is a great deal for under 10 Euros for two people. We never knew where we would actually eat, and it was handy to have food with us.
Heading to the ticket machines, we purchased the XXL ticket for 14.80 Euros which allowed up to five people to ride the train, bus, and trolley all day. This ticket covered all our travels for the day.
TIP: The XXL Ticket for 14.80 Euros is a deal for five people to ride the train, bus and trolley all day.
Catching The Bus
We got off at the Dachau train station and walked to the bus platform which was located right outside of the train station. It was very cold and dreary day as we waited for the 726 bus to arrive.
It’s about a ten minute bus ride to Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site from the bus stop. After being dropped off it’s was a long walk to the entrance. We decided to just tour the memorial site on our own as opposed to taking a guide. It was very haunting walking around knowing what happened there.
Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site
Upon reaching the entrance to the camp, there is an Iron Gate that we walked through. The slogan reads “Arbeit Macht Frei”, (“Work makes you free”). As the prisoners passed through these gates, they were classified and labeled with a badge according to their crime against the state.
Dachau was the first Nazi concentration camp established in 1933 by the National Socialist Government. As you walk onto the grounds, you come to open area where the prisoners had to assemble for roll call every morning and evening. If the roll call number did not match the head count, they could be forced to stand at attention, motionless for hours in all weather conditions. If a weak prisoner collapsed, other prisoners were not allowed to help them. The SS carried out punishments for all prisoners to see.
Now the site is only 1/4 of the original size of the camp. There was a map depicting the original layout of the camp showing the boundaries.
As we walked around, there were several memorials outside, but inside the maintenance building is a museum with exhibits showing pictures of life inside the camp. The signage is all translated in English so it is easy to understand.
Leaving the maintenance building, we went to the barracks, where there are only two remaining to illustrate the living conditions. Originally, there were 34 barracks each measuring 10 yards by 100 yards. Upon entering, one could just image how crowded it was inside. They literally slept in a very confined space.
Looking out the back windows inside the barracks, we saw what was left of the other foundations.
Walking down the tree lined path, foundations are on both sides of the path, which provides an idea of how large this area was.
The guard towers were strategically placed around the camp.
On the far site of the camp, there are two buildings where the crematoriums took place. This was used to burn the bodies of the prisoners who had died or been killed.