Dachau the city is a small and perhaps purposely beautiful community with impeccable landscaping, floral walkways, and cottage homes. The steets stretch under a large canopy of shade trees and are peppered with cafes, service stores, and boutiques. From our dwelling in München, we took the S2 line toward Peterhausen for approximately twenty minutes. When you exit the station, you can immediately board the free KZ-Gedenkstätte trolley designated specifically for Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial.
It was well over 95 degrees Fahrenheit when we visited. I had forgotten to bring my trusty water bottle, my stomach was growling, and the process of loading passengers on the trolley-train was lengthy and tiresome. Feelings of heat exhaustion, hunger, claustrophobia, inpatience, uncertainty, and anxiety began to creep in. Possibly this is part of the tour, I wondered. Could it have been an intentional, to put one in the right mindset for what comes next?
The Memorial itself is sterile and devastating. At times I really did not want to continue walking around anymore corners or being confronted by more faces, personal stories, real people, or surreal brutality. Inside those walls lies an uneasy collection of what was forgotten when the facts, statistics, and summaries that make it all more digestible are compacted in order to fit between the cover of a history books.
Note: I did not take many photos, as you may imagine. These do not have filters to make them look more dreary, and the sky was in fact that dark.
After visiting a place such as this, it is difficult to gather ones feelings, let alone express them. It was an eye opener that everyone should experience. Not only to fully understand the magnitude of the events that took place during the Holocaust, but to connect with your own source of empathy, compassion, and values.