Monday, March 21, 2005
Dachau: Mortal Agony
Todeangst Christi Closeup of the Crown of Thorns at Todeangst Christi Todeangst Christi: the Roman Catholic memorial at Dachau Photo credits: A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust Before I read the parish paper today, I had no idea that there was a memorial for Catholic victims of the Nazi Holocaust. I knew there had been harassment of the Church during the world war two, and that some of it had been serious. I would not have been surprised to hear that Catholics had been killed in the camps. I was surprised to find that Catholics were concentrated at Dachau and that there were 2,579 of them there when it was liberated by the U.S. Seventh Army in 1945. Dachau, located Germany itself, is not considered to be a death camp like the camps in Poland. It was a camp for political prisoners and many of the Catholics there were priests opposed to the Nazi regieme. This did not stop the Nazis from conducting Malaria experiements on thousands of people there. An overview of the camp's history is here. According to this F.A.Q., these are some of the more famous people housed at Dachau: The Rev. Martin Niemoller - one of the founders of the Confessional Church. Dr. Johannes Neuhaumusler - Catholic Bishop Kurt von Schuschnigg - former Chancellor of Austria, who opposed the Anschluss (the annexation of Austria by Germany) Edouard Daladier - premier of France at the time of the German invasion Leon Blum - premier of France in 1936 and 1937 and France's first Jewish premier Georg Scherer - native of city of Dachau who later became Mayor of Dachau Other well know survivors: Josef Mumller, Leonard Roth, Walter Neff, Richard Titze, Eric Preuss, Nico Rost, Bruno Bettelheim, Arthur Haulot, Max Mannheimer, Hjalmar Schacht, Oskar Müller, Zola Philipp, Joel Zak, Kurt Schumacher, Georges Walraeve, Eric Braun, Werner Cahnmann, General Delpeche, Alfred Haag, Josef Huber, Hans Kaltenbacher, Otto Kohlhofer, Edmund Michelet, Otto Pies, Heinrich Stoumlhr, Rene Simon, Wadim Sobkov, Vldek Spiegelmann, Walter Cieslik, Robert Eisinger, Bernt Englemann, Otto Faumlber, Leopold Figl, Paul Hussarek, Eugen Kessler, Edmond Michelet, Reimund Schnabel, Hans Schwartz, Walter Vielhauer, and Alfred Werner. More information about Dachau is available at this memorial site. Todeangst Christi also contains a Catholic Carmelite Convent. Dachau today also contains memorials to the Russian Orthodox, to the Jews, to the Protestants, and to International victims.