We went to Dachau as part of the 2006 World Travel Club trip to Munich, Switzerland, and Paris.  The camp was originally set up in 1933 by the German Government to be used as a camp for criminals in

Germany.  It was transformed into a camp where people were systematically killed by the Nazis.

    The Concentration Camp at Dachau was opened Wednesday, 22 March 1933, bringing in about 200 prisoners from Stadelheim prison in Munich and the Landsberg fortress. An announcement made by

Heinrich Himmler, stated that the concentration camp could hold up to 5,000 people and its purpose was to restore calm to Germany and that having a concentration camp was in the best interest of the people. After this announcement, the first concentration camp of the Third Reich was officially established. It became the first regular concentration camp established by the coalition government of the National Socialist Party (Nazi Party) and the German Nationalist People's Party (dissolved on

6 July 1933). Heinrich Himmler, then Chief of Police of Munich, officially described the camp as "the first concentration camp for political prisoners."

    The main priority of the Dachau concentration camp was to serve as a munition factory along with forced labor working to expand the camp. The Dachau concentration camp was also the training center for SS guards and was a model for other concentration camps.

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Kevin McGovern

Social Studies Department

Mansfield High School

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