Scrapbookpages Blog

March 31, 2013

What Dachau looked like in 1966…

Filed under: Dachau, Germany — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:57 am

I had a chance to see Dachau in 1957 when a group of people invited me along on a trip to see the camp.  I didn’t want to go because the camp was filled, at that time, with homeless people who had been expelled from Czechoslovakia because they were ethnic German.

I  recently read a description of Dachau, written by a man who visited the camp in 1966.  In 1965, the ethnic Germans were kicked out and the former camp was turned into a Memorial Site.

This quote is from the article about Dachau in 1966:

I saw a man wearing a Confederate flag baseball cap the other day. I didn’t hate him, but I sure felt sorry for him for the heavy load he carries. The sight reminded me of the Nazi flag and my visit to Dachau concentration camp in Germany in 1966. The visit was one of my life-changing experiences.

Dachau was one of the many Nazi concentration camps that tortured, experimented on and murdered millions of Jews, people of color, Gypsies, Catholics, disabled people, liberals (free-thinkers), homosexuals or anyone that opposed the Nazi regime of Adolph Hitler.

I can still visualize the white bones in the sun sticking out of the dirt of the farmer’s fields that surrounded Dachau.

I can still see the tall, double-barbed-wire fences and the sign in German that read: “Work Will Set You Free” at the entrance of the camp.

I can still see the 5-foot-high pile of tens of thousands of eye glasses, the lampshade made from human skin, the long, 10-foot-tall, granite wall indented from the millions of machine gun rounds that first burst through the bodies of the men, women and children that were marched along the parapet and fell into the huge trench in front.

I can still smell the crematorium ovens and see the gurneys used to wheel the corpses in by the thousands. I can visualize the light green gas chamber — supposedly never used — with the fake shower nozzles on the walls.

In other camps, these gas chambers were packed with terrified, crying people who knew their fate. When the doors were closed cyanide was dropped into the holes in the roof, or trucks were backed up to the chambers and hoses hooked up to the exhaust and forced into the rooms. Monsters did this; monsters who made the Inquisition pale in comparison.

I regret that I didn’t go to Dachau in 1966.  I could have seen “a lampshade made of human skin.”

People of color were not sent to Dachau, but there was one prisoner from the Belgian Congo: Jean (Johnny) Voste, who was at Dachau when the camp was liberated. Voste was a Belgian Resistance fighter who had been arrested in 1942 for an act of sabotage in the town of Malignes, near Antwerp.

14 Comments

  1. Were any cars in the Dachau “death train” strafed by Allied planes? Has Allied strafing ever been mentioned as a cause of prisoner deaths?

    Comment by who+dares+wings — April 1, 2013 @ 11:35 am

  2. Newly released pics of the liberation of Dachau: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299219/The-colour-darkness-Vivid-pictures-Nazi-concentration-camps-chilling-insight-dawn-Holocaust.html#ixzz2OfSlo7t9

    The text is total bullsh*t as usually, but those new pics show most of the liberated prisoners were not the emaciated bodies we’re usually shown. There is a mislabelled picture of the famous ‘death train’ (the caption dishonestly claims that pic shows the place where the Dachau dead prisoners were dumped while it’s actually a pic of prisoners who died because their transfer from Buchenwald was too long (due to the devastation of the German railways at that time)).

    Comment by hermie — April 1, 2013 @ 9:13 am

  3. Furtherglory, is that Jean Voste in the 2nd picture?

    And young Elie Wiesel in the 3rd?

    Comment by Eager For Answers — April 1, 2013 @ 3:52 am

    • Jean Voste is shown in a black and white photo on this page of my website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/prisoners.html Notice that he is wearing civilian clothes, not a blue and white striped uniform. In the color photo, one man who appears to have some African heritage, is wearing a white coat and a pink scarf, but I am not sure if this is Jean Voste.

      One of the liberated prisoners has some resemblance to Elie Wiesel, but he was allegedly at Buchenwald when it was liberated. He should have claimed that he was sent to Dachau after he marched out of Auschwitz.

      Comment by furtherglory — April 1, 2013 @ 7:15 am

      • One of the liberated prisoners has some resemblance to Elie Wiesel

        Thanks, furtherglory!

