Eric Jeschke’s Dachau Exhibit

Eric Jeschke, well-known through his photoblog Red Skies at Night, displayed a series of photos from the Dachau concentration camp over the course of three and a half weeks earlier this fall.

The Dachau concentration camp was the first opened in Germany. It operated from March 1933 until being liberated on April 29, 1945. A memorial now operates on the site.

This past July, while staying in Munich, Eric visited Dachau. I’ll let him describe the experience:

My vacation was originally planned out as a simple break from a very hectic year at work, and a chance to catch up on some photography.  I had been enjoying the delightful pleasures of Munich, which is really an extremely pleasant city to visit.  The architecture is beautifully restored after the WWII destruction to the original style, the city is very safe, has an excellent public transport system, is reasonably priced, has loads of attractions including the lovely beer garden culture, friendly people…I was just planning to take it easy, but…

 

After a few pleasant days I began to wonder about it.  I had this juxtaposition in my head of the horrors of nazi germany, the birthplace of which was munich, and the absolutely delightful experience I was having.   I decided to take a full day at Dachau, concentrating simply on learning, observing and photographing around the monument, which is a restoration of the camp on the original site.   And I was extremely glad I did so.  It’s a very powerful place, and a sobering reminder of how things can get when a civilization takes an ugly turn.  Really got me thinking about a lot of things that are going on in various places around the world now too.

After the visit, and returning to Munich, I was struck again by the city in the present, and how something like Dachau could happen.  It’s a very complex story to how that happened and worth every person to hear about it and think about it regardless of their home country and present situation.  I highly recommend a visit to Dachau, or one of the many other camps including the extermination camps of Auschwiz, etc.

The photographs appeared on Red Skies at Night from September 16 through October 10. A gallery of just the Dachau images on the blog can be accessed at this link. Eric also uploaded a Flickr set of the photos.

Arbeit Macht Frei
Gatepost
Execution Wall, Barracks
The Barracks
Barracks Cell
Prisoner Assembly Area
Exterminated Here
Hanging Posts
“No Smoking”
Dachau Memorial
Prisoner Barracks
Model Bunks, Prisoner Barracks
Gates of the Jewish Memorial
Guard Towers
Window Bars
Fumigation Cubicle
Fumigation Cubicle
Morgue Room
Krematorium Monument
Krematorium I
Krematorium II

On October 2, Eric was kind enough to answer some questions I had emailed him, posting it under the title On the Dachau Exhibit. His comments there make a great companion to the images. (I have excerpted the comments above from what he wrote there.)

I have chosen not to include any photos in this post not only to respect Eric’s copyright but because I believe they should be seen in the context of his short descriptive notes. I thank Eric for bringing us these images, and I hope you will take the time to examine them all. This is a part of our shared human history, and a part that must not be forgotten.

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~ by David Cupp on November 26, 2008.

One Response to “Eric Jeschke’s Dachau Exhibit”

  1. Hi David,

    Your questions stirred up my memories of the trip and got me reflecting on it, which is a good thing in this case.

    Thanks,
    –Eric

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