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January 8, 2013

Grandson of Dachau survivors takes a tour of the former camp

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 11:07 am

There has been some recent discussion in the comments on my blog about the Dachau gas chamber and what visitors are currently being told by their tour guides.  I decided to do a search to learn what other bloggers are saying about their recent visits to Dachau.  I found this blog post which you can read in full here.

This quote is from the blog cited above:

Then we came to the spot I had been dreading. The showers. I had heard the stories before. In college, I took a Holocaust history class, where everything was explained in graphic detail. Prisoners were told to take off their clothes and enter the showers to clean themselves off.

The next part refers to what he was taught in “Holocaust history class” as it does not describe the gas chamber at Dachau:

Once they got inside, the doors were slammed shut, and a gas bomb was slid though a sliding door. When people realized what was going on, they would claw and fight there way to the top, gasping for air. Eventually, they would lose control of their bowels, before they would finally succumb.

To get back to the beginning, this quote is from the start of the blog post:

On a recent trip to Germany, I met my in-laws and discovered the rustic beauty of Bavaria. […]  …hidden just miles from these beautiful sites, is a place that holds a much darker story — a history that many people would like to forget.

This is Dachau…The first Nazi Concentration Camp. And, a place both of my grandparents barely escaped with their lives. This is not another lesson in the horrors of the Holocaust. There are plenty of those. This is just my personal story…The story of a descendent of Jewish survivors…The story of my first experience visiting the site where they were robbed of their childhoods.

In the above quote, the writer reveals that he is Jewish; both of his grandparents were survivors of Dachau.  His grandparents were robbed of their childhoods, which means that they were young children when they were in Dachau. Or were they?  It sounds suspicious to me.

There were a few young boys in the Dachau camp when it was liberated, but I have never seen any photos of young girls in the camp.

Young boys at the Dachau camp when it was liberated

Young boys at the Dachau camp when it was liberated

Women at Dachau when he camp was liberated

Women at Dachau when the camp was liberated

Dachau was mainly a camp for adult men, but there were a few children there according to Paul Berben who was a member of the International Committee at Dachau, which controlled the camp near the end. He wrote the following in his book entitled Dachau: 1933 – 1945: The Official History:

As has already been mentioned, there were times when even children were imprisoned in Dachau. The International Committee saw to it that they were not abandoned. A school was organized for Russian children under a Yugoslavian teacher, and the older ones were placed in Kommandos [subsidiary work camps of Dachau] where they were looked after by prisoners who tried not only to keep them in good health but to teach them the rudiments of a trade as well.

This quote continues the story of the blogger’s visit to Dachau:

As we walked, arm and arm, down the long winding path to the camp, my wife and I were very nervous. She had been here many times in the past. But this time was different. There is a sense of guilt felt by many Germans that anyone else simply cannot understand. Her family had no involvement with the Nazi party. And, even though her parents were babies when my grandparents were here, they still apologized to me. My father-in-law told me he was embarrassed to be a German.   […]

I tried to fit everything nicely into the puzzle in my head. “Oh, there’s a barrick!, and there’s a guard tower” I nudged my wife. “This is the big open square where they marched everybody out to sounds of classical music.” She nodded. I got upset. “No, no. Don’t you understand how important this is? My grandparents stood here. This is where people were lined up, and murdered.”

Prisoners at Dachau, on their way to work, are marching to music

Prisoners at Dachau, on their way to work, are marching to music

I felt myself trying to convince her of the gravity of it all. We entered a barrick (sic) and overheard an English tour. “After the war, the rest of the barricks were burned down to kill the rampant disease. This is the only one that still stands. It was a model unit used by the SS to give visitors a false impression that inmates were treated humanely.”

“The real units had no toilets. Inmates would urinate and defecate on the ground.” “Did you hear that,” I elbowed my wife. “Yes,” she looked at me somewhat annoyed. […]

Wait a minute!  The barracks were “burned down”?  Where did the German “war criminals” live when the camp was turned into a prison for Germans after the war?  You can read about War Crimes Enclosure No. 1 on my website here.

After the American Military Tribunal trials were completed, the barracks at Dachau were used, for 17 years, to house the German expellees who had been evicted from their homes in the former Czechoslovakia and from their homes in Poland and other countries.  You can read about the ethnic Germans who were expelled here.

The expellees were kicked out of the barracks at Dachau when it was decided to make the former camp into a Memorial site in 1960.  It was at that time that the barracks were torn down.

