Prisoners at forced labor. Photo taken during an SS inspection. Dachau concentration camp, Germany, June 28, 1938. — Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz

March 22, 1933

Dachau Opens

Dachau was the first regular Nazi concentration camp.

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Dachau, concentration camp, Munich, Bavaria, factory, Nazi, communist, prisoners, Stephen Wise, Madison Square Garden

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On March 22, 1933, Dachau opened as the first regular Nazi concentration camp. It was located on the grounds of an abandoned munitions factory near the town of Dachau, about 10 miles northwest of Munich in Bavaria (in southern Germany). Dachau was established initially to incarcerate political prisoners, primarily German Communists, Social Democrats, trade unionists, and other political opponents of the Nazi regime. During its first year, the camp held about 4,800 prisoners.

Though it was not one of the extermination camps later established by the Germans to kill European Jews during World War II, Dachau was a training center for SS concentration camp guards; the camp's organization and routine became a model for all Nazi concentration camps.

Only five days after Dachau opened, on March 27, 1933, anti-Nazi groups led by American rabbi Stephen S. Wise organized a massive rally at Madison Square Garden in New York City to protest Nazi persecution of political opponents, Jews, labor leaders, and others.

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Typically, daily newspapers reported news the morning after it occurred. However, some papers were printed in multiple editions, including evening news. If you are using an evening paper, begin your search on the same day as the event being researched.


March 20-27, 1933 News articles about opening of Dachau concentration camp.

March 1 - August 30, 1933 News, editorials, op-eds, letters to the editor, and cartoons reacting to early Nazi persecution and Dachau.

Bibliography

Berben, Paul. Dachau, 1933-1945: The Official History. London: Norfolk Press, 1975.

International Dachau Committee. The Dachau Concentration Camp, 1933 to 1945: Text and Photo Documents from the Exhibition. Dachau: Comite´ International de Dachau, 2005.

Marcuse, Harold. Legacies of Dachau: The Uses and Abuses of a Concentration Camp, 1933-2001. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Neurath, Paul. The Society of Terror: Inside the Dachau and Buchenwald Concentration Camps. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2005.

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