March of 1933, Heinrich Himmler
ordered that a concentration camp be built at Dachau. This was the
first concentration camp regularly used by the Nazi regime to hold
prisoners held in Dachau were those who opposed the Nazi regime,
e.g. Communists, Social Democrats, and those involved with various
trade unions. The first Jewish prisoners were also sent here
because of their opposition to the Nazi regime. Later,
homosexuals, gypsies, Jehovah's Witness, and priests were also
sent to Dachau. After Kristallnacht, more than 10,000 Jews
were sent to the Dachau concentration camp.
Before the war, prisoners were forced to do hard labor such as
working on roads and in gravel pits. During the war, the prisoners
built armaments for the Germany army.
Many prisoners lost their life in Dachau, either by being shot or
by other means; many others died from starvation or disease. Many
prisoners were used by SS doctors for various medical experiments.
Towards the end of the war, as the Allied forces advanced, more
and more concentration camps were evacuated. Prisoners were moved
to other camps that were being run by the Nazis. These camps
became extremely overcrowded, Dachau being one of them. Thousands
at Dachau died of typhus.
Finally, on 29 Apr 1945, U.S. Army troops liberated the Dachau
camp, still holding over 67,000 prisoners.