A look … at the collection

Bronze Eagle

Two heavyweight bronze eagles have recently come into the possession of the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site. As an emblem of the Third Reich they originally hung over the entrances to the main barracks of the SS training camp at Dachau. Heinrich Himmler had inaugurated the barracks of the SS Death Head’s Unit “Oberbayern” on March 29, 1936. Further Reich eagles made of bronze or stone were hung above the entrances to the SS camp; they have not survived.

As the US Army took over the SS grounds after liberating the Dachau concentration camp, they left the two eagles where they were. The Americans removed the swastikas from the garland of oak leaf and applied a dab of paint. Recast as the Bald Eagle, the national symbol of the United States, they have remained like this down to the present day.

We would like to thank the Bavarian Riot Police Dachau, users of the grounds since 1973, for handing over the objects.

 

Source picture above: Bavarian Riot Police
Source picture Teaser: Bundesarchiv Koblenz