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Dachau

Take the S2 line out of munich only a few stops and you'll find yourself on the doorstep of history. It's a trip I recommend everyone make at least once. Between 1933 and 1945, Germany's first Concentration Camp incarcerated over 188,000 people. Most of them were political prisoners but near the end of the war, nearly 1/3 were Jewish. Between January 1940 and April 1945 when the camp was liberated, over 28,000 people were either worked to death or murdered. About 225 per day. It is unknown the number who perished during the first 7 years of the camp.

dachau pic

"Nie Wieder"..."Never again." This simple phrase has become a part of Germany and it's culture today. Indeed, German students are required to make several field trips during their school years to various concentration camps, work camps, museums, etc. None of these places attempts to hide the atrocities of World War II and serve as a national reminder of what can happen "when good men fail to act".

"Der Weg ins Freie"

Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten,
habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Kommunist.
Als sie die Sozialdemokraten einsperrten,
habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Sozialdemokrat.
Als sie die Gewerkschafter holten,
habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Gewerkschafter.
Als sie die Juden holten,
habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Jude.
Als sie mich holten, gab es keinen mehr,
der protestieren konnte.

Author Unknown, sometimes attributed to Martin Niemöller

English translation:

When the Nazis arrested the Communists,
I was silent; I was not a Communist.
When they locked up the Social Democrats,
I was silent; I was not a Social Democrat.
When they arrested the trade unionists,
I was silent; I was not a trade unionist.
When they arrested the Jews,
I was silent; I was not a Jew.
When they arrested me, there was no longer anyone who could protest.