Sunday, July 4, 2010

Dechau & Buchenwald Concentration Camps...

Visiting concentration camps was a very emotional experience. We only got a glimpse of what the Holocaust victims had to endure and I have a special place in my heart for them indeed. Dechau is just a day trip outside of Munich. I think it was one of the oldest standing camps that was the first to be built and last until the end of the war. Buchenwald is a more labor intensive camp with an inhumane to the max reputation. We stayed in Weisner that is located right below where this camp stood. It was a good 4 hours from Munich I'm guess located in Eastern Germany. Passing through what was once the Iron Curtain was a neat interesting experience too. Eastern Germany was under Communism until 20 years ago. There are stark differences between Eastern and Western Germany no doubt. Where there used to be barbed wires and land mine separating the two (Iron Curtain), you can still see the watch towers that still stand. I was fascinated with Eastern Germany. Full of history and a people grateful to be free.

We took a walking tour around Weisner where the lady remembers the WWII bombing and having to go to air raid shelters every night. Although Buchenwald could be seen from the town below, the people had no idea what was really going on there until after the war. I still have a hard time believing that. About the time our guide went to college the Berlin Wall was built and it didn't fall until she retired. If enduring the war and the dark shadow of the camp isn't enough, they then lived under the Soviet's rule in communism for 40 years.

I have more defining pics from the camp but I'm not sure how appropriate that would be to slap up here. Made I shouldn't even of taken some of the pics I did. I've mixed a few from the different camps.

Pics of some of victims.

There was much more to see at Buchenwald but farther out to get too. You could easily spend a day here reading about particular victims and seeing some remains of the camp.

This is a crematory in Dechau. Some extermination camps ovens were overworked so they would send train loads of bodies to be disposed of.

This means 'shower' in German so victims thought they were really going in to a shower room but of course we know it was a gas chamber.

Buchenwald had 22 watch towers I think. They would snip any who tried to break free. Some would just run to the fence to just end their own life. Buch. was a much more spread out camp where people worked the queries to built the 'blood road' they call it. So it was more wide open to run away. But no one did because then they would go after your friends.

This is the front gate that prisoners went through. This gate means "Work will set you free" which is obviously so deceiving to those entering. Because their work did the exact opposite.


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