From: "Parker, Ashley"
Subject: VP pool report — #1
At 9:34 a.m. local, Vice President Pence, his wife, Karen, and daughter Charlotte arrived at Dachau — the first regular concentration camp, established by the Nazi government in March of 1933.
They were greeted by Karl Freller, the director of the Foundation of Bavarian Memorial Sites, who read an introduction detailing a bit of the camp's history; Dr. Gabrielle Hammerman, the director of this particular site; and Abba Naor, a survivor of Dachau.
Pence — clad in a blue tie and black coat — held Karen's hand for much of the tour, as Charlotte trailed alongside.
Your pool was kept at a distance for most of the visit, and the Pences were largely silent, but a few details:
At one point, Abba Naor described the work he did at the camp, and a typical meal ("a slice of bread").
"If it was a miracle that we survived, I don't know," Naor said.
Your pool was able to hear brief snippets of his description of the camp's liberation. "One morning, they came," he said, recalling the "strange faces we had never seen." (Your pool thinks he said many of the troops were Japanese-American, but can't be sure).
It was, he added, "a miracle."
The Pences paid tribute to the International Memorial at the center of camp, placing a wreath beneath it. (See photos). They also visited a Jewish memorial and a Catholic memorial on the grounds, and at one point Pence signed what seemed to be a guest or condolence book.
He also toured the barracks (without pool), a crematorium (see photo) and a gas chamber (without pool).
Pence ended his visit with a roughly hour-long service at the Church of Reconciliation, on the camp grounds. The service was theoretically open press but off the record, though the tiny church was at capacity, so none of your pool was able to squeeze in.
The day was gray and overcast when Pence arrived, but the sun came out shortly before 11 a.m. local and the sky was blue when he departed at 12:04 p.m. local. We are now motorcading to the airport, where we will be wheels up to Brussels.