Russian Orthodox Chapel at Dachau
A small Russian Orthodox Chapel, named "Resurrection of our Lord," is located just to the left of the tourist entrance into the crematoria area at the Dachau Memorial Site. It was built by members of the Russian armed forces and was dedicated on April 29, 1995, the 50ieth anniversary of the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp by American troops.
The chapel is set upon a mound that has some soil that was brought from the former Soviet Union.
The photo below was taken inside the chapel. It shows a painting of the resurrected Christ leading the camp inmates out of their barracks and through the gate that is held open by angels.
Two other icons inside the chapel show Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and Pilate presenting him to the people with the words "Ecce homo." Although the chapel is too small to have seats for visitors, it is used both for private prayer and regularly scheduled religious services.
The Chapel was built in honor of an estimated 6,000 Russian Prisoners of War who allegedly died in the Dachau camp or were executed at the SS firing range at Herbertshausen.
Ninety Russian POWs, who were believed to be Communist Commissars, were hanged at Dachau, on an order from Adolf Hitler who issued this directive on the eve of the German invasion of Russia on July 22, 1941.
In all the camps, the Russian POWs were treated much worse than other prisoners in retaliation for the atrocities committed by the Russians against German soldiers. The Russians had not signed the Geneva Convention of 1929, and were not following the rules of warfare with regard to German Prisoners of War. After the liberation of Dachau, the remaining Russian POWs were turned over to the Soviet Union in accordance with the Allied agreement at Yalta in 1943. The Soviet Union treated these returning prisoners as traitors and immediately sent them to the gulags, as the Communist concentration camps were called.
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This page was last updated on August 6, 2009