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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 June 2006, 09:21 GMT 10:21 UK
In pictures: World Cup fans visit Dachau

'Work brings freedom' written in the gates of Dachau

The BBC's Claire Heald joined fans from England, Germany and Poland as they passed through the gates of the former Dachau concentration camp during a visit to remember the victims of the Holocaust.

Sculpture in front of the square and huts

Some 40,000 people died there through punishment, hard labour, injury and disease. The vast site includes gas chambers, crematoriums, memorials, a museum and sculptures.

From left to right: Brad, Charlie , Lorraine and Jack Morgan in front of the gas chamber block.

The Morgan family are from Bristol. They came to try to comprehend how the Holocaust could happen and say that while history cannot be changed, they can all learn from it.

Max Mannheimer

Max Mannheimer, 86, survived Auschwitz, the death marches and Dachau. He tells the group about his transportation, selection, the cruel conditions and how his family perished.

Outlines of the huts drawn out in gravel and a watchtower

The watchtowers and barbed wire fence remain but the 30 original huts were torn down. Today a sunny Dachau is surrounded by trees but these were absent during the war - to ensure the SS guards had a clear view.

Beds and toilets in Dachau

The camp opened in March 1933 and was liberated by the US army on 29 April, 1945. Two replica huts were built to give visitors an idea of the conditions in the overcrowded quarters. Two beds held as many as 10 people.

A witnesses' description of the camp

Football fans were given a sense of the atmosphere of control. Guide Marc Stogherr said: "It's important to visit because the World Cup is about how everyone wants to win in the end, but it's something that should unite us."

Mark Perryman

"It's inappropriate to mention the war in a football chant," said visit organiser Mark Perryman. "Our rivalry with the Germans is about football not two world wars. It seemed appropriate to give up a morning here to remember the Holocaust."

The gas chamber and one of the ovens at Dachau

The gas chambers at Dachau were used for medical experiments. Liberation came before they could be employed as they were at the death camps. The crematoriums were used however, as the daily death toll at the camp rose.

John Lawrence adding his tribute to the England wreath

Fans laid wreaths. "We're here for the football but there's a lot of history between the two countries," said John Lawrence of Peterborough. "It's an ideal chance to show friendship with Germany and Poland and to remember."






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