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Dachau

Dachau is a city in Southern Germany, federal state of Bavaria. It was founded in the 8th century, and was the home of the German writer Ludwig Thoma[?].

In the years preceding and during World War II and the Holocaust, a Nazi concentration camp was located in the city (construction was completed on the camp on March 20, 1933). Although many Jews and surrendered Soviet prisoners of war died there nonetheless, from the horrible living conditions, it was a concentration camp, not an extermination camp, unlike Auschwitz and several others. However it holds a significant place in public memory because it was the first camp to be liberated by British or American forces, and therefore it was the first place in which the West was exposed to the reality of Nazi brutality through first hand journalist accounts and through newsreels. After the camp was surrendered to Allied forces, the troops were so horrified by conditions at the camp that all of the camp guards were summarily shot. All Bavarian schoolchildren are taken to Dachau in the 8th class (when they are about 13 or 14) to see a camp first-hand, as part of their required study of the Holocaust.



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