one of the first Nazi concentration camps opened March 22, 1933, and located 10 miles from Munich. Dachau was a model institution for subsequent camps and a training ground for the SS.

Originally intended for political prisonersCommunists and Socialists, later Jews, Gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses who resisted the draft and homosexuals were sent there. During the last months of the war Dachau became a dumping ground for inmates from other camps and conditions deteriorated further. Up to 1,600 prisoners were crowded into barracks intended for 200.

Dachau was liberated on April 29, 1945 by the US Seventh Army. A trial was held by an American court and 36 members of the SS staff were sentenced to death.

In Dachau, as well as at other Nazi camps, medical "experiments" were carried out where prisoners were used as human guinea pigs. At Dachau there were high-altitude and freezing experiments and a malaria and tuberculosis station. There were tests to see if seawater could be made drinkable. Many inmates who were forced to participate died horrible deaths. The Nuremberg Military Tribunals found that the medical experiments served the ideological objectives of the Nazi regime and that none of them were of any scientific value.

Source: Encyclopedia of the Holocaust.

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