A Somber Day

Today we woke up without a solid plan on what to do during the day. After a long discussion we decided to visit Sachsenhausen concentration camp. This camp is outside of Berlin and easily accessible for a day trip.

As expected this wasn't a place to go to feel happy. However, Kristen and I have been to Germany a few times now and felt that it was best to see an essential part of German history, no matter how repugnant it may be.

The camp itself is a cross between how it used to be and a modern museum. It was very informative giving details of the camp, its workers and its prisoners and victims. What was the strongest for me was the fact that there was no pushing the blame aside. Many times I have visited museums in Germany and blame for World War II has been placed aside, where in reality it was all of Germany that deserves blame. At this museum/camp, they explain it for what it was, pure and simple murder, done by murderers. It was very poignant and essential stop for every person. As said many times, those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. It wasn't fun however it was something that I was glad that I did.

Afterwards, we went to a wonderful Austrian coffee shop, Kaffeehaus Morgenrot to wind down from the day. We had an excellent piece of cake as well as a hazelnut tart in addition to some hot chocolate with Arabian spices.

For dinner my Aunt Carolyn made some currywurst with Greek potatoes which was absolutely delicious.

After a long and educational day we're heading to bed and getting ready for our trip to Poland (surprise!) tomorrow.

Now: Photo catch up

Last Day Lisbon

Berlin 1

Berlin 2 (Today)


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Anonymous Kristen said...

Our last time in Berlin Panos asked us if we wanted to see a concentration camp. Before it could even sink in what he asked us he said, "think about it and say no"

This time I think we had grown up enough to see it (especially after some reassurance from both Carolyn and Panos that Sachsenhausen was set up as a more of a living museum of the horrors of the war)

I am glad we went, I was affected but not in the way that our visit to Hiroshima hit me. I think it came down to question of blame and acceptance of what happened. And the fact of how things were presented. I didn't have burnt body parts shoved in my face, but I saw the ovens. You see the dome in Hiroshima, and that is powerful but in the museum does not show the context of the world at the time and why things were done.

Today was incredibly moving. Like the train over the River Kwai it is an experience that I will never forget and will make sure I don't.

08 July, 2009 17:58  

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