International Memorial

Station 3


The first prisoners were political opponents of the regime, communists, social democrats, trade unionists, also occasionally members of conservative and liberal political parties. The first Jewish prisoners were also sent to the Dachau concentration camp because of their political opposition. In the following years new groups were deported to Dachau: these included Jews, homosexuals, gypsies, members of the Jehovah's Witness, and priests. In the wake of the November pogrom alone, the so-called Reichskristallnacht ("The Night of Broken Glass"), more than 10,000 Jews were sent to the Dachau concentration camp.

From 1938 onwards, the Nazi aggression that was now directed outwards against other European countries became mirrored in the prisoner society within the camp: after the Anschluß (annexation or connection) with Austria in the spring of 1938, Austrian prisoners were deported to Dachau, while in the same year prisoners from the Sudeten German areas followed, in March 1939 came Czech prisoners, and after the start of the war prisoners from Poland, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France etc.

The German prisoners eventually became a minority; the largest national group was formed by the Polish prisoners, followed by prisoners from the Soviet Union. Overall, more than 200,000 prisoners from more than 30 states were imprisoned in Dachau.

One of the first things visitors are confronted with upon entering through the Jourhaus is the monument. Officially dedicated in 1968, the monument was designed by the Yugoslavian artist and concentration camp survivor, Nandor Glid. His design, selected from an international competition, and was an important indication that the plans to erect a memorial site on the grounds of the former concentration camp would be realized.

You will first see an inscription presented in many languages: "May the example of those who were exterminated here between 1933 and 1945 because of their fight against National Socialism unite the living in their defense of peace and freedom and in reverence of human dignity." The monument was created under the assumption that the visitor would take the same path that prisoners had once walked, entering through what used to be the Jourhaus. This entrance that the prisoners were forced to use was to be the entrance that survivors would later re-enter as free people.

This tour will conclude with a walk around the remaining part of the monument. For now, the tour continues in the building that houses the main exhibition.

Historisches Bild

Aerial view of the concentration camp memorial site from the year 1968

Heutige Ansicht

Picture of the monument created by Nandor Glid, 2007


Inscription of the international memorial