Tourist walking between electrified barbed wire fence and wall surrounding former Dachau Concentration Camp

When the camp was in operation, a ten-foot high barbed wire fence surrounded the camp, topped with lights on each of the fence pillars which were lit up at night so the guards in the towers could spot anyone trying to escape. An 8-foot high wall, known in German as the Lagermauer, went around the perimeter of the camp a few feet away from the barbed wire fence. There were three guard towers along the east wall, one of which can be seen in this picture. The barbed wire fence was charged with live electricity and would instantly kill a prisoner who touched it. Sometimes prisoners would "go to the fence" and commit suicide. According to the book "The Day of the Americans" by Nerin E. Gun, one of the survivors was killed when he touched the fence on liberation day. After that, the electricity to the fence was cut off. In front of the barbed wire fence, there is a ditch, called the Graben in German, which was kept filled with water, like a moat. In front of the moat, there is a strip of grass that the prisoners were not allowed to walk on. Click on either of the links below to go to other web sites and learn more about the Holocaust, or click inside the picture above to continue the Virtual Tour.

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