Day Seven

Today we visited the Dachau concentration camp.  I knew that this visit was going to be a day of mixed emotions and I was definitely right.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous.  The sky was bright blue, the birds were chirping and the sun was warm on my back.  It almost made you forget where exactly you were.

You enter the iron clad gates that held in so many innocent prisoners and the emotions hit you like a brick.  Right before your eyes is the ground that so many individuals lost their lives on.  It was surreal to think that this was the last place that so many people ever got to see.  This was their final destination.

Walking through the grounds where the barracks once were gave me the chills.  To think that thousands of individuals were crammed into tiny living spaces, with no heat and no air conditioning, was heart breaking.  They had absolutely no privacy.  They shared beds, they shared restrooms and to some, they shared the remainder of their lives together.

The crematorium had to of been the most daunting place I have ever visited.  We walked through the disinfecting rooms, the waiting rooms, the gas chamber and ultimately, the crematorium. To think that so many people had their lives brutally taken away from them there was chilling.

We ended the visit with a brief movie.  The movie showed photos and videos of prisoners in Dachau.  It was surreal to see pictures of numerous dead bodies stacked upon one another in rooms that we had just visited less than an hour ago.  It is still hard for my mind to grasp it.

We have learned about the Holocaust in school since we were young.  Learning about it in text books and seeing photos online are one thing.  However, walking through the camp and seeing the conditions in person is a completely different thing.  It made the entire experience so much more real.

Our visit to Dachau was daunting to say the least but it is something I will never forget.  There will always be a special place in my heart for all of those innocent victims who lost their lives to hatred.


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