The words on the front gate of Dachau concentration camp are translated into “Work Sets You Free” and these words welcome the visitor to the camp today.
Thankfully it is a much different visit today as we entered the camp on a warm summer’s day. Groups of school children were led round by a guide while handheld audio devices informed other visitors of the camp’s role in history. Nothing, however, could remove the sombreness of the place with its guard towers and fences. This is Dachau and this is where thousands perished.
Having walked through the gates, the watchtower over the gate cast its ominous shadow.
It was good to see people of all ages in the camp, a thought that the memory of the suffering may be passed between generations, a hope that lessons would be learnt. It also served as a reminder that those entering the gates some 75 years earlier were also comprised of all ages.
Alas, the work here and poor conditions meant that for thousands work simply led to death.