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April 27, 2012

Where is the “cement wall” in which Jews were buried at Dachau?

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: — furtherglory @ 9:57 am

On April 23, 2012 there was an article in the online StarPhoenix in which I read the following:

[Holocaust survivor] Elly Gotz ran his fingers across a cement wall two years ago when he returned to Dachau, the Nazi concentration camp from which he was liberated in 1945.

“We visited graves, visited the construction site,” Gotz said Sunday before a speech to the Saskatoon Jewish community. “I touched the cement wall in which my friends are buried. We lost people who fell into the cement and drowned.”

Can someone please tell me where this “cement wall” is located? I am assuming that there is a concrete wall somewhere at the former Dachau concentration camp where Jews fell into the concrete before it was set — and the bodies were never pulled out. I am amazed that the Nazis would tolerate such a sloppy construction job, and leave a concrete wall with bodies buried inside it, so that it could be seen by future generations.

I have been to the Dachau Memorial site several times over the years, and I have not seen any bulges in the concrete walls around the camp that would indicate that there is a body “buried” there.  Maybe he means the wall at the execution site, which is now almost entirely covered by vines.

Concrete wall at Dachau where prisoners were executed by shooting

Concrete wall around the Dachau concentration camp on the east side

The street that goes past the Dachau camp (on the right) and the wall around the camp (on the left)

Catholic Convent behind a concrete wall on the north side

There was a concrete DITCH on the west side of the Dachau camp, as shown in the photo below, taken when the camp was liberated.  Is that what he is talking about?  It is more likely that someone would fall into a concrete ditch than a concrete wall.

Concrete ditch on the west side of the Dachau concentration camp, April 1945

Gotz said “We visited graves, visited the construction site.”  Maybe he was talking about Leitenburg, the hill where bodies were buried in mass graves near Dachau.

Wall around the Leitenberg grave site near Dachau

The whole area of the mass graves at Leitenberg is surrounded by a wall, about 3 feet high, which you can see in the photograph above. On this short section of the wall, there are plaques with names of the Jewish victims who are buried in the mass graves.  Is this the wall that Gotz touched?  (Jews were not buried inside the concrete of this wall.)


  1. Leaving a body, or multiple bodies, in concrete would undermine it’s integrity and strength. It would be a danger to the Germans and prisoners alike. I did some concreting at a friends house and we had to dig out tree stumps, grass etc because as they decomposed and broke down, as a body would, it would cause the concrete to crack. Imagine what a rotting body(s) would do to the overall appearance of this wall!

    Comment by Mic Filler — April 27, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

    • The man who made this claim used the term “cement wall.” The word “cement” is defined as “any of various calcined mixtures of clay and limestone, usually mixed with water and sand, gravel, etc., to form concrete, that are used as a building material.” So there is no such thing as a “cement wall.” Who knows what he was talking about. I am sure that there are no bodies encased in any of the concrete walls at Dachau.

      Comment by furtherglory — April 28, 2012 @ 11:58 am

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