Just six decades ago, in the spring and summer of 1945, the world was learning of the liberation of dozens of Nazi concentration camps in the closing months of the Second World War.
All over an exhausted Europe, advancing Allied soldiers set free the desperate survivors of camp after camp. The diseased, the starving, the barely alive emerged to tell a shocked and disbelieving world of the full horror of a network of systematised murder, torture, degradation and exploitation that had first been conceived and set in motion 12 years earlier in 1933 in a sleepy little town just north of Munich.
Of the many picturesque towns and villages that lie on the outskirts of Munich, one of the prettiest is the old medieval town of Dachau. Just outside the town center can today be found enduring testimony to the evil that was born among the rustic charm. A major international Memorial Site stands on the grounds of the former concentration camp.
This was the "parent" KZ ("Konzentrationslager"). KZ Dachau was the "Academy of Terror", the originator, role-model and training ground for the vast order of brutality that spread over half of Europe in the wake of the armies of the Third Reich, and which ultimately culminated in one of history's greatest crimes: the Final Solution.
While each camp was responsible for its own particular form of barbarism, what distinguished Dachau is that almost everything that happened in the system as a whole happened at some level there. There, human medical experiments were conducted. To there, Soviet prisoners were sent to be mown down in mass executions. From there, Jewish prisoners were transported to the gas chambers of Auschwitz. Almost every category of victim passed through its infamous Arbeit macht frei ("Freedom through work") gate: German dissidents, "anti-socials", people who simply did not "fit in", Sinti and Roma "gypsy" peoples, outspoken clergymen, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, Jews, Polish civilians - all in all the citizens of some 34 nations.
Today's Memorial Site combines the historical authenticity of the original environment and its many surviving buildings with the function of a modern exhibition center. It is a place of memory, of pilgrimage and of education. To visit it can be a challenging but also a deeply moving and memorable experience.
We will provide you with a professional guide trained and authorised by the Memorial Site. Your guide will organize all travel arrangements, bring you there by train and bus and back again, and give you a complete and comprehensive tour of the entire area - the surviving original buildings, the museum exhibition center, the cinema which screens an English language documentary film.
Our guides have detailed knowledge of the history and character of the concentration camp, of the stories of the victims and the unendurable oppression they were subjected to by the servants of a twisted ideology. They are trained to convey this often difficult and disturbing material to you with sensitivity, with dignity, with respect for the victims, and without recourse to cheap sensationalism.
This tour is provided on a reserved basis prior to departure. Passengers must contact the local sightseeing company upon arrival to reconfirm their tour.
Approximately 5 hours
Radius Tours Office located on Dachauer Straße 4, Munich 80335.
Munich Central Train Station
9:00 am daily year round
Transportation to/from hotel, meals, gratuities
The tour does not operate on January 1, December 24, 25 or 31.
The mimimum age for this tour is 14.
The maximum number of participants on this tour is 30 people.
The environment is one of particular sensitivity and historical significance. Visitors are asked to behave in an appropriate and dignified manner. Some of the information covered by the guide and visual material on display may require parental discretion with regard to minors.
Please note that the majority of the tour takes place outdoors in an open and exposed environment. We advise you to bring weather appropriate clothing.
We advise you to bring refreshments with you as no food or drink may be purchased within the grounds of the Memorial Site.