Sunday, September 27, 2015

Refugees In Germany Being Housed In Dachau's Concentration Camp Buildings


After five years in a cramped refugee shelter in southern Germany, Ashkan finally found a room to rent.

It is newly renovated and cheap, if on the small side and a bit out of town. The 22-year-old chef, who fled Afghanistan after the Taliban killed his father, immediately set about decorating it with an Afghan bedroll, a Persian rug, and an Afghan flag.

The low building that flanks his new home looked unremarkable to him. But to a German, the distinctive, elongated shape is rather unsettling, and for good reason. Ashkan’s new home is in a part of Dachau, a former concentration camp where the Nazis murdered 41.500 people, some in agonizing medical experiments.

Under the Nazis, the complex of buildings where Ashkan lives was used as a school of racially motivated alternative medicine, surrounded by a slave-labor plantation known as the “herb garden”.

Asked if he feels uneasy about the site’s history, Ashkan replies with a resigned smile: “I just wanted a roof over my head”.

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