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- 05 May 97 -13 July 97

Day 10 - Saturday, 08 March 1997

Munich, Germany - Day Trip to Dachau

Set out for our visit to Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site early in the morning. Rode the S-Bahn to Dachau and walked, about 2 miles each way, to and from the camp. Prior to coming over, we had read about an uproar and protests about a McDonalds being built "near" the camp and detracting from the experience. Actually, it's about 1/2 mile away, in a commercial area, and really doesn't deminish the experience of a visit to the memorial site.

It was a little chilly and overcast during our walk from the station and visit to the camp - appropriately gloomy. The camp's original main building (the Wirtschaftsebaude - Kitchen, laundry, showers, etc. and the "Bunker" or prison block) still exists and is now the location for the main memorial exhibit area and a theatre showing a memorial film in many languages. Two of the original thirty four barracks buildings (~ 15m x 80m) have been reconstructed and are open. It was a very chilling and disturbing visit. The memorial wall and sculpture says it best - NEVER AGAIN!

It is unfortunate that the name DACHAU immediately brings to mind the horrors brought about by Hitler and his Nazi's because "GroBe Kreisstadt Dachau" - The County Town of Dachau - is a beautiful, 1200 year old Bavarian country town, whose citizens voted decisively against the rise of "National Socialism" in 1933. I firmly believe that, in general, the citizens of Dachau, the citizens of Germany, and the citizens of the world were Hitlers' and "the Nazi's" victims.

One of our "Travelin' Partners" - Ronald Harmon - wrote an article of rememberance "Dachau, a Message Of Reconciliation" which was published in the San Antonio News Express in 1978. He has republished this article online at his web site. (View Ron's Photo essay)


After getting back to the hotel, mid-afternoon, we rested for a bit after the walk and looked thru some of the material we got at the camp before heading out for the evening. Walked down to the inner city- the Marienplatz and had dinner at the Glockenspiel Cafe overlooking the square, the Rathaus, and it's Glockenspiel. The walk down thru the Karlsplatz and the Marienplatz is similar to the pedestrian zones in Cologne. Waited in the Marienplatz for the 9PM chime, the evening chime isn't the full display like the 11AM chime, then we were off to find the Hofbrauhaus - Munich's and maybe the worlds most famous brewery and beer hall - since 1589!

Our evening, not really that long - but we had to go, at the Hofbrauhaus was an experience. Until you've been - it can't quite be imagined. Despite the hundreds (maybe 1000+) people in there drinking (liter mugs) and partying, the crowd was basically well behaved and not too rowdy. Big tables - 12 to 14 people - and you just find a place and join in. At the table we found 4 spaces open, there was a German couple (with their dog!), a group of young US Army officers, and a group of girls from the University of Maryland - Munich campus. We had a big time. The boys "adopted" Lin and nicknamed her "GrandMa"!

Off to Salzburg, Berchtesgaden & "The Eagle's Nest" in the morning.

---- PHOTO ALBUM - DAY 10 - Dachau - (4 Photos - 240Kb)

One of these, an image collage, is graphic and disturbing but represents the fate of 31,591 confirmed dead at Dachau and is in memory of the 206,206 prisoners held at the Dachau Concentration Camp 1933-1945.

---- PHOTO ALBUM - DAY 10 - Munich - The Hofbrauhaus (5 Photos - 242Kb)


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