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Dachau Concentration Camp
Student hand-out
Task 1: What do you know about the Holocaust? Share your ideas with a partner.
Task 2: Complete the transcript with information from the audio clip about Dachau.
1. The Dachau concentration camp was established in __________ and operated until the end of the war in
1945. It was one of the first concentration camps of the __________ regime and it is estimated that at least
188,000 prisoners were held there between 1933 and 1945. The __________, the elite guard of the Nazi
Party, established the Dachau concentration camp in March 1933, on the grounds of an abandoned munitions
factory near the town of Dachau, about 10 miles northwest of __________ in southern Germany.
2. Initially, the SS held primarily German Communists, Social Democrats, trade unionists, and other political
opponents of the Nazi regime at Dachau. Over time, other groups were held there also, such as Jehovah's
Witnesses, Roma (Gypsies), and homosexuals. In the immediate __________________ of Kristallnacht in
November, 1938, more than 10,000 Jewish men were imprisoned at Dachau.
3. In early 1937, the SS initiated construction of a large complex of buildings on the grounds of the original
camp. Under terrible conditions, prisoners were forced to do this work, starting with the destruction of the
old __________________ factory.
4. The Dachau camp was a training centre for SS guards, and the camp's organization and routine became the
model for all Nazi concentration camps. The camp was divided into two sections --the camp area and the
_____________________ area. The camp area consisted of 32 barracks and a group of support buildings. The
courtyard between the prison and the central kitchen was used for the summary execution of prisoners. An
___________________ barbed-wire fence, a ditch, and a wall with seven guard towers surrounded the camp.
5. Several thousand Dachau prisoners who were judged too weak to continue working were sent to the
Hartheim "___________________" killing centre near Linz, Austria, where they were killed. In Dachau, SS
physicians performed medical experiments on hundreds of prisoners, who died or were permanently disabled
as a result.
6. Dachau prisoners were also used as __________________________ to build roads, work in gravel pits, and
drain marshes. In the summer and fall of 1944, to increase war production, more than 30 large subcamps
under the administration of Dachau were established near armaments factories throughout southern
Germany. Thousands of prisoners were worked to death. As __________________ advanced toward
Germany, transports from evacuated camps arrived continuously at Dachau. Typhus epidemics were a serious
problem due to overcrowding and poor ___________________ conditions.
7. In April 1945, as American forces approached, there were more than 65,000 registered prisoners in Dachau
and its subcamps, about two-thirds of them political prisoners and one-third Jews. The Germans forced more
than 7,000 prisoners, mostly Jews, on a ______________________ from Dachau to Tegernsee far to the
south. During the march, SS guards shot anyone who could no longer continue; many also died of hunger,
cold, or exhaustion.
8. On April 29, __________, American forces liberated Dachau. They found more than 30 railroad cars filled with
decomposed bodies, as well as corpses laying unburied around the camp and many sick prisoners. The
number of prisoners incarcerated in Dachau between 1933 and 1945 exceeded ________________. It is
unlikely that the total number of victims who died in Dachau will ever be known.
Task 3: Find words or phrases in the text that correspond to the following meanings.
a type of prison where political prisoners, etc. are kept in extremely bad conditions (para 1): _________________
members of organisations responsible to protect the interest of workers (para 2): _________________
members of a religious organization based on Christianity, which believes that the end of the world is near and
that only good people will come back to life and live peacefully forever (para 2): _________________
a race of people, originally from Asia, who traditionally travel around and live in caravans (para 2): ____________
an incident that occurred in Germany on November 1938, when the Nazis attacked Jewish synagogues, homes,
schools and businesses (para 2): _________________
large ugly buildings in a camp (para 4): _________________
the practice of painless killing (without pain) a person who is suffering from a disease that cannot be cured
(para 5): _________________
the group of countries that fought together against Germany, Italy and Japan (the Axis powers) in World War II
(para 6): _________________
Task 4: Answer these questions according to the transcript about Dachau.
When was the camp established and by whom?
Which big German city is located at about 10 miles from Dachau?
Who were the people held at Dachau?
In 1937, who did the expansion works at the camp?
Name the two sections making up the whole camp.
What security arrangements were put in place at the camp?
Give 3 examples of atrocities carried out on the prisoners.
What caused epidemics at the camp?
In April 1945, how were prisoners taken from Dachau to Tegernsee?
Who liberated the camp and what did they find there? American forces.
Task 5: Look up the following set of Holocaust terminology and explain each term in your own words.
Aryan master race:
scientific racism:
Nazi eugenics:
Final Solution:
Action T4:
concentration camps:
death camps:
gas chamber:
enemy of the state:
Holocaust deniers:
Nuremberg trials: