It was a somber rainy day when I visited Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany. The willow trees on the property seemed to weep with me as I walked amongst the fenced-in grounds with the grey clouds hanging heavy above my head, just like my heart. Walking alone through the camp made me feel like I was the only soul in Dachau hearing the cries of the past being muffled by the wind. The massive camp holds secrets and history of the past. Truth, reality, redemption, honour, pride, and memory.
Dachau now symbolizes a place of remembrance and learning. As I walked through the bunkers, barracks, roll-call square, and past the infirmary along camp road, I can’t help but be thankful and to never forget what has happened. The religious memories on site including the Jewish Memorial, The Mortal Agony of Christ Chapel, Carmelite Convent, Protestant Church of Reconciliation, and the Russian Orthodox Memorial Chapel help to preserve the memory of those who suffered at Dachau. My soul cried that day for all those who were affected. For me, as a teacher, it was important to visit a concentration camp while in Europe to better understand the history I teach. My visit to Dachau was especially symbolic since my grandfather served in WWII and I have met personally numerous holocaust survivors and saw with my own eyes their tattoos and heard with my own ears their terrifying stories. It is for them I walked through Dachau with a brave face even with tears streamed down my cheeks. It is for them that I will remember.
This post is published with an utmost respect and sensitivity for all those, like myself, who were affected by WWII. My hope is only to share with you my thought process while visiting a place which is open to the public and now a memorial for all those affected by Dachau Concentration Camp. The few pictures I took depict some of the images I saw during that somber day.