Dramatic Reading: “It all began with us. The first prisoners of the Dachau concentration camp 1933”

On March 17 a dramatic reading on the first prisoners from 1933 of the Dachau concentration camp was held in Munich’s Schauburg theatre.

The dramatic reading was devoted to the experiences of the first prisoners of the Dachau concentration camp 80 years ago. The Schauburg ensemble read in an impressive performance recollections, letters, and accounts, lending the prisoners of 1933 a voice. These were contrasted with official documents like transport lists, justice files, and newspaper reports, which illustrated the process behind the dismantling of the young Weimar democracy, the establishment of the dictatorship, and the fate of the first prisoners 80 years ago.

Prof. Dr. Ludwig Eiber, Dr. Gabriele Hammermann, Dr. Andreas Heusler, and Friedbert Mühldorfer contributed greatly to the conception with their scholarly advice – even today the first prisoners have hardly been accorded a place in the collective memory; it was also important for considering the impact their imprisonment had on their wives and children. Numerous facets like the economic advantage the camp had for local businesses or the courageous intervention of individual Germans were presented. Following the performance Max Mannheimer read “the legacy of the survivors”. On the strength of the positive resonance the dramatic reading is now included in the Schauburg’s program and further repeat performances are being planned, including at the Dachau Memorial Site.