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Sign for Dachau concentration camp acquired by a US soldier

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Washington, United States

Sign lettered Dachau taken by James Vasilopoulos, a US soldier, upon his arrival at Dachau concentration camp on April 29, 1945, the day of its liberation by American troops. He took the sign from the main gate and detached it by sliding it out of a slot. He and another infantryman were point men for their company and opened one of the gates at Dachau. It was not locked. He said once they were inside the "pandemonium and happiness of the prisoners was beyond description." Vasilopoulos, 25, was a member of K Company, 157th Infantry Regimnetm, 45th Infantry Division, 3rd Battalion, a Thunderbird Division. The Division landed in Sicily in July 1943 and fought their way through Italy, France and then into Germany. They were moving towards Munich when they received orders to liberate the nearby camp.

Details

  • Title: Sign for Dachau concentration camp acquired by a US soldier
  • Provenance: The Dachau sign was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2007 by James Vasilopoulos.
  • Subject Keywords: Soldiers--United States--Biography. World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Western Front. World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps--Liberation--Germany--Dachau--Personal narratives.
  • Type: Information Forms
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Rectangular wooden sign with painted white text Dachau on the black painted front.

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