The barracks that visitors now see at Dachau are reconstructions, built when the camp was turned into a Memorial Site.  The SS did NOT build a “model unit” to show to visitors.  When visitors came to tour the camp, while it was a concentration camp, they were shown the barracks of the Jehovah’s Witness prisoners because these prisoners kept their barracks very clean.  The original barracks had toilets, unlike the barracks in the internment camps in America, which had toilets in a separate building.

The prisoners were originally housed in old factory buildings; the grounds of the Dachau camp originally housed a munitions factory during World War I.  The factory had to be abandoned because the Germans were not allowed to have weapons, according to the Treaty of Versailles, which was imposed on the Germans at the end of World War I.

In 1938, new barracks buildings were built at Dachau.  The photo below shows the barracks that were used for the Dachau prisoners from 1938 to 1945.


The description of Dachau from the blog post continues:

We walked up to a rather strange structure. It looked like a jumble of metal with no real purpose. We both commented on how ugly it was. Then we overheard some passersby discussing the site.

It had actually been created by an artist to depict a common occurrence at the camp. Prisoners who had given up on survival, starved and depressed, would simply walk into the electrified fence. If the voltage didn’t kill them, shots from the guard tower would. […]

My 2007 photo of the International Monument at Dachau

My 2007 photo of the International Monument at Dachau

You can read about the International Monument and see more photos of it on my website here.

The blogger who visited Dachau continues with this quote:

We stood inside the gas chamber and I felt sick. I thought I was going to throw up. I didn’t think about what happened there. I couldn’t. I just felt the raw emotions.

Looking at the way the building was set up, you could see how systematic and well organized everything was. There were two separate entrances. The prisoners would enter a waiting room with instructions and benches to hold their clothes.

Blueprint of Baracke X building at Dachau

Blueprint of Baracke X building at Dachau

The building might have been set up to be systematic and well organized, but was it originally set up as a gas chamber? The photo above shows a blueprint of the Baracke X building where the gas chamber (or shower room) is located in the space that is numbered 5.  This space was called the Brausebad (shower) on the original blueprint.

The blogger didn’t mention how the gas entered the room. However, he did take a photo inside the gas chamber — an artistic photo of someone’s legs and feet, beside one of the drain holes.

Wait a minute! Why was there a drain hole in a gas chamber?  Wouldn’t the gas have gone down the drain and poisoned everyone in the whole camp?  Of course, the six drain holes are now closed up, but if the Germans were going to close the drain holes, why put them there in the first place?  The drain holes indicate that the gas chamber was originally a shower room, which was modified to make it into a gas chamber.  I previously blogged about the floor drains in the gas chamber here.

One of six drain holes in the Dachau gas chamber

One of six drain holes in the Dachau gas chamber

This quote is from the blogger’s description of the gas chamber:

On the other side of the “shower” room was the crematorium, with a separate entrance for the SS. The bodies were literally taken out of the gas chamber and shoveled right into the ovens to be cremated.

Not quite.  The bodies were first put into the morgue room, which was right next to the gas chamber room. From there the bodies were carried to the ovens, a few at a time.  There was, in fact, an outside entrance into the oven room, as well as an entrance from the morgue room.

Why would there be a shower room in a crematorium.  I previously blogged about this here.

This is the second blog post that I have read, which was written by a blogger, who did not do any research before visiting Dachau.  Visitors should find out the facts before they go to Dachau, so they can be prepared to challenge tour guides who tell them that the barracks at Dachau had no toilets, and other lies about the former camp.


  1. ok here is a theory . Originally built as a shower room but converted by the Germans in 1944 to be another morgue due to demand . The original ceiling was lowered to reduce the amount of space which needed to be kept cool. The vents in the wall were made and attached to an outside motor which was a pre war refrigeration unit . This motor was behind the wooden pallisade photographed by the US ” liberating ” army.
    All the Psychops did when they arrived was attach the ” dummy shower heads “

    Comment by Pete — January 11, 2013 @ 4:27 pm

    • Possible.

      When the death rate started to increase exponentially – – it would have been logical to commandeer a shower room and convert it into a new morgue. Piling infected corpses outdoor would have been very risky for guards and camp inmates. The two little crematory ovens could incinerate a few hundreds of corpses every month (MAX 960 corpses with a cremation time of 1.5 hour per body and if ovens had been used 24 hours a day) but not 3,000 corpses a month as it was needed at the very end of WW2. So surplus corpses had to be stored somewhere. In a new morgue maybe?

      Comment by hermie — January 11, 2013 @ 5:36 pm

  2. Another thought. Assuming the guys from US psychops came to Dachau upon ” liberation ” with the intention of creating the reality of all the wartime rumours of gassing I wonder why they chose this room; presumably because the war time rumours centered on shower rooms? . Why did they lower the ceiling; they could have kept it at ten feet and said the shower fittings were part of the deception? Shower rooms normally have some form of ventilation otherwise they get rather mouldy. Is there evidence of any ventilation holes or windows on the outside walls between the 7 ‘ 6 and 10 feet level? Could the ” zyclon introduction portals have been ventilation grills for the showers???

    Comment by Pete — January 10, 2013 @ 12:34 pm

    • The American war time propaganda also centered on crematory ovens (“holocaust” literally means “entirely burned”). So a “gas chamber” had to be close to a crematory room. I guess the American crematory horror propaganda would have been less ‘efficient’ if most Americans had been buddhist. It’s not hard to imagine how shocking cremation was for christians of that time. Moreover cremation is totally forbidden by jewish law.

      Maybe lowering the ceiling was easier than removing water pipes and real showerheads. Maybe the American propagandists thought fake showerheads were more ‘convincing’ than real showerheads allegely not used. But IMO they could keep the pipes and showerheads and say gas was introduced through these pipes. If they had done so they could even connect a delousing gassing apparatus to the water pipes and their “gas chamber” would have been much more ‘convincing’ than the actual “gas chamber”.

      And if this room was in fact a morgue. Morgues must often be washed for obvious reasons. So floor drains would be very useful. If so the Americans only had to paint “shower room” over the entrance and fix fake shower heads to the ceiling.

      Comment by hermie — January 10, 2013 @ 4:45 pm

      • Yes a morgue or autopsy room would explain the drains in the floor. It would also explain the heavy metal door to this room. It would also explain the ventilation grills at the lower level instead of at a higher level for steam and it would also explain the need for the lowered ceiling with the fake shower heads . thoughts?

        Comment by Pete — January 11, 2013 @ 12:59 am

        • The little windows, near the floor in the Dachau gas chamber, are not “ventilation grills.” These little windows are connected to little boxes on the outside wall, through which Zyklon-B pellets were allegedly poured. These boxes and the little windows were added much later, after the Americans learned that gas could not have come through the shower heads.

          The Dachau Memorial Site now says that “gas COULD have come through these little windows, meaning that IF THE WINDOWS HAD BEEN THERE before the Americans arrived, they COULD HAVE BEEN used to throw Zyklon-B pellets into the “gas chamber.”

          Comment by furtherglory — January 11, 2013 @ 8:50 am

      • The Mauthausen gas chamber still has real water pipes and the original shower heads. The Holocaustians say that the Mauthausen gassing apparatus, which was behind one of the walls of the gas chamber, was removed by the Nazis to destroy the evidence of gassing. The Memorial Site at Mauthausen has a sign in the gas chamber, which says that it was used, although there is no evidence of this whatsoever.

        The American liberators could have left the Dachau shower room intact, and claimed that the gassing apparatus had been removed to destroy the evidence. The liberators of the camps in Germany did not find out until much later that the gas could not have come through the shower heads.

        At Dachau, the morgue, which is right next to the gas chamber, has two floor drains. The sign that says “Brausebad” at Dachau was there when the Americans arrived.

        Comment by furtherglory — January 11, 2013 @ 8:44 am

        • Every large shower room would need some ventilation surely ? Where would the ventilation be. i think the two grills that are displayed as zyclon induction ports were possibly the ventilation grills for the showers?

          Comment by Pete — January 11, 2013 @ 11:07 am

          • I see on your June 3 2012 piece you show a picture of vent pipes on the roof of the ” Dachau gas chamber” . Was this the ventilatory system for the showers? Are those vent pipes still there? How are they explained by the guides in 2013?

            Comment by Pete — January 11, 2013 @ 11:17 am

    • No, there are no ventilation holes on the outside walls between the 7.6 foot ceiling and the 10 foot ceiling. The Zyklon-B “introduction portals” could not have been ventilation grills for the showers.

      Germany is still an occupied country. Some day, if the occupation ever ends, the Germans might be able to reveal the truth about the so-called gas chambers. However, I think that Germany will be occupied until there are no more ethnic Germans left, which won’t be long. By that time, there will no more Caucasians left in America, and no one will care.

