The monks, the Dachau survivors and the concert that heralded freedom
On the anniversary of the camp’s liberation, the forgotten story of escaped prisoners who set up a Jewish hospital in a Bavarian monastery has been championed by one Benedictine monk
The monastery of St Ottilien rises above the green Bavarian pastures of southern Germany. It is an unlikely setting for the story of an extraordinary Jewish renaissance in the weeks following the 1945 liberation of Dachau, which is being commemorated this week.
It is a bright but chilly Saturday afternoon and the large baroque complex is packed with visitors enjoying a drink in the beer garden after a hike in the countryside. As he tucks into a large plate of wiener schnitzel and downs a lager, Father Cyrill, who is presiding over memorial events that will take place in the monastery, expresses his sadness that most of the people who come to St Ottilien have no idea of what took place here.Continue reading...