Old Photos of Cremation ovens at Dachau

Dachau cremation ovens, May 1945

Photo Credit: Ron Clarin

The photo above shows two of the five cremation ovens in Baracke X at Dachau. On the far left is a window in the hallway behind the ovens. This area is accessed by a green door on the back wall between the ovens. Visitors are not allowed in the hallway.

The three old photos below show crematory workers demonstrating how they dragged the dead bodies out of the morgue, loaded them onto a stretcher and then shoved them into the cremation ovens. Posed photographs, such as those shown below, were offered for sale to American soldiers who visited the museum set up in Baracke X by the US Army after the liberation of Dachau. All three photos are courtesy of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Posed photo shows body being dragged from the morgue

Bodies were picked up with large tongs and loaded onto a stretcher

Crematorium workers demonstrate how bodies were put into the oven

According to Marcus J. Smith, a U.S. Army doctor, who wrote a book called "The Harrowing of Hell," the chief of the crematorium crew was Ludvik "a heavy, powerfully muscled Czech who has labored in the crematorium for a long time." Smith wrote that Ludvik sent him a letter in which he complained that his team of 10 people were not being treated as well as they had been by the SS. Ludvik wrote in this letter: "We feel that after our liberation, at least the same standard of living should be maintained. But our position is worse than then as to food, drinks and tobacco."

Smith wrote that, because the cremation efforts were too slow, the bodies were buried by German civilians "at the American commander's request." The corpses were taken on carts to the burial site on a hill called Leitenberg where the bodies were transferred to a bulldozed excavation, according to Smith. He wrote that "Eventually 2,400 bodies were buried." That would mean that there was a total of 3,110 bodies in the camp, including those of the prisoners who died between April 29th and May 6th after the liberation. There were allegedly 2,310 bodies on the death train that arrived in the camp on April 27, 1945, which would have to be included in this total. There were 2,226 prisoners who died in the month of May 1945 after the liberation of the camp; they were buried in a cemetery in the town of Dachau.

Crematoria Area

More Photos of Baracke X

Cremation Ovens

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This page was last updated on March 13, 2008