      Comment by furtherglory — January 11, 2013 @ 8:58 am

  3. I think film director George Stevens and his crew of Hollywood professionals either created, or supervised the creation of the Dachau gas chamber. They refitted/remodeled the existing shower room to create a spooky set for newsreels they were making for the OSS/Signal Corps. Training films were shown to U.S. soldiers. Some of these were shot on sets on Staten Island by Jack Glenn. I think, too, that these training films may have contributed to the Dachau massacre of guards and foreign SS gunned down by Lt. Jack Bushyhead on the day the camp was liberated. Infantrymen (thousands of whom couldn’t read) were hopped up by the propaganda in these films causing some soldiers to go berserk in occupied Germany. Like Lt. Bushyhead their crimes were ignored, or covered up.

    Comment by who+dares+wings — January 8, 2013 @ 5:42 pm

  4. Couple of questions apropos the shower room at Dachau. Was it indicated to be a shower room on the blue prints and are there any other concentration camps where a shower room was situated adjacent to the crematory ovens ? If the latter is shown then it would surely be a clincher for the revisionist argument?

    Comment by Pete — January 8, 2013 @ 2:15 pm

    • “are there any other concentration camps where a shower room was situated adjacent to the crematory ovens ?”

      At Struthof-Natzweiler camp (Alsace, France) there was a shower room adjacent to the crematory ovens and the heat generated by the cremations was used to heat the shower water.

      Comment by hermie — January 8, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

    • I have added a photo of the blueprint that was shown in the Waiting Room in 1997 when I first visited Dachau. This is the original blueprint, but the names of the rooms have been changed in this reproduction. The Gaskammer (No. 5) was originally called a Brausebad (shower room).

      Notice that there is a hallway behind both the “gas chamber” and the morgue room. This room is now called the “engineer’s room” where the gas was allegedly let in and out of the “gas chamber.” Tourists are not allowed to see this area.

      Note also that there are stairs to the basement. Tourists are not allowed to see the basement so that they can see that the drains in the “gas chamber” are connected to the sewer line.

      Comment by furtherglory — January 9, 2013 @ 5:56 am

      • What was the purpose of room 7 the ” death chamber” on the blueprint was this the morgue ? according to legend and in reality. I see room 5 is called showers or gas chamber.

        Comment by Pete — January 9, 2013 @ 1:44 pm

        • Yes, room 7 was the morgue. Note that room 9 is “death chamber 2.” This room was actually an autopsy room, but in the last days of the war, it was used to hold dead bodies. When the American liberators arrived, this room was filled with fully-clothed dead bodies, spilling out the door.

          In looking at the blueprint again, I see that this is not the original blueprint because #6 designates the two small openings on the outside wall of the “gas chamber.” This would not have been on the blueprint that was made before the building was built, since the openings were not put on the building until years later.

          Comment by furtherglory — January 10, 2013 @ 6:49 am

          • Then it seems logical to put a shower room for the crematory workers who were working in a hot and dirty environment with diseased bodies . Many of the dead were from typhus so good hygiene was imperative. Its place on the other side of the morgue seems logical as well.
            I think it was an ordinary shower room for the crematory workers.
            It is a pity we cant find the original blue prints. They must be somewhere…..

            Comment by Pete — January 10, 2013 @ 11:37 am

            • When the American liberators arrived at Dachau, they saw a sign in the oven room of the crematorium which read “Reinlichkeit is hier Pflight deshalb Hände waschen nicht vergessen.” In English, this means “Cleanliness is a duty here, therefore don’t forget to wash your hands.”

              The sign, which was formerly on the wall behind the ovens in the crematorium, has been painted over and can no longer be seen today. I think that the sign was painted over by the American liberators of Dachau in order to maintain the fiction that there was no shower room near the ovens; what should have been a shower room was really a gas chamber, according to the American liberators.

              Comment by furtherglory — January 11, 2013 @ 9:03 am

  5. It doesn’t matter how long I live, I’ll never grow tired of people saying that if the Jews had had enough, they simply needed to walk into the electrified fence where the electric current or a guard would kill them. If conditions were as bad as they make out, and/or you were going to die at a time of the Nazi’s choosing, then surely there would be hundreds of people every day walking up to the wire…..completely laughable!!

    Comment by DB — January 8, 2013 @ 1:20 pm

  6. I recently hit a stone wall during my research of Kurt Heller columnist for Aufbau. My curiosity was stirred by an article i found on the Trove digital archive My internet searches turned up nothing for Kurt Heller but i did find a database which covers 1951 onward I followed the link to the suggested archive and i was confronted with this;

    It appears that my desire to access and research the 1950’s files has been thwarted by red tape or is there another reason they disallowed publication of the archives ? Would it be worth my while requesting the files under the Freedom of Information act.. I’m not sure how to proceed with this .. Any advice would be appreciated..

    Comment by owainglyndwr1416 — January 8, 2013 @ 11:57 am

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