On March 22, 1933, just a few weeks after Adolf Hitler was appointed Reich Chancellor, a concentration camp for political prisoners was set up in Dachau. It served as the prototype for all subsequent concentration camps and as a “school of violence” for the SS, under whose command it stood. In the twelve years of its existence, over 200,000 persons from throughout Europe were imprisoned in the Dachau concentration camp and its 140 subcamps, persecuted for political, racist and biological ‘reasons’. Approximately 41.500 prisoners died here.
The Memorial Site is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The memorial site is closed on December 24th. No prior appointment is necessary and entry is free.
American troops liberated the camp on April 29, 1945. The grounds were then used for a variety of purposes: between 1945 and 1948 the US military imprisoned Nazi Party officials and members of the SS here, while until 1963/1964 the former camp served as accommodation for refugees and expellees. On the initiative of survivors, organized in the Comité International de Dachau (CID), and supported by the Free State of Bavaria, the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site was founded in 1965. Today, the Memorial Site is part of the Bavarian Memorial
The Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site is a place of remembrance, it is a cemetery and at the same time a museum and place of learning. Besides a permanent exhibition on the history of the Dachau concentration camp, encompassing ca. 4,000m² in various buildings, the Memorial Site holds special exhibitions, runs an extensive educational program and features an archive and library. Different religious commemorative sites are also located on the grounds.
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