One of the largest camps liberated by American forces was Dachau, the first concentration camp established by the Nazi government in 1933. Located a few miles from Munich, the camp was initially founded to imprison political opponents, though like other camps it eventually imprisoned thousands of Jewish prisoners as well.
The forced labor of prisoners at Dachau was centered on German armament production, though many suffered through brutal infrastructure projects for the Nazi government. The camp population, generally not more than a few thousand, swelled to nearly 70,000 inmates just days prior to the American advance. As the SS began to flee, they forced several thousand prisoners on a death march, many of whom would not survive. For the 35,000 remaining at Dachau, liberation came on April 29 as the 42nd and 45th Infantry Divisions entered the camp. In addition to the thousands of survivors, American troops also discovered nearly 2,000 victims of the Nazis on transport trains, sent to Dachau from various other camps around Germany.