        😉

        Comment by Eager For Answers — April 1, 2013 @ 4:59 pm

      • According to The Jewish Virtual Library, Jean Voste wasThe Only Black Prisoner at Dachau.

        According to this site, Jean Vosté lived in Belgium and engaged in the Resistance.
        He realized the sabotage of railway tracks.

        He was arrested in 1942 and going from prison to prison, landed in Hartheim (Mauthausen) and finally to Dachau.
        After his release, he lived in Belgium until his death in 1993.

        Comment by Eager For Answers — April 2, 2013 @ 3:05 am

  4. The legend is that the “disabled” were sent from Dachau to Hartheim Castle for gassing. It’s one of those stories surrounding Dr. Sigmund Rascher and his never used Dachau gas chamber.

    Comment by who+dares+wings — March 31, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

    • On my first visit to Dachau in 1997, there was an exhibit in the Museum which said that “terminally ill” prisoners at Dachau were sent to Hartheim Castle for gassing. There was a document displayed which was a form that a doctor at Dachau had to fill out before anyone was sent to Hartheim. There was one line in the document, which had to be filled in by the doctor, giving the medical term for the terminal illness. At that time, there was no claim that “disabled” people were sent to Dachau and then sent on to Hartheim for gassing.

      Comment by furtherglory — April 1, 2013 @ 7:25 am

  5. “liberals (free-thinkers)”

    Most “political prisoners” kept at Dachau and other camps were communist agitators. Everybody could see how liberal those communist free-thinkers had been and still were in Russia.

    “Catholics”

    Hitler and most Nazi leaders were catholics themselves. National socialism was born in Bavaria, the most catholic state of Germany. The Catholics who were imprisoned at Dachau were certainly not kept there because they were Catholics. Typical U.S. propaganda playing on American bigotry.

    “disabled people”

    Dachau was also an asylum?

    Comment by hermie — March 31, 2013 @ 4:10 pm

    • Dachau was designated as the main camp where Catholic PRIESTS were sent. Catholics were not sent to concentration camps for being Catholic. However, the majority of the prisoners at Dachau were political prisoners, who were Catholic. There were also some Protestant ministers at Dachau. Disabled people were not sent to camps.

      Comment by furtherglory — April 1, 2013 @ 7:32 am

      • “Dachau was designated as the main camp where Catholic PRIESTS were sent. Catholics were not sent to concentration camps for being Catholic. However, the majority of the prisoners at Dachau were political prisoners, who were Catholic.”

        That’s what I meant. Catholics at dachau, but not imprisoned there because they were Catholics.

        Were most of those Catholic priests Polish priests? If they were, it’s not surprising some Catholic priests were imprisoned by the Nazis because the Polish Catholic priests have been well-known disseminators of anti-German feelings for centuries. There is a long history of Polish Catholic priests making anti-German speeches because they saw Germans (who were mostly Protestants) as a threat to the Catholic Church of Poland. The occupation of Poland would have been much worse if those priests (the most virulent ones) had been free to make anti-German speeches during WW2.

        Comment by hermie — April 1, 2013 @ 9:02 am

  6. Dachau need rides like Disneyland. It’s a depressing place not because millions of communists, partisans, subversive clerics, convicts, stoolies, homosexual child molesters, pimps, fraudsters, black marketeers, diseased prostitutes, dope pushers, abortionists and “Mack the Knife” mohels and tone deaf piano tuners were tortured for kicks and then gassed there, but because Dachau doesn’t sell T-shirts.

    Comment by who+dares+wings — March 31, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

    • At one time, I actually thought of having T-shirts made with a photo of the Arbeit Macht Frei gate. I planned to sell them on the Internet. However, I decided not to, because I might have been arrested for “disrespecting the Holocaust,” or some other crime.

      Comment by furtherglory — April 1, 2013 @ 7:35 am

  7. As we all know ” people of color” were also made into handbags and lampshades according to the USHMM. Famous African film stars of this period were of course excepted as this
    link to a kosherpedia article shows.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Brody

    Comment by pete — March 31, 2013 @ 11:32 am


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