I started the day by joining a tour going to Dachau. The guide is a PhD student and was very knowledgeable. I’m doing a walking tour tomorrow on the Third Reich, and he is leading that as well.
As you know, last year I went to Auschwitz. Still the same questions linger. Why? Who decides that someone is subhuman, and then who follows suit and treats fellow humans like they are less than an animal? How is this ever okay? I knew from last year that the camps in general were for Jews, POWs, dissidents, gypsies, and homosexuals. I did not know that they was also for Jehovah Witnesses because they would not bow down to Hitler as all powerful.
Dachau was the first concentration camp and was originally for dissidents who did not follow the party line. Toward the end of the war, people were brought in from other places. So Dachau was the first to be established and the last to be liberated. Dachau was also the footprint for the camps that followed.
I remember a man high up in the Nazi party being found when he was old and sick but people wanted him to pay for his crimes. It’s kind of a question of whether all the good you attempt to do is enough to wipe out the bad you did. According to the Christian model, none are above repentance, and I try to keep that in my mind. But it doesn’t mean that there is no consequence or reaping our actions. And that is true for all of us.
The people of Dachau acted like they didn’t really know what was happening, but how can you not smell bodies burning, see prisoners who look like death, and see people coming in but not going out and not know something?
Then how do people who survived recover from something so horrific? How do you all of a sudden find your humanity when it has been stripped from you.
All throughout the camp are memorials saying we will never forget, but has it not repeated itself and has not the world still remained silent?
There was a film that showed people who survived the camp. It also showed piles of bodies. It was so disturbing, yet people deny that it even happened.
On the tour with me was a woman from South Africa. We were talking about issues of race. People ask her where she is from? South Africa. Where are your parents from? South Africa. Where are your grandparents from? South Africa. Her family has been there for generations so how could anyone tell her to go home?
I also met a young guy from Miami. He’s 24, quit his job, cashed in his 401K, and is traveling until the money runs out. I’m like, I wish. Maybe during my mind-life crisis :).
After the tour, I went to some nice churches. I went to St. Kajetan, which is awesome. It’s the church the king built after his wife had a son. The ceilings and walls appear to be carved. I also went to St. Peter’s, St. Ludwig’s. I went into another church that was having mass so I stayed for the sacrament.
I have burned a many candles this trip and visited a many churches.
I have a desire from God. We will just have to see what the answer is.