Going to Germany was one of the best choices I have made in a long time. On top of making some great new friends and traveling around Europe with them, I also learned a lot about engineering, languages, history, and a fair amount about myself. Continue reading ““Tell us about your Trip….””
Visiting Sachsenhausen was unexpectedly difficult. I have known of many stories and the general history of the concentration camps and knew it would be difficult but seeing the actual locations and listening to the audio tour really hit deep. The hardest part was hearing about how proud the engineers behind the camp were of their design and creation. As someone studying engineering it was painful to hear of people with the same career doing something so inhumane. The head designer was so proud of the efficiency of his equilateral triangle camp. The rain and thunder at Sachsenhausen felt quite fitting to the dark mood of the camp.
I was surprised to learn that the concentration camp did not fully close after WWII as the Russians turned the camp to imprison the previous Nazi captors. There were other surprising things, most horrible but not all. I was happy to hear an account of the band that played in the morgue and how much joy it brought to the captives there.
In relation to the vileness of Sachsenhausen, I preferred the somber and reflective nature of the Holocaust museum. I felt less powerless as the museum encouraged me to remember and reflect on the horribleness so that it will never happen again. It was still unbelievably hard to read all the testimonials, history, and tales of family’s torn apart and slaughtered.
Even writing this post a week later is hard. I feel like I cannot properly describe the sense of devastation and cruelty visible at the museums. I don’t believe I will ever forget some of the instruments and methods I saw and learned about there. Despite the hardness of all I saw and learned, I am glad I learned it and hope to stay mindful of it throughout my future.