Scrapbookpages Blog

May 11, 2011

90-year-old survivor of Dachau tells his story

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:33 am

Memories of Dachau, as told by Torbjoern Oevsttun, a 90-year-old Norwegian survivor, were written recently by a blogger and you can read his stories here.  According to another post on the blog, “Torbjoern was arrested because he was a member of the Kristian Stein organisation which was illegal, but did not carry a death sentence. They didn’t know about his other activities. If they had he would not be alive today.”  (Torbjoern was fighting illegally with the Norwegian Resistance.)

This quote from the blog tells about executions at Dachau, something that is completely new to me:

An area about a kilometre outside their (Dachau) camp, called Hermansplatz, was the place of execution.  Doomed prisoners were marched to this site daily.  A few managed to escape, but not many.  Torbjoern talked about the daily massacre of hundreds of men.  There were 400 prisoners in each barrack, measuring 10×9 metres.

When the Norwegians arrived in Dachau there were 30,000 prisoners in the camp and more arrived every day.  It looked like the Germans were determined to exterminate as many people as possible.  They began with the outermost barracks and worked their way systematically, killing 400 a day.  It sends chills down my spine when I heard Torbjoern say that their barrack was one day away from being the next target.  But that’s when the Americans arrived.  The day was 29th of April 1945.