On the Dachau Exhibit

On Thu, Oct 2, 2008 at 9:35 AM, David Cupp wrote:
Eric, I will be putting together a blog post pointing my readers to the work from Dachau that you’ve been posting lately. If you have a few moments, I would appreciate some background information for the post.
When did you make the trip? I recall reading in one of the earliest posts that they were from “a recent trip” – was it within the last few weeks, or sometime in the last year, etc?
Hi David,

I was in Europe for a conference in July, and had always wanted to go to Bavaria, especially Munich.  I took a week vacation after the conference, rented a room in a strategically-chosen “pension” in the heart of Munich and just spent the week wandering around the city with my camera.  Dachau village is essentially a suburb of modern Munich, and the concentration camp is just a short train ride on the S-bahn plus a short free shuttle ride from the train stop.

Are there any restrictions on photographing in Dachau? Did you need a license or special permission or were there no problems?
I didn’t notice any restrictions on photography there.  Certainly there were many visitors with cameras taking pictures.  I tend to “carry light” and didn’t bring a tripod or any sort of large gear.  I didn’t notice many docents except in the museum areas, so unless you were really making a production of it I don’t think any photographer would run into too many issues.  There is no permit required, that I could tell.  My German is “fair” and I would have been able to read any signs to that effect.
How long will the exhibition last? IE, should I say “and watch for more to come over the next few days… couple of weeks…”
Probably there are just a few more photos coming out, but all the posts are tagged with “dachau_08”, so visiting this URL at any time should bring it up:

https://redskiesatnight.com/tag/dachau_08/

The crematoriums are coming last.

Was this your first visit to Dachau or were you familiar with the camp before?
I certainly had heard about the camp, as it is infamous, but never had visited before, nor even been to Munich.  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.

Anything else you’d want to share about the experience?
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.

I had this collection of photos from the summer visit to Germany, and I shared them out on the blog, all except the Dachau ones.  Perhaps because I was there and felt such a disconnect, it troubled me to just post them like any other ordinary photos.  I also wondered whether my blog readership would find it too depressing and stop reading.  And interestingly, readership did drop markedly after I started the series.  But now I definitely feel that it was a good thing to do, to share that in some way.  I’m certainly glad to see your interest, and appreciate you pointing a few viewers that way.

Thanks so much for your help.
You are more than welcome, David.

Best Regards,
–Eric

One thought on “On the Dachau Exhibit

  1. Pingback: Eric Jeschke’s Dachau Exhibit « David Cupp Photography

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