The Cycle of Life


This is Dachau – the first concentrati on campt built by the Nazis.

Be careful not to become smug when you visit this place – we are all convinced that such a place could never exist again and that there is no way that ‘normal’ people would be convinced to co-operate if it was attempted.
I spent some time in Munich when I was in my twenties (circa 1980) – I had a fantastic time and made many good friends. Although I knew about Dachau I never went to visit. My wife, Maire gave me a wonderful present of a trip back to Munich for the May weekend and this is how I came to take the picture of the square in Dachau KZ.
Look closely and you will see that it is pelting rain.

There was a great crack of thunder and lightening – it struck quite close and left a strong lingering smell of ozone – all of this served to magnify the sense of unease at visiting this place.

Much has been said about these places – I feel that everyone should take time to reflect on how evil can come about and be sustained.

Dachau is a medieval town and the guide books emphasise that it was always a nice place to visit.

I was struck by the ordinariness of the place – including the camp.

Look at this picture of the gatehouse – it’s not very big and it is reasonably well designed – when you read about what went on here it is difficult to believe that this same building was used to subdue, torture and murder people. “In this room on the second floor was the Gestapo interrogation room”.

What unspeakable stories are locked within these walls.

Even here – people sought to be competent and fulfilled.

These pictures show the library at Dachau and the work of an artist interned here.

Posted by Picasa

One Comment

  • Emma Kytzia

    Hi Leo, I had a similar reaction when I visited Auschwitz a couple of years ago. It had a profound and very emotive effect on everyone in our party and left a lingering sense of shock and grief for the remainder of our visit to Poland. At the same time I am glad that we visited because it helped us, in however limited a way, to develop a fuller understanding/appreciation of the atrocities that were conducted there & just what mankind is capable of.

Leave a Reply