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Munich (München) is a city of just over 5 million residents, the third largest in Germany. It is the capital of Bavaria.
Munich was the birthplace and headquarters of the NSDAP (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, commonly known as the Nazi Party). It was also the location for the first concentration camp (see below).
The city suffered heavy bombing during the war, and was subjected to 71 air raids by allied forces over the six years. It was meticulously rebuilt after the war.
The story of The Book Thief takes place in the fictional town of Molching, just outside Munich.
Dachau concentration camp was built in 1933, about 10 miles outside Munich.
It was the first concentration camp opened by the NSDAP. 200,000 prisoners were held in Dachau over the subsequent 12 years; about 70,000 of these were Jews. The death toll at Dachau is officially set at 25,000, although the real figure may be much higher.
Like other Nazi concentration camps, Dachau's slogan was "Arbeit Macht Frei", literally (and ironically) meaning "work makes you free".
By the time it was liberated in 1945, the camp was severely overcrowded, with 30,000 people incarcerated. Sanitary conditions were horrendous and diseases spread quickly.
The camp is now a memorial and museum.
The Amper river runs for 185km through Southern Bavaria. Dachau and the concentration camp stand on the river.
Essen is a city in west Germany, near to the Belgian border. It was an important area for steel and metal production, including arms and weaponry during the war, which is why it was bombed so heavily.