Roll-call Square

Station 8


Between the International Monument and the two barracks is the area that was once covered by the roll call square, today reconstructed according to its dimensions following the enlargement of the camp in 1937/38. The area was able to hold forty to fifty thousand persons and served mainly as the assembly point for the prisoner roll calls, during which the prisoners were counted every morning and evening, or for carrying out punishments. The prisoners were also assigned to their work details here.

The former prisoner Kupfer-Koberwitz describes his arrival at the Dachau camp on November 11, 1940: “With military precision we set off, marched down the block alley and onto the camp road, then took a sharp turn and straight ahead to the roll call square. Several groups were already gathered there on the giant area. Other batches came through the gate, singing, often they were made up of only a few men, sometimes though a few hundred. Every one of them seemed to know their place. Upon the word ‘attention’ they all straightened, snapping to attention. Upon ‘stand’ they all clicked their heels, placed their hands along the trouser seams, and stared straight ahead. Upon ‘cap’ the right hand flew upward to the head, down again with the cap upon ‘off’. A roaring voice from behind us to the right resonated across the roll call square. That wasn’t the voice of a human, but that of a raging animal. I saw an SS officer of burly build who seemed rather rural despite the uniform. He was standing with arms akimbo and was screaming at a prisoner. The man stood at attention in front of him, the cap pressed against his side. The SS officer kicked him forcefully again and again on the shins with his heavy boots. A hand touched me, the man next to me whispered: ‘Don’t look, we have to look straight ahead. If he sees that you’ve turned around he’ll do the same thing to you. That’s Remmele, the report leader, a Swabian.’”

Historisches Bild

Standing at attention on the roll-call square 28. Juni 1938. photo: Friedrich Franz Bauer ordered by the SS
© Bundesarchiv, Außenstelle Ludwigsburg

Heutige Ansicht

Picture of the former roll-call square, 2007


"Roll-call in November 1938". Drawing by Karl Freund, 17.12.1938.
© KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau