Dachau concentration camp housing homeless and refugees

Entrance gate at Dachau concentration camp (Shutterstock)

The entrance gate at the Dachau concentration camp with the sign in German reading “work makes you free.” (Shutterstock)

(JTA) — Buildings that were part of an herb garden at the former Nazi concentration camp Dachau have been turned into housing for homeless people and refugees.

The buildings are housing about 50 people, Dachau Mayor Florian Hartmann said Tuesday in the southern German town, the French news agency AFP reported.

“These are the weakest members of society. This building has been burdened by history but can now take on a useful social role,” Hartmann said, according to AFP.

It is not likely that any of the refugees are part of the most recent influx from Syria and elsewhere, according to the news agency.

The gate of the former Nazi camp with the “Arbeit Macht Frei” inscription — “work makes you free” — had to be replaced last year after the original was stolen from the site, which serves as a memorial. It was re-created by a German blacksmith.

Dachau, which is about 10 miles from Munich, was the first Nazi concentration camp opened in Germany. More than 200,000 people were imprisoned at the camp and its satellite locations between 1933 and 1945. Some 28,000 prisoners died in Dachau; another 13,000 died at the external sites.

The former Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald is housing asylum seekers from African countries, the Daily Mail reported earlier this month.

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