It’s hard to take this image in — at once a moment of jubilant celebration and a startling reality. Here you can see inmates at Dachau concentration camp celebrating their liberation by US forces. Dachau was opened in 1933 as one of earliest Nazi concentration camps. Though it was initially meant to hold political prisoners, it soon was used to house not only members of the Jewish community, but also Romani (Gypsies), religious dissenters, Jehovah’s Witnesses, politicians, political dissidents, homosexuals, POWs, those with mental impairments, intellectuals and educators, and even royalty. Though it’s incredible to see the moment that the prisoners celebrated their freedom from brutal and deadly conditions, seeing the prisoners stuck behind barbed wire, many looking ill from malnutrition and poor treatment, is still difficult to fully comprehend.
Dachau concentration camp, Upper Bavaria, Germany.