Dachau Concentration Camp

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In the early 1930s, the residents of the picturesque city of Dachau, Germany, were completely unaware of the horrific events about to unfold that would overshadow their city still today. The citizens of Dachau were oblivious that their city was going to become the origin of concentration camps and of the Holocaust, the mass murder committed by the Nazi s in World War II. Dachau Concentration Camp, which would soon be placed on the edge of their community, would serve as a model for all Nazi extermination camps. This perfect prototype of a Nazi killing machine has come to represent the start of the horror-filled Holocaust and the Nazi's determination to achieve a perfect society during World War II. On March 21, 1933, only two months after Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany, Heinrich Himmler, the Commander of the Schutzstaffel (SS) Elite Police Force and one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany, ordered that a camp for political opponents be built on the grounds of a deserted gunpowder factory on the edge of the small community of Dachau, near Munich. The Nazi-controlled newspaper, the Völkischer Beobachter (translated Racial Observer) proudly proclaimed that the first concentration camp, with a capacity of over 5000 prisoners, would be established near Dachau. The camp solved the problem of where to put "undesirables" who the Nazis needed to quiet. The existing jails were not spacious enough to hold all of the people standing between the Nazis and their goal to have a society ruled by the supreme Aryan race. When the plans for the camp were announced, many Germans protested the unlawful detention of political enemies but were quickly quieted when twenty prominent opponents of the camp were thrown into a prison camp themselves. In June 1933, Himmler appointed Theodor Eicke to design the concentration camp and to become its first commandant. Eicke divided Dachau into two separate areas: the prisoner's camp and the command area. The...
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