October 22, 2015
Dachau Concentration Camp
I’ve always wanted to see and visit a concentration camp with my own eyes. I still can’t forget the disgust and sorrow I felt the first time history class exposed me to Hitler and the Nazi regime. How could anybody be so barbarous? How can you hate an entire race? Reading Night by Elie Wiesel and watching Schindler’s List sent shivers up my spine throughout it all. (I recommend them both)
The orange, red, and yellow autumn leaves fluttering down made it even more difficult to imagine what had happened in Dachau Concentration Camp. I couldn’t even start to imagine how a person standing in the same spot less than one hundred years ago felt as s/he had probably feared for his/her life during morning or night roll call. Amanda and I kept on mentioning how Dachau camp had a creepy yet serene feel to it. It was definitely the leaves and the quiet space.
This memorial had explanations posted in various locations and we slowly went through the camp for a total of 4-5 hours. Here are some of the things that surprised/shocked me:
- One quote (I can’t remember the exact words) where one middle aged woman had met eyes with someone with dead eyes, skinny with rib cages visible, and dirty, only to find out it was her own reflection. Her appearance changed to the point where she couldn’t even recognize herself.
- A man spent months/years slowly collecting pieces of bread, using red cabbage as a dye, and slowly sculpted a chess set to play by himself.
- Two men communicated between a wall through knocks on the wall. It took them 2 full days to finally introduce themselves to each other.
- Dead were dragged out for roll call.
- There were fake suicides (murders) all the time.
- Pole hanging was a common punishment (for the slightest reasons like an imperfectly made bed, leaving a spot of food on your plate, a button missing, etc)
- We stood inside a room that had bodies piled up in order to cremate them. (There were stains on the wall)
And so many more..
They had no reason to be treated so poorly and were innocent people. Dachau Concentration Camp is definitely a must-go destination if you’ve never visited a concentration camp before. One important quote that we left with was:
“May the example of those exterminated here between 1933-1945, because they resisted Naziism, help to unite the living in defense of peace and freedom and in respect of their fellow men.”
On the flip side, our next destination was the BMW Welt (I know, so different from what I just experienced). Knowing how much Craytina loves cars, it was the perfect next destination. Twas cool! Cars and stuff..ahaha
Apparently you can also do a factory tour if you book ahead of time, but I wasn’t aware until the day before flying to Munich. Also, we spent so much time at Dachau that we only had an hour left before the BMW Welt closed.
Too bad it was raining. Olympic Park was another beautiful park with falling leaves, shiny ducks, elegant swans, and rain. The rain and freezing weather shortened our experience, but it was still pretty. The only Olympic portion that we saw was the swimming pool now used for recreational use. I would definitely like to go back one day for a nice picnic on a fresh spring afternoon! (teehee.)