Coordinates: 48 15 N 11 26 E
Population: 40,570 (2007 est.)
The old village and sixteenth-century palace here attest to the fact that Dachau, located just north of Munich on the Amper River in Upper Bavaria, has been inhabited for centuries. In spite of such history however, it will forever be remembered as the site of the first Nazi concentration camp. When it was established in March 1933, the former munitions factory held just under 5,000 prisoners but in a little more than a decade, the population had swelled to more than 14 times that number. American forces liberated Dachau on April 29, 1945. Visitors who enter what remains of the walled camp today will find the foundations of numerous barracks, the crematorium, gas chambers, a museum in the main building, and numerous memorials scattered around the grounds.
Ben Keene is the editor of Oxford Atlas of the World. Check out some of his previous places of the week.