In the first 50 years since the Dachau concentration camp was liberated in April 1945, more than 21 million people visited the site, 19 million of them-90%-since the former Nazi camp was designated as a memorial in 1965.
A number of new camps were constructed from scratch, beginning with Sachsenhausen and Buchenwald. army conducted a series of trials of the personnel of various concentration camps (ill. In early 1948, as the wartime alliance between the Soviet Union and the Western powers broke down, the United States quickly brought its program of "denazification" to an end in order to increase German support for the West.In 1937-38 the Dachau prisoners compound was completely rebuilt, and new barracks were added to the SS portion of the camp to house two divisions of SS military troops (ill. Thus by the end of the war the Dachau concentration camp was a huge complex, more than one square kilometer in size. The second phase of the former concentration camp's history began when the U. military government returned the compound to the Bavarian government in 1948.Depending on the political situation at the time, as well as on the influence and composition of the groups and agencies vying for control of the sites, the end results varied widely.Thus the history of each former concentration camp reflects not only the political and cultural history of its host country, but also more specifically the changing values and goals held by various groups in that society.The decades from 1968 to 1998 build a fourth phase of Dachau's postwar history.
It is characterized by stagnation in the physical appearance of the site, but by dramatic changes in the visitor demographics.
When Hitler's Nazi party was looking for facilities to locate camps to neutralize its opponents after it gained control of the national government in early 1933, the abandoned armaments works near the birthplace and headquarters of the party offered an ideal solution.
Two years later Hitler and Himmler decided to make the concentration camp system a permanent feature of their new state.
The Dachau camp's postwar history can be divided into five main phases. army used the concentration and SS camps to intern up to 30,000 officers from Nazi party organizations and the German army (ill. The Bavarian government first decided to use its portion of the former concentration camp as a "correctional institution," but soon changed its mind.
The first was the shortest, lasting only three years, from July 1945 until the summer of 1948. Faced with a refugee crisis as ethnic Germans were expelled and fled from the Soviet bloc, in April 1948 the Bavarian parliament decided instead to convert the prison camp into a residential settlement.
Someone who, in contrast, likes to remain in familiar, venerable settings will care for the past as an antiquarian historian.