Postcard from Dachau


Receiving a post card is always a nice event. Be it for your birthday, or a card from someone on their holiday, or a seasons greeting , or just someone keeping in touch.

It is like getting a present which has emotional rather then a monetary value. And often  you want to repay this act of kindness, by also sending something back, maybe a parcel or a magazine or just another card.

But what if the card comes from one of the most desperate places on earth, and what if there are a whole set of rule to take in consideration before you can send anything. What if the card was received from Dachau?

I can’t read the name of the sender clearly but I believe the sender was Joh. Messinger Ludwig in Block 20 and the addressee was Ignaz Messinger from Vienna.

It may look like an ordinary card but there is so much more to this simple piece of thick paper. To the addressee it is a sign of life of the person who sent it to him. It is also an indication that the life in Dachau was in total control of those who ran the camp.

On the left side of the card is a set of rules for correspondence to inmates in the camp.

  1. Every inmate can only receive or send 2 letters or cards per month to relatives. The letter send to the inmates must be clearly legible and should be written in ink and can only be 15 lines or less.Allowed is only one letterhead of normal size.Envelopes have to be unlined.A letter can only be stamped with 5 stamps of 12 pfennig.Everything else is forbidden and will be subjected to confiscation. Postcards can only have 10 lines, photographs are not permitted to be used as postcards.
  2. Sending money is allowed
  3. Newspapers are allowed but can only be ordered via the post office of the Concentration Camp Dachau.
  4. Parcels are not allowed. Inmates are able to but everything they need in the camp.
  5. Requests to the camp management  for inmates to be released are futile.
  6. Permission to speak and visits from prisoners of the Concentration camp is fundamentally forbidden.

All post which does not adhere to these rules will be destroyed.



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Originally from a small former mining town called Geleen in the province of Limburg in the Netherlands. I moved to Limerick in Ireland in 1997 together with my wife who is a native from Limerick.We now have 3 kids I am passionate about music ,history and movies

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