Dachau was the first concentration camp in Nazi Germany. It was established in March 1933 on the outskirts of Dachau (17 km from Munich). During the entire period of the camp existence, there were imprisoned 250 thousand people from 24 countries, about 70 thousand were brutally tortured or killed, 140 thousand transferred to other concentration camps, 30 thousand survived until liberation. It is known that in Dachau the prisoners were subjected to illegal "medical experiments." During the 2nd World War 1939-45 camp had about 125 branches and so-called external commands for military enterprises in Southern Germany and Austria. It Dachau, there was an underground organization of prisoners led by international committee, which started an uprising 28 April 1945, the day before the arrival of the Americans, disrupting the Nazi plan to destroy the surviving prisoners. In 1960, a memorial to the victims of Dachau was erected.
Dachau concentration camp was the only one that existed during the twelve-year period of National Socialist dictatorship. During this time, the quantity and composition of the camp inmates varied as thoroughly as the conditions of their life and chances of their survival.
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In the period of time between the opening of the camp March 22, 1933 and the anschluss of Austria in February 1938 Dachau held only German citizens. Primarily they were political opponents of the National Socialists, but as well camp contained Jehovah’s Witnesses who refused military service, Jews, "lazy" (who refuse to work), and offenders sentenced to punishment in penal or exemplary prison, Gypsies, like Jews who were considered racially inferior, homosexuals and others who for various reasons did not fit to the Social racist national Socialist concept of "national society."
In early 1938, along with the Austrian prisoners, the first no German prisoners came to Dachau. Among them, along with Jews, there were many prominent politicians of different political persuasions. After the pogrom of November 9, 1938, titled Crystal Night, more than 11,000 Jews from Germany and Austria were sent to Dachau. Most of them were released in a few weeks with the order to leave Germany and their property was looted. By 1938, the number of prisoners per year had ranged between 2000 and 2500. In 1938, after the Anschluss of Austria, their number was increased to 6000 and the arrival of the Jews after the Crystal Night December 1, 1938 – to 14,232. Before the Second World War in Dachau were killed about 500 prisoners.
From late September 1939 to February 1940 for training front-line SS Division "Totenkopf," the camp was cleared of prisoners who were moved to the camps Mauthausen, Buchenwald, and Flospsenburh. This ends prewar history of the camp as an instrument of state terror that was originaly used solely against the German political foes, and then against all "non-compliant."
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