Newspaper reporters view the horrors of Dachau on May 4, 1945, six days after the liberation of the camp

Towards the end of the war, conditions at all the Nazi concentration camps throughout Germany had worsened as Allied bombing destroyed supply lines for food and medicine. According to Marcus J. Smith in his book "The Harrowing of Hell" there were 54 recorded deaths at Dachau in January 1944 and in February 1944, there were 101 reported deaths. By 1945, these numbers had increased dramatically. In January 1945, there were 2,888 deaths at Dachau and 3,977 deaths in February 1945. By the time the American liberators reached the Dachau camp, there was no more coal left to stoke the crematory and bodies had been left lying on the ground. Their clothing had been removed and given to still living prisoners. There was a typhus epidemic raging and 900 prisoners at Dachau were dying of the disease when the liberators arrived, according to the account of Marcus J. Smith. He wrote that eleven of the barracks buildings at the Dachau camp had been converted into a hospital to house the 4,205 sick prisoners. Another 3,866 prisoners were bed ridden. He put the total number of survivors at around 32,600, but said that between 100 and 200 a day were still dying after the camp was liberated. He mentioned that the American Army tried to keep the freed prisoners in the camp to prevent the typhus epidemic from spreading throughout the country.This is a U.S. Army photograph which hangs in the Museum exhibit; Michael Selzer wrote in "Deliverance Day" that it was taken on May 4, 1945. It was very cold and there had been snow flurries as late as May 1, according to his account.

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