Appeal to the Conscience of Mankind

From Dachau to the Rights of Man - a Double, Anniversary

In the face of the worldwide celebration on the fiftieth anniversary of the proclamation of the Declaration of Human Rights, one has to think of the terrible price which the opponents of Hitler's dictatorship paid because they had dared to defend human rights of their own free will even before there had been a declaration.

In the consciousness of the entire world the name Auschwitz has become a horrible symbol of monstrous excess, for the efforts of the Nazi state to eliminate a race (of people) simply for the fact of their existing and being different.

One shouldn't make the mistake of letting this frightful concept completely cover over another equally tragic arid equally criminal one, for which the concentration camp Dachau stands.

The name Dachau bears the same measure of shame. For in Dachau, on Hitler's orders in 1933, seven years after, therefore, before the construction of Auschwitz, the first concentration camp was opened. Dachau became the, model for all camps having the same purpose, developed: Birkenau, Breendonck, Buchenwald, Dora-Mittelbau, Mauthausen, Natzweiler-Struthof, Neuengamme, Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen, Ravensbrück, Treblinka - the list is endless.

In March 1933 Hitler was elected Chancellor of the Reich with 52% of the votes cast, of which 44% came from the NSDAP (Nazi Party) and 8% from conservatives. He began to carry out his first intention at once: the annihilation of all opponents and the elimination of every free spirit, indeed of every thought which was not totally subservient to that of the nation's Leader.

Thus, sixty-five years ago, Dachau was opened to eliminate all opponents of the National Socialists: clerics (the clergy), communists, socialists, freethinkers of every kind and shade - among them, Agnostics, Catholics, Protestants and Jews which the will to freedom united.

Here, race played no part yet, only the unforgivable refusal to obey orders and the decision for freedom of thought and opinion.

The implementation of National Socialism's second goal, the murder of Jews and Gypsies, two human groups declared "inferior", brought to completion the gruesome, unexampled mad intent of National Socialist murderers.
Neither the one nor the other shameful blemish can be allowed to be removed from the memory of mankind. Were they to be, repetition would threaten.

The survivors of the first Nazi concentration camp in Dachau

  • emphatically welcome the Declaration of the Rights of Man,
  • implore everyone who merits being unfailingly to ensure their being observed in practice,
  • call upon the young people of all countries, of whatever background and whatever worldview, to guarantee its continuance.

The Dachau International Committee (CD)/ The International Committee of Dachau (CD)