Scrapbookpages Blog

March 25, 2013

Woman prisoner at Dachau saw people begging for their lives outside the camp’s gas chamber…

Filed under: Dachau, Germany — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 4:26 pm

Magdalena Hamilton was a Catholic prisoner who survived six months in the Dachau concentration camp before she was liberated by American troops on April 29, 1945, at exactly 6:10 p.m.  Dachau was mostly a men’s camp for political prisoners, but there were a few women prisoners there.

This quote is from a news story which you can read in full here:

She [Ms. Hamilton] saw people begging for their lives outside the camp’s gas chamber and crematorium. She saw men digging their own graves before they were shot by German soldiers. She saw people tortured until they could no longer stand it.

The gas chamber at Dachau was outside the prison enclosure and hidden from view by a row of trees.  There is now a gate into the area where the gas chamber and the crematorium were located, but at the time that Ms. Hamilton was a prisoner there, the gate was not yet in existence.

Tourist entrance into the area where the Dachau gas chamber is located

Tourist entrance into the area where the Dachau gas chamber is located

Gas chamber location was separated from the rest of the camp by a canal

Gas chamber location was separated from the rest of the camp by a canal

The Nazis wanted to make sure that the world would know about the atrocities committed in the Dachau concentration camp, so they made it a priority to bring witnesses to the area where the gas chamber was located. They took prisoners, such as Ms. Hamilton, outside the camp and allowed them to witness the Jews begging for their lives as they were shoved into the gas chamber.

Door into a gas chamber at Dachau

Door into a gas chamber at Dachau

There were four gas chambers, like the one shown in the photo above, into which the Jews were shoved, kicking and screaming and begging for their lives.  This was after they had first been tortured.  Ms. Hamilton was brought to the crematorium building to see it all.

This quote from the news article explains why Ms. Hamilton was allowed to survive:

Hamilton thinks the only reason she survived Dachau is because she speaks German and that she had finished four semesters of medical school before she was taken into custody. The Germans were desperate for people to treat their injured soldiers, she said.

What injured soldiers?  Is she talking about the injured soldiers who were dragged out of the SS hospital at Dachau and lined up against a wall and shot during the infamous Dachau Massacre, perpetrated by American soldiers?  Does she tell the little school children about that when she gives a talk?

Does Ms. Hamilton explain to the school children why she was sent to the Dachau camp?  Was she arrested because she was fighting as an illegal combatant and a  traitor to her country?  Does she explain why she is still telling lies to demonize the German people 68 years after the liberation of the Dachau camp?