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The former prisoner Kupfer-Koberwitz recollects his arrival and admission, 11.11.1940

In his memoirs the former prisoner Edgar Kupfer-Koberwitz describes his entry into the Dachau concentration camp on the day of his admission, 11.11.1940:


The wagon stopped. We climbed out and were lead to a squat building. In front of us, in a ditch about four meters wide, flowed water. Barbed wire was spanned across the other side. A bridge led over the water. On the other side of the bridge was a building, in its center a yawning gate, on top of this gate, rising out of the roof of the building, a square tower, where guards wearing steel helmets stood. Machine-gun barrels jutted out of the windshield. My neighbor whispered to me: `The barbed wire is electrified. You see the large open space and behind it all the low barracks? That's were we live.'


The barracks in the distance gleamed green through the barbed wire. Even from so far away, you could see that everything was kept painstakingly clean, not even the smallest scrap of paper lay around. But something pitiless loomed over everything, something awful, something icy that was frightening. A column marched down the road lined with poplars. They were singing some song. They marched directly towards the gate, in exact step and in a dead straight line. They all looked strangely pale. Some of them sneaked an interested look at us, but nobody dared to raise their head. In the large entrance a paled iron gate was opened. The group passed over the bridge and through the gate, and then they marched singing over the large open space and vanished between the distant barracks.


The present-day Memorial Site only covers the area of the former prisoners' camp (outlined in red). The largest section of the concentration camp, the SS grounds, is not accessible to visitors.


Located there were the first stations of the admission procedure, such as the Gestapo barrack where the prisoners were registered and photographed, as well as SS labor sites and workshops where the prisoners were forced to work.


After liberation the US troops took over the former SS barrack grounds. Since 1972 the grounds have been used by the Bavarian Riot Police