18.05.19 - Watched a few episodes of Victoria last night. About midnight it started to rain, quite heavily. I’m really surprised that my husband slept through it - he used to be such a light sleeper - I even got up and closed the hatches. Must be so relaxed!
So, Week 4, run 3 - done ✅. Was sunny, but we were running in the forest, so in dappled sunshine. Was lovely listening to the birds - but sadly not any easier. Tintin wasn’t feeling particularly well - but did it. I wish I hadn’t looked at next week - allegedly will be running for 20 minutes non stop on the last run - um!
Next town on route was Friedberg, but gave it a miss - another market square with multiple churches and museums!
Tintin wanted to visit Dachau. Well, wanted is the wrong word - felt we ought to - as it’s very relevant history, and we won’t be near Auschwitz anytime soon.
He drove for about an hour, then co-pilot did his little trick of trying to get us to drive on a footpath! Finally arrived at the memorial about midday. €5 to park Dave (same fee as for a coach - seems a little unfair for two people in comparison!). Had a quick bite to eat. Didn’t realize we’d be there so long, nearly five hours!
The memorial is a commemorative site to remember the people who suffered and the 41,500 people who died there.
Just briefly - on 22.03.1933, just a few weeks after Adolf Hitler was appointed Reich Chancellor, a concentration camp for political prisoners was set up in Dachau. It served as the prototype for all subsequent concentration camps and as a “school for violence” for the SS, under whose command it stood. In the 12 years of its existence, over 200,000 persons from throughout Europe were imprisoned in the Dachau concentration camp and its 140 sub camps, persecuted for political, racist and biological ‘reasons’. Approximately every fifth prisoner died here.
The camp was liberated by American troops on 29.04.1945.
I hadn’t realized that there were so many Germans sent there, especially in the earlier years.
I’m sure it’s all been said before - but it was so inhumane, and now seems so pointless. I have even less nice things to say about the Germans. It’s seems impossible that it was all so relatively recent.
The displays were well laid out and went through the Nation Socialist camp system, from democracy to dictatorship, then the years from 1933-1945.
We walked down the former camp road, and in the former roll call area - they had a reconstruction of a barrack, showing the bunk beds three high and the limited personal space and washing/toilet facilities.
There was also a 20 minute film shown in English which we watched. It was barbaric - just images of skeletal humans thrown in piles - death really didn’t mean anything - maybe a release?
We walked through the various rooms where prisoners had all their hair shaved off, clothes taken off, they were disinfected, the gas chamber was disguised so they thought they were going for a shower - here the gas chamber wasn’t used on a mass scale.
We also visited the former camp prison - really - what can I say? Anyone trying to escape the area was shot - information indicated that this was an option chosen by some.
All in all - very sobering. There were coach loads of visitors, and lots of individual tour guides, or you could have an audio tour, or read as we did. Education is such a good thing. We wondered how history is taught in schools over here - is it biased - shouldn’t they be embarrassed?
Having seen a camp firsthand, I can recommend the first book I read this time away - The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris - it echoed everything we saw and read about.
Didn’t leave until about 5pm, and Tintin drove for over another hour, and we’re now in Landsberg am Lech - ready to get back to sightseeing tomorrow! And definitely ready for a rum and coke, food - and our freedom!
We took some photos more as a record for ourselves.