Monday, May 23, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
This afternoon we took a day trip from Munich to the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau. The experience was very sobbering. You read about concentration camps and maybe see a few pictures in your history book but it really doesn't adequately portray all of the horrendous things that humans have done to one another.
I think it's difficult to comprehend the atmosphere of Germany following the first world war that could lead to the rise of Hitler and Nazism. I think the most disturbing part of the experience was the realization that the type of atrocities that took place at Dachau still take place today. You seen signs all over saying "never again" yet racial genocide still takes place, perhaps not quite as organized as the Nazi regime but it still happens.
It makes my blood boil to think of the factories that thought nothing of using the camp victims for slave labor. Or the townspeople who saw the victims in the plantation and said nothing. I would really enjoy hearing there stories and knowing what they thought was happening.
While most of the museum was specific to Dachau and the relationship between it and the other camps there was a special exhibit at the end that focused pn 7 women who were pregnant while in a concentration camp. This exhibit brought tears to my eyes, I guess I had never really thought about that possibility. It was heartbreaking and anger inducing all at the same time. How could anyone treat another human that way?
Even more than that I started thinking about my own behavior and what I would have done if I were a German in the 1930's. Would I be strong and fight the injustice? Would I run away and hide out until the war was over? Would I be patriotic and loyal to Germany? I'd like to say that I would fight but who really knows. This made me think about what my responsibilities are in the world today, is the attitude of "it doesn't effect me so I'm staying out of it" really the correct attitude? Should I be more vocal when I feel that someones human rights are being violated? If nothing else, today's visit gave me a lot to think and pray about.