Dachau Concentration Camp, Munich, 04/08.10.2014

We reach the car park just before 9am. I‘m there early to try and take some photos in the crematorium before the first visitors arrive. I‘m startled at the sight of five large parked coaches. We walk hastily to the far left corner of the complex to the crematorium. We have it to ourselves for ages.

A mist hangs over the camp. It is gone by midday. It makes no difference to the photos in the crematorium. What else? I leave it to you, the spectator, to choose fog or sun to contemplate this place.

The photos are difficult to take. The ovens are chained off. To take pictures without chains in them I have to lie down on the floor again.

Lying there prone on the ground I am momentarily distracted from setting the composition. A flurry of thoughts about my open homosexuality and the ‘what if..?‘ of being alive seventy years ago. I focus again on my purpose here which pulls me out of my gloom.

I‘ve been here two times and I still like the chaste concrete church. We go up to the altar, the peace bell and the Jewish monument where the earth practically swallows you up. It‘s much busier now and I have to be a little more careful.

Back through the barracks to the mustering square. It‘s quiet here today. Back then this place was teeming with tens of thousands of people, inmates and guards, all on top of each other.

The exhibition isn‘t much good for snapshots. Imposing is a bronze of marching figures. On the floor, a metre below it, I place "Die Betende", the praying woman, so that she faces the marching troop. "Der Gebeugte", the stooping man, I put behind, plodding after them. The whole thing seen from a different perspective.

The bunker in Dachau is as depressing as the one in Ravensbrück. There‘s nothing more I can say. Also, what Niemöller had to put up with here and how he faced it. I‘m glad the sun didn‘t come out today in the end; the weather suits this place.

I only had a thin jacket on and I‘m frozen through - just like the prisoners were.

It takes a long time for me to warm up again, physically and emotionally. Nevertheless the prospect of sunshine brings us back to Dachau a few days later. It‘s worth it.

I took a few photos in good weather. Dachau feels untainted, and it is. It was human beings who abused the location and brought violence.

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