When I checked into my hotel I saw a typical stand one would find anywhere in the world with pamphlets on local attractions and restaurants.
I normally avoid local tourist stuff but since it was my first time in Munich, the information on the stand was quite useful for finding the Viktualienmarkt and the famous Rathaus-Glockenspiel in Marienplatz. Then I was momentarily stunned when a saw a brochure for Tours of Dachau. I certainly knew about Dachau but I just did not know how to react to a tour of such a place and decided to walk to the City Center instead.
It’s always a joy with camera in hand being in a new place with a different culture and hearing a different language. I walked seemingly everywhere and even succumbed to taking some snapshots, but I kept thinking about that Dachau tour.
The jet lag was kicking in so I headed back to the hotel and looked into the Dachau tour for the next morning. But the tours would not finish in time for me to catch my flight to Cologne, so I figured out how to take an early train to the town of Dachau and then a bus to the Concentration Camp Memorial Site.
I was surprised when I walked out of the train station in Dachau to find a charming town only 16 kilometers north of Munich. There was a hotel, restaurants, gallery, etc. I didn’t know what to expect, but I did not expect to see a nice place so close to where there there used to be so much horror. The bus to the site goes through beautiful tree-lined streets and I was surprised again when we reached the memorial site in a just a few minutes. I assumed it would be in a more remote and desolate location.
I didn’t make many photographs as it was such an emotional place. It just did not seem right to photograph the crematorium, the bunker and the barracks. But at the end of the original camp there are several religious memorials. The photograph I did make that day was at the entrance to the Jewish Memorial but looking back from the Memorial towards the grey skies over the original Concentration Camp. The bleak weather and bird helped capture what I was experiencing.