Dachau Concentration Camp. Bavaria, Germany -
“Arbeit Macht Frei” - “Labor Makes You Free”
Dachau was Germany’s first concentration camp, opened in 1933 just 51 days after Hitler took power. Dachau was the first concentration camp for political prisoners; however, the camp also held Jews, Christian religious leaders, Poles, and other prisoners of war. Russian soldiers brought to Dachau were generally shot. Although Dachau was not an extermination camp, around 32,000 people are believed to have died due to malnutrition, disease, suicide, and sometimes execution. As the Allies began to dominate Nazi controlled territories, prisoners from other concentration camps were sent to Dachau by train. These prisoners generally did not make the ride to Dachau, died shortly after arriving, or were mass executed. The camp was liberated in 1945.
Two Soviet soldiers, then prisoners of war, photographed inspecting a statue of Lenin that had been torn from its pedestal and destroyed by the German advance. Also, take note of the rope around the statue’s neck. It was common symbol left behind by the Germans.