Today, after a hearty German breakfast, we marched through Bavaria (Bayern) into Dachau, and Munich (München). On the schedule was the Concentration Camp at Dachau, and a guided tour of the beautiful city of Munich.
After travelling on the coach for just over an hour we arrived at one of the first Nazi concentration camps. This camp was known as Dachau and was one of the few camps situated in the country of Germany. Upon entering the front gate of the camp, an air of solemnity settled in amongst us. The confronting image of the camp has been embedded into everyones minds. What we saw when entering Dachau concentration camp was the same view that met the Jewish and other prisoners upon their arrival to the camp.
Within the camp walls was a museum as well as memorials and both replica and original buildings, of where the prisoners had slept, were tortured and were cremated. Although they never saw use, the most confronting moment of the tour was the gas chambers built in the camp.
The Dachau concentration camp was were Georg Elser was sent after he tried to blow up Hitler during one of his Beer Hall speeches in 1939. Elser had been found with explosives in his car whilst trying to flee into Austria. He was tortured and then sent to Dachau were he met continued to live the remainder of his life. In April 1945 Elser was murdered in the camp by an SS guard, less than a month before the camp's liberation by the US Army's Rainbow Division.
Upon arrival in Munich, we came to centre of the city where we split off to enjoy the classic Munich bratwurst. We then partook in a Third Reich tour of the city's center.
During the tour of the city we learnt about numerous historic sites. The most notable site we visited was the Beer hall in which Hitler first witness the German Workers Party in full effects. Initially sent by the army to make notes on this radicalist group. Whilst hearing Anton Drexler speak he realised his ideaological and political views were alomost identical to those of Drexlers. This beer hall is where Hitler realised what he would pursue his future in, and in 1923, attempt a putsch from.
Later, we also saw the site of the old Gestapo headquarters (now a bank) and the site of the Munich Accords, where French, Italian & UK leaders allowed the annexation of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia as part of the appeasement.
In the evening, we ate dinner at the other Beer hall that was used as a meeting place for the failed putsch.
Xavier Caputo, Christian Kadi & Nick Sims