New Crematorium at Dachau

The photograph below shows the south end of the new crematorium building, called Baracke X, which was completed in 1943. The wide gray doors that you see in the photograph are the doors into the four disinfection gas chambers where the camp clothing was deloused. The American soldiers in the 45th Thunderbird division of the US Seventh Army, who participated in the liberation of the camp on April 29, 1945, approached the concentration camp from the west side and came upon the crematoria area before they reached the gate into the prison compound. They saw these disinfection gas chambers and assumed that they were used as homicidal gas chambers for killing people. A line of clothes on hangers was strung between the posts. The soldiers thought that the prisoners had been forced to undress and hang up their clothes before being shoved through these doors to be gassed.

South end of Baracke X with doors to disinfection chambers

The photograph below, taken from behind the building, shows the north end of Baracke X. This door leads to a room next to the oven room. The soldiers of the 42nd Rainbow Division, who also participated in the liberation, were given a guided tour by the inmates after the camp was surrendered. They were told that gas chambers in this building were routinely used to murder prisoners in the camp. In the photograph, you can see branches of a beautiful chestnut tree which stands behind the new crematorium. There is a bench under this tree where one can rest in the shade and contemplate the nearby mass grave of thousands of unknown victims of the Dachau concentration camp. A restroom is through a door on this side of the crematorium. Another restroom is at the other end of the building in the hallway where the doors open into the disinfection gas chambers.

North end of Baracke X photographed from the back side

The area where the new crematorium building is located is outside the prison compound on the west side of the camp at the north end. This area is isolated from the prisoners' barracks by the swift-flowing Würm river, which runs in a straight line a few feet in front of the west wall of the prison compound.

The photograph directly below shows a small bridge across the Würm river which runs through a concrete-lined canal. This bridge is located at the present-day tourist entrance to the area where the new crematorium is located. Behind the bridge, you can see the west wall around the prison compound. The path in front of the wall leads south to the gatehouse, where there is an iron gate that is locked.

Bridge over the Würm river at the tourist entrance to the crematoria

Exterior of New Crematorium

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