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April 29, 2011

the final resting places of the victims of the Dachau death camp

Filed under: Dachau, Germany — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:48 am

Waldfriedhof cemetery in Dachau

When Dachau was liberated by the American Seventh Army on April 29, 1945, most of the German guards had fled the night before, and mounds of unburied corpses were found in the camp. There were also 2,310 bodies found on an abandoned train outside the camp. Everything was left untouched until newpaper reporters, American Congressmen and film makers could be brought in to document the horror. Burial began on May 13, 1945 after the bodies could no longer be kept on display because they were beginning to constitute a serious health hazard.

18 American newspaper reporters view Dachau bodies

The photo above was taken on May 3, 1945, the same day that a film of the Dachau gas chamber was made; the film was shown at the Nuremberg IMT as proof that the victims at Dachau had been gassed.

In May 1945, the first month after Dachau was liberated, there were 2,226 deaths in the camp. There were 196 deaths in June 1945 before the typhus epidemic in the camp was finally brought under control. The people of the town of Dachau were forced to bury 1,268 of these victims at Waldfriedhof, the town cemetery of Dachau.  Other victims of the typhus epidemic were buried in mass graves at the Leitenberg cemetery, and around 800 bodies were burned in the crematorium at the concentration camp.   (more…)