Dachau and Buchenwald: Report on conditions and prisoners' possessions list (partly microfilm)

Scope and Content

Report entitled 'Tiere bewachen Menschen' ('Animals keep watch over humans'), by Eric Walters, 1939; Reminiscences of life in the army entitled 'CPL Sunshine and other stories', by Eric Walters; Lists of possessions of Dachau prisoners, 23 Feb 1940-17 Sep 1942 (microfilm).

Administrative / Biographical History

Dachau was a Nazi German concentration camp, and the first one opened in Germany, located on the grounds of an abandoned munitions factory near the medieval town of Dachau, about 16 km (10 miles) northwest of Munich in southern Germany.

Opened on 22 March 1933, the Dachau concentration camp was the first regular concentration camp established by the coalition government of National Socialist (Nazi) NSDAP party and the Catholic Zentrum party (dissolved at 6 July 1933). Heinrich Himmler, in his capacity as police president of Munich, officially described the camp as 'the first concentration camp for political prisoners.'

Dachau served as a prototype and model for the other Nazi concentration camps that followed. Its basic organisation, camp layout as well as the plan for the buildings were developed by Kommandant Theodor Eicke and were applied to all later camps. He had a separate secure camp near the command centre, which consisted of living quarters, administration, and army camps. Eicke himself became the chief inspector for all concentration camps, responsible for establishing the others according to his model.

In total, over 200,000 prisoners from more than 30 countries were housed in Dachau of which nearly one-third were Jews. 25,613 prisoners are believed to have died in the camp and almost another 10,000 in its subcamps, primarily from disease, malnutrition and suicide.

Eric Walters was an inmate of Dachau and Buchenwald until March 1939.


The 75 Dachau prisoner lists are arranged alphabetically and contain the following details: name, prisoner number, date and place of birth, date of entry, prisoner type (ie SCH= Schutzh?ftling- protective custody; AZR= Arbeitszwang Reich- forced labour by Reich order; PSV= Polizeiliche Sicherungsverwahrung - police security prisoner).

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Eric Walters

Other Finding Aids

Description exists to this archive on the Wiener Library's online catalogue www.wienerlibrary.co.uk.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements


Archivist's Note

Entry compiled by Howard Falksohn.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies can be made for personal use. Permission must be sought for publication.

Custodial History

Eric Walters wrote his report on Dachau Buchenwald concentration camp betwen March and October 1939.

Location of Originals

Wiener Collection, Tel Aviv University, Israel.

Personal Names