Saturday March 22nd. Dachau opened for business 81 years ago today

Written by Jack van Ommen on March 22nd, 2014


Zuid Friesland March 19 .14

Zuid Friesland March 19 .14









In yesterday’s post you might have wondered about this photo in the article in the Frisian news paper. For those who have not read “The Mastmakers’ Daughters”. It was taken in May 1945 in Gruenwald, Bavaria at the U.S. War Press HQ which was set up to, for one, document the Dachau atrocities. In the picture L.R. Nel Niemandsverdriet, Harry Cowe, my mother Rennie van Ommen, Sergt. Nathan Asch. Nel and mother were intercepted by the US 12th Army on their Death March out of Dachau. They worked a few weeks for the Americans before being repatriated. I met Harry Cowe in 1999. He was a Seattle Times reporter. Nathan Asch is the son on Sholem Asch, Polish-American Jew, author of “The Nazarene”. As I write this a German teenage student, Henriette Schulze is preparing to present her contribution this afternoon at Dachau about our mother in a program called “Namen statt Nummern” (Names in place of Numbers) referring to the prison numbers the political numbers wore and the Jews were tattooed with. .Today is exactly 81 years since Dachau was opened for business on March 22 1933.  The first SS concentration camp to incarcerate political prisoners of the NAZI regime. It is estimated that about 188,000 prisoners passed through its gate during the 2nd WW and that about 28,000 never again read the “Arbeit macht Frei”, over the gate, for the second time.


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