Wednesday, June 22, 2011

North Central Nebraska Photographer: World Travels- Part Fünf {Dachau}


We left the city to visit Dachau, the notorious Nazi labor camp where thousands perished as slave laborers for the Nazi machine.

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. ~Elie Wiesel

I thought this visit deserved its own post.  It was a missing piece of the puzzle for me.  In all my years of studying the Holocaust, I never felt that I could completely wrap my mind around what I was learning because I had never set foot in the place where it all began.  To be in Munich and to visit one of the many camps that fostered such inhumanity was a bit surreal to me.  It was a haunting experience at a personal level for me, and as I wondered through the various stations on the grounds, I struggled to swallow my emotions.

Of course Germany can not be defined by Nazi history.  There is much more to it than that; but for me, it was a spiritual experience to walk the same paths as those who lost their lives through such senseless means.

Seeing this famous sculpture in person had an absolute profound effect on me.  A photo on the page will never be the same.

The notorious ovens.  Who would have thought that just the sight of them would create such an emotional response.

The execution walls are what really got me.  The bullet holes...the blood ditch.  The silent screams.

The acknowledgement of the thousands upon thousands lost on these grounds.  A humbling moment for me.

To touch what they touched.  To breathe air contained by barbed wire.  To see the doors that closed on the helpless, hiding them from the world's eyes.  To feel the emotional lump in my throat I walked through the iron doors spelling out "Arbeit Macht Frei".  Work Brings Freedom.  An ironic statement that I have never been able to erase from my mind since first reading about it in Elie Wiesel's book Night.  To see it, to touch the curve of the letters, to walk through the is hard to put into words.  So...I won't. 


  1. Kat All of your photos from your trip are amazing but the emotion in this part are heart wrenching
    lasmith from CM

  2. Powerful. Moving. Chilling. I wept.

  3. These are beautiful pictures! I can only imagine the emotional roller coaster this was...but you really captured it in the photos. (Even if it was with your p&s! :) )

  4. As you said, it is hard to capture the emotion of being there in a picture, but yours sure brought up the memories and emotions I experienced when we traveled there. It is an overwhelming and haunting experience and I think you did a great job of capturing that!

  5. incredible. thanks for sharing this.


Katrina Lee Photography is a professional custom photography business specializing in natural light and location portraiture as well as fine art portraiture.