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German History in Documents and Images
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Prisoners Doing Leveling Work at the Dachau Concentration Camp (May 24, 1933)
In March 1933, Heinrich Himmler (then Munich's chief of police) opened the first concentration camp [Konzentrationslager or KZ] in nearby Dachau. The facility was supposed to provide "protective custody" for Communists, Social Democrats, and other political enemies. Soon hundreds of concentration camps modeled on Dachau were being built throughout the country.