Virtual Tour

2 Political department

Along the path leading from the Visitors’ Center to the Jourhaus, eight angle irons mark the onetime position of a historical building: the elongated structure where the offices of the political department of the Secret State Police (Gestapo) were located.

The traumatic registration procedure for the newly arrived prisoners usually began in the rooms of this building. The political department recorded personal information, took police photographs, compiled prisoner files, and assigned numbers to the prisoners. For every prisoner they registered the date of admission, transfer to another camp, release, or death. The political department also interrogated prisoners, often using torture.

Two parallel iron angles, slightly elevated from the ground and next to a paved footpath, mark the former location of the political department

Former location of the political department, marked by iron angles, 2017 (Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site)

Three photographs put together to form a series, showing Benno Oppenheimer in profile, from the front, and in half profile.

Police file photo of Benno Oppenheimer, taken by the political department in the Dachau concentration camp, 1937 (State archives Würzburg)