The Museum at the Dachau Memorial Site
A map which shows the location of all the Nazi concentration camps is on the wall opposite the entrance door into the west wing, and it is the first thing you see as you enter the museum. The photo above shows a visitor looking at the map.
Note that the west wing has been kept in its original condition; on the post in the foreground of the photograph above, you can see a painting which was discovered when the building was converted into museum space. A close-up of this painting is shown in the photograph below.
The English text in the lower right-hand corner reads: Bavarian dance scene, commissioned by the SS; presumably done by Hermann Peters (1935 - 1944 in Dachau). The painting was exposed in 2000 during the redesigning of the exhibits.
The fact that the west wing of the service building has been left intact immediately alerts the visitor that the new exhibits are more honest and that the new museum shows a more truthful portrayal of Dachau; this is a documentary about Dachau, not a Holocaust museum. The painting, which might tend to humanize the Nazis, has been left just as it was found, because it is part of the story of Dachau.
The photograph above shows original pipes on the wall of the west wing with a new bench where visitors can rest. This wall is to the right of the map at the entrance. Note that the walls of the west wing have not been repainted.
The photograph above shows an original "Rauchen verboten" sign on the wall of the west wing which is now part of the museum at Dachau. This sign, which means "No smoking" was on the wall when the west wing was used as the place where incoming prisoners were processed. The prisoners at Dachau were allowed to smoke, although not in certain areas.
This page was last updated on May 30, 2007