When you visit a place like Dachau, it’s easy to get lost in the numbers – the sheer volume of people that moved through the camp, were housed there, and died there. But if you really want to feel the full impact of the camp, you start to look at the details – the individuals who were in Dachau. The camp has some amazing stories.
This images tells a lot of history. And yet, it’s only a tiny portion of just one person’s story. The camp has several of these collages.
Each collage is a collection of items that tells a story about a person.
And the interesting thing is, if you just look a the person’s face, you can’t tell very much about the person. But that’s ok, the Nazis couldn’t either. So they instituted a way to identify each prisoner with a group.
As you can see, there were many different groups. The chart also shows a hierarchy of existence as well – it was better to be a member of the groups at the top of the chart.
Another amazing thing about going to Dachau are the artifacts that survived the war.
This is the actual table, we were told, where prisoners would be registered. The Nazis would use prisoners to register other prisoners. They would throw out promises to the prisoners who did their dirty work. But as with most things, it was a lie – these prisoners would be killed within a matter of months. The Nazis were concerned that these prisoners would gain too much power over other prisoners, so they eliminated the threat and threw in more unsuspecting victims and a few months later kill them. On and on the cycle went.
Dachau is full of stories – many we’ll never know. But we take in the ones that survive.