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Return to Dachau:
“Not All the Perfumes of Arabia. . . .”

- Abstract

ONE bright spring day of 1939 two odd-looking men walked down from the Munich Central Station toward one of the restaurants on the other side of the square. With their battered hats, unshaven faces, dirty winter coats, and dusty shoes, they looked like tramps. As they removed their hats and sat down for a quick meal, their short-clipped hair made them easily recognizable as prisoners-concentration camp prisoners, to be precise.

One of these men was myself-former Schutzhaftjude Nr. 27660, picked up by a Nazi agent in a Vienna street in November 1938 during the pogroms that followed Grynszpan’s assassination of Ernst vom Rath in Paris. Actually, we were special prisoners, neither free nor unfree: we belonged to a group of Viennese Jews who had just been released from nearby Dachau but were under strict orders to wait in the station for the next train to Vienna. Our leaving the station could have meant reinternment.

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