Scrapbookpages Blog

May 3, 2017

The story of Dachau, as told to tourists

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 4:30 pm

In 2005, the entrance into the Dachau Memorial site was changed so that visitors can now see a section of the brick path upon which the prisoners walked as they neared the Arbeit Macht Frei gate into the prison camp.

My photo of the gate into the Dachau camp

 

New prisoners walked on this brick path into the Dachau concentration camp

The photo above shows the brick path and the grass covering the rubble of the factory buildings that were torn down after American troops took over the SS training camp and the Army garrison next door to the concentration camp.

Visitors can now see a few of the buildings inside the former SS garrison, including the Administration building which is the white building trimmed in yellow on the right in the photo above. When I visited in 2007, I was told that this building was the Commandant’s house, but I have since learned that his house was torn down in 1987.

On the left side of the photo, you can see the ramp upon which supplies for the camp were unloaded. Passenger trains did not enter the Dachau camp.

A new gravel path, [shown in the photo above] which leads from the bus stop to the Arbeit Macht Frei gate, was constructed in 2005 on the south side of the Dachau complex, which includes the former concentration camp and what is left of the former SS Army Garrison and Training Center for concentration camp administrators, which the Dachau tour guides refer to as a “school of violence” or a “school of terror.”

The entrance into the Dachau Memorial Site was changed again when a new Visitor’s Center was completed. New signs which tell the story of Dachau were added.

I have been to the town of Dachau, and to the concentration camp near the town, several times. The last time that I was there was in 2007.

I have a whole section about the Dachau camp on my scrapbookpages.com website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/KZDachau/DachauLife01A.html

 

May 1945 — Germans surrender

Filed under: Germany, Uncategorized, World War II — Tags: — furtherglory @ 10:26 am

Execution of 16 Year Old German Heinz Petry by the US Fire Squad 

We are lucky to have someone commenting on my blog, who served as a German solderer in World War II, and was an eye witnesses to the end of war.  My blog post today includes material from his blog which you can read in full by following the links provided.

The two links are a two part account of HK Stolpmann of those days.  The second link is from his account of his experience on May 9th 1945.  The first link is about the general mistreatment and often execution of German youth at the end of the war.  I have selected a few highlights, but those interested in learning more about those days should definitely follow these links.

http://dachaukz.blogspot.com/2011/03/my-own-surrender-to-3rd-us-army-9th-may.html

Begin quote from the above link:

It was an entirely different position the Allies took when HJ [Hitler Youth] members were captured or surrendered in their original uniform, with their swastika armband on their sleeves….

These boys had no rights under any rules to be treated as POW’s when captured and were faced with summary execution.

End quote

http://dachaukz.blogspot.co.nz/2011/03/sonndorf-pow-camp-to-dachau-kz.html

Begin quote:

The final act was  signed in Berlin together with the Russians in the morning of May the 8th.  At that time my platoon of 15 boys and one Officer, Lieutenant Becker marched towards the German border from within Czechoslovakia in the area of Schuettenhofen.  There was a sort of no-mans land and all troop movements were strictly forbidden, we did not adhere to this order. As we had thrown all our weapons down to comply to Doenitz’s command, except our Lt. who carried his MP38 to protect us to some degree against Czech partisan’s ambushes when [on May 9th 1945] we met the first American soldiers confronting a massive column of tired and dejected Germans that all were trying to avoid capture by the Russians.  I have never seen my Lieutenant ever since.

End quote.

Further down in the same blog post, Stolpmann continues:

Begin quote

At that time we did not know that Eisenhower had issued an order on March 10th 1945 and verified by his initials on a cable of that date, that German Prisoners of War be predesignated as “Disarmed Enemy Forces” or DEF.  Eisenhower  ordered that these Germans did not fall under the Geneva Convention, and were not to be fed or given water or medical attention. The Swiss Red Cross was not to inspect the camps, for under the DEF classification, they had no such authority or jurisdiction.

End Quote.

Stolpmann remembered about these days in a recent comment on this blog:

…’Unser Führer ist gefallen’ – which means ‘[Our Führer died in combat action’]

Indeed I did find a scrap of newspaper while spending the first days as a POW (DEF) in Sonndorf, which claimed that our beloved leader with the flag in one hand and a rifle in the other died fighting for the glory of our people and the Third Reich. Beside it was one of the first actual accounts of another newsprint that Hitler had committed suicide in his bunker prior to marrying Eva Brown!

I was so disgusted by what I felt was American propaganda that I tore the paper to pieces and held the other one to my chest, proud of my Führer!

So much for brainwashing.

End quote.

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