Wednesday, November 2
JB's parents were constantly trying to get us to take a night out for ourselves. We did once (Indian). But quite honestly, we wanted to spend time with Dad and Mom. I especially wanted JB to spend time with them. And when given free time, I would nearly always take a nap over dinner out. Seriously. But that being said, we did jump on the chance to go to Dachau Concentration Camp while Dad and Mom stayed back at the hotel with the kids.
What an incredibly somber and amazing experience. I could tell you story after story and try to recreate our time there in words. But let's be honest. We all know the stories. We know what happened. We cannot believe that it did. Seeing it in person is incredibly surreal. This place is really there. This atrocity really occurred. And in viewing this, it is our job, to make sure that we do our best to not allow these types of things to continue to occur.
Here were some pictures of Dachau:
The front gate
"Work makes one free." Yeah. Right.
We found it eerie how overcast and dreary it was at Dachau when Dad and Mom enjoyed a warm, sunny day just forty minutes away back at the hotel. It seemed that the weather would also be this way at a place like this.
A memory to those who died. JB and I took an audio tour while we walked. We could have spent 2-3 times as long there as we did, but we knew we couldn't leave Dad and Mom THAT long. I found this spot interesting as the memorial in this location paid tribute to POLITICAL prisoners but not those felt "unworthy" of tribute like homosexuals or gypsies. Everyone who was killed for something deserved tribute in my opinion. Those groups have since been given places for memorial rememberences.
This is a long row where the buildings for the "prisoners" used to be. They have recreated a few of these buildings, but the original buildings are no longer still there.
A recreation of one of the buildings. One thing I learned about was the overcrowding that was occurring at this particular facility. Rooms were filled to the point that people did not even have a bed. They would have to sit up or stand up instead of getting somewhere to lay down at night.
There are many memorial tributes. This was the Catholic memorial. Many priests died during the Holocaust. Basically ANYONE who was a threat was treated as a threat. I learned that at Dachau, the Jews were not the group impacted the most.
The door to the Jewish memorial.
Students from a school in Germany and a school in Israel came together to leave this memorial. Amazing how far Germany has come and what a dictator is capable of convincing people to do.
Many people would commit suicide by running toward this area, where soldiers were directed to shoot.
These are the actual ovens used for cremating. This was the second set. (The first set was not large enough to handle how many people were dying.)
Dachau was the FIRST Nazi Concentration Camp but it did not see nearly the deaths that other camps saw. While it had the "showers" (aka gas chambers) they weren't used at Dachau. No one knows why. I did it find it eerie to see the word (in German) for showers written across the top -- to trick people into not rioting.
The jail (hard to believe there was a jail within a jail.) I was amazed at how long this hallway was and how everything just felt like it was repeating over and over again.