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Merry Christmas...from Dachau

Article about: Here is an example of concentration camp inmate post, touched with a personal anguish even more so than most other letters written by prisoners. The brief was written on Christmas Day 1943,

  1. #1
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    Default Merry Christmas...from Dachau


    Here is an example of concentration camp inmate post, touched with a personal anguish even more so than most other letters written by prisoners. The brief was written on Christmas Day 1943, by Franz Bayer, a 32 year old Czech born prisoner incarcerated at Konzentrationslager Dachau near Munich. Bayer, born on 15th June 1911 in Dohalitz - nowadays known as Dohalice, near Hradec Králové (Königgrätz) Czech Republic, last resided in Prague before his deportation to the KL system. Before his arrival at Dachau, the prisoner had earlier been sent to KL-Mauthausen near Linz in Austria. Transportation from Mauthausen to Dachau was for most, a welcome change as the conditions - in the work environment especially, improved once the "Knochenmühle" (see note below) had been left behind. After arriving at Dachau on 30th June 1942, Franz Bayer was given the prisoner number 30,714 and later resided in Block VIII. His letter, dated 25.12.1943, was addressed to his family members living back in Prague and begins with heartfelt wishes, greetings and kisses. He continues stating his fine condition - mandatory content when writing from a concentration camp, thanking God for his health, before thanking his family for the Christmas parcel that he has just received - likely a sweater or other warm garment. Bayer writes that the note from his child was pleasing to receive. Turning to life at the camp, he writes that in the morning they will return to work. Later, he sends Christmas and New Years wishes to his parents, family and friends, before signing off "your father and Franz". The sadness of separation from his loved ones must have been almost unbearable, yet perhaps the thought of meeting them again helped Bayer through some of the darkest moments of his life. On 29th April 1945, Konzentrationslager Dachau was liberated by US forces. Franz Bayer was among the thousands freed at the main camp.








    NOTE: "Knochenmühlen", meaning "bone mills" was a term used to describe the harsh grade III concentration camps, i.e. the camps directly connected to a stone quarry exploited by the DEST (German Earth and Stone Works) organisation such as those at Gross-Rosen, Natzweiler Flossenbürg and Mauthausen. Working conditions at these camps were horrific, with life expectancy far shorter than at most of the lower grade camps. Thus, transfer from Mauthausen to Dachau was generally seen as a welcome move by the prisoners.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture DACH-DEC25.43a.jpg   DACH-DEC25.43b.jpg  

    DACH-DEC25.43d.jpg   DACH-MEM.JPG  

    Experienced guide and published author leading detailed study trips to the former KZ sites of Nazi Germany. Contact for further details.

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    "maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wíyópeya oki hi sni"

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    Great little piece of history!...
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  3. #3
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    A very interesting piece of history indeed. Thanks for sharing!

  4. #4

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    Quote by TIGER88 View Post

    Franz Bayer was among the thousands freed at the main camp.
    I was sad reading this poor man's letter to his family until i saw the happy end
    Thanks for sharing.
    Looking for the photo albums of Leutnant Emil Freitag, 3. / G.R. 377

  5. #5
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    Thank you for your replies gents.

    Regards,

    Carl
    Experienced guide and published author leading detailed study trips to the former KZ sites of Nazi Germany. Contact for further details.

    www.concentrationcamptours.com

    www.concentrationcampmoney.com


    "maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wíyópeya oki hi sni"

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    Thanks for sharing this letter Carl...this is one of those "rarer Light at the end of the tunnel" story of success. Regards Larry
    It is not the size of a Collection in History that matters......Its the size of your Passion for it!! - Larry C

    One never knows what tree roots push to the surface of what laid buried before the tree was planted - Larry C

    “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” - Winston Churchill

  7. #7

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    I must say Carl, I was also relieved to read that this poor bloke survived the camp system and was liberated at wars end. These camps were just horrific, run by evil men and women with no sense of morality. Some of the cruelty perpetrated by the guards goes beyond the guidelines setup for the running of these places, they were just cruel people making the lives of the unfortunate inmates even more unbearable. Thanks for another great thread mate, this one with a more pleasant ending than many others.
    Cheers, Dave.

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