"Arbeit macht frei" says the sign posted over the gate of the main entrance of the concentration camp in Dachau, Germany. That means "labor sets you free".
In front of this gate, which was usually closed, is a barrier with a sign on it that says "Halt", meaning "Stop". The whole camp is enclosed with high barbwire fencing, which has a threatened effect. There are watchtowers every 100 meters. It looks like a prison. However, the sign over the gate says "Arbeit macht frei" .
The only thing you can hear, when you walk through the streets of the camp is the cracking of the flints between your shoes and the ground. There are so many visitors and everybody remains absolute silence, even the children. All of them are overwhelmed by the atmosphere, which fills this memorial place. Each person is remembering the human beings, who were killed here. The Nazis murdered 32,000 prisoners in Dachau and six million altogether since 1933. Most of them were Jewish.
I"m looking at this from my German perspective. Those horrible things happened on the ground of my native country. The country I should be proud of. However, how can I be proud of a country in which such cruelty happened, in which a mentally ill leader killed millions of innocent human beings, just because of their race? That is the issue many Germans have to deal with today, especially the older generation, who was involved in the Second World War. .
An oppressive feeling is getting very dominant, when you enter the plethora of buildings. Here lived men and women, who had to do strenuous and monotonous labor. Even children were brought into those concentration camps. .
There are the grey painted and very impersonal looking houses in which the captives had been accommodated. The small and extreme uncomfortable looking beds are stacked one upon the other, three high, and several side by side. If there was not enough space for the large number of people, they had to share a bed.