Dachau Concentration Camp

Visit a Memorial Site From Germany's Darkest Past

View of dachau through a window

TripSavvy / Maria Ligaya

The concentration camp of Dachau, 10 miles northwest of Munich, was one of the first concentration camps in Nazi Germany. Built in March 1933, shortly after Adolf Hitler was appointed as Reich Chancellor, Dachau would serve as a model for all subsequent concentrations camps in the Third Reich.

Why is Dachau Significant?

As well as being one of the first, Dachau was one of the longest running concentration camps in Nazi Germany. In its twelve years of existence, more than 200,000 people from more than 30 countries were imprisoned at Dachau and its sub-camps. More than 43,000 died: Jews, political opponents, homosexuals, gypsies, members of the Jehovah's Witness and priests.

The camp was also a training ground for the SS (Schutzstaffel or "Protection Squadron"), called “School of Violence”.

Liberation of Dachau

On April 29, 1945, Dachau was liberated by American troops, freeing its 32,000 remaining survivors. 20 years later, the Memorial Site Dachau was established on the initiative of surviving prisoners.

The Memorial Site includes the original prisoner's campgrounds, the crematorium, various memorials, a visitor's center, archive, library, and bookstore.

As part of the 70th anniversary of liberation day, survivors gathered once again to describe details of their life during this period in a video message. We must never forget.

What to Expect at Dachau

Dachau visitors follow the “path of the prisoner”, walking the same way prisoners were forced to walk after their arrival in the camp; from the main iron gate that displays the cruel and cynical motto Arbeit Macht Frei ("work makes you free"), to the shunt rooms where prisoners were stripped of their personal belongings along with their identity. You will also see the original prisoner baths, barracks, courtyards, and the crematorium.

The original buildings house extensive exhibits on the Nazi concentration camp system and life on the grounds. The Dachau memorial site also includes religious memorials and chapels that reflect all religions that were present in the camp, as well as an international monument by the Yugoslavian artist and Holocaust survivor, Nandor Glid.

Visitor Information for Dachau

Address: Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site (KZ Gedenkstaette)
Alte Römerstraße 75
85221 Dachau

Phone: +49 (0) 8131 / 66 99 70

Website:​ www.kz-gedenkstaette-dachau.de

Opening Hours: Daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The memorial site is closed on December 24th.

Admission: Entrance is free. No reservation required.

Transportation to Dachau

By public transport: From Munich, take the metro S2 to Dachau/Petershausen. Get off at the Dachau Station and take the bus Nr. 726 into the direction of Saubachsiedlung. Get off at the entrance of the Memorial Site ("KZ-Gedenkstätte"). It will take approximately one hour to travel from Munich to Dachau by public transportation.

By car: The site is well marked with signs directing drivers to the memorial. There are €3 parking fees from March to October (Note: The visitor's parking area will be under construction until 2020. View the website for updates.)

  • A8 Stuttgart-München (Stuttgart-Munich) to the Dachau-Fürstenfeldbruck exit, then B471 towards Dachau to the Dachau-Ost exit.
  • A9 Nürnberg-München (Nuremberg–Munich) to the Neufahrn interchange, then A92 towards Stuttgart the Oberschleißheim/Dachau exit, then B471 towards Dachau (exit Dachau-Ost).
  • From Munich: A9 (Nuremberg) then A99 to the Feldmoching interchange, then A92 to the Oberschleißheim/Dachau exit, then B471 towards Dachau (exit Dachau-Ost).

Dachau Tours and Guides:

Tickets to the guided tour and audio guides can be purchased at the Visitor's Center. Purchase tour tickets up to 15 minutes in advance.

Audio guides are available in English as well as many other languages (€3.50) and offer information about the grounds, the history of the camp, as well as accounts of historical witnesses.

Tickets to the guided tour and audio guides can be purchased at the Visitor's Center. Purchase tour tickets up to 15 minutes in advance.

There are also several tours that meet in Munich and arrange trips from there.

Stay in Dachau

Staying in Dachau may sound downright creepy considering the history, but the town is a wonderful place to visit with roots back to the 9th century and a time as an artists’ colony in Germany in the 1870s. It is also a great last-minute Oktoberfest accommodation.

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