Dachau Concentration Camp Essay

Words: 1619
Pages: 7

In the early 1930s, the residents of the picturesque city of Dachau, Germany, were completely unaware of the horrific events about to unfold that would overshadow their city still today. The citizens of Dachau were oblivious that their city was going to become the origin of concentration camps and of the Holocaust, the mass murder committed by the Nazi s in World War II. Dachau Concentration Camp, which would soon be placed on the edge of their community, would serve as a model for all Nazi extermination camps. This perfect prototype of a Nazi killing machine has come to represent the start of the horror-filled Holocaust and the Nazi's determination to achieve a perfect society during World War II.
On March 21, 1933, only two months
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Due to the number of deaths, the crematorium had to be expanded because the existing one was unable to keep up with the number of bodies. The expansion made the crematorium the largest building in the complex. At the same time, eighteen more barracks and a gas chamber were added to the camp. However, the gas chamber was never used because the SS guards preferred to use the prisoners as targets during their training.
In addition to designing the camp buildings, Theodor Eicke, the commandant of Dachau, developed a system of rules and punishment within the camp that became the model for all other Nazi concentration camps. Eicke trained the camp guards to be completely obedient and increased punishment for disobedient prisoners; he also introduced the idea of force labor. Eicke's radical anti-semitism and successful controlling Dachau made an impression on Himmler and earned Eicke the position of "inspector of concentration camps" in July, 1934, through which he could spread his concentration camp style throughout Europe. Eicke also established an SS "murder school" in the complex in early 1940 so that the elite police officers could learn the successful imprisonment system at Dachau and apply it to other concentration camps.
The first prisoners at Dachau were political opponents of the Nazis. Communists, social democrats, gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals,