Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee... Dachau and Scheißheim Art Museum
After today, there are two books I want to re-read. All Quiet on the Western Front and For Whom the Bell Tolls. Both speak about the human condition we call life.
- No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine ownewere; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee. ~John Donne
"Works gives you Freedom" Nazi Propaganda Never Again
- Dachau: What can one say about the magnitude of a place like this? It's not joyous, it's not a holiday, it's not a vacation. It is an example of very real, basic human barbarism. Xenophobia at its worst.
- I stand inside a gravelled courtyard, listening to a recording of an old man, broken English, tell of how he was hung by his arms, behind his back, weighted towards the earth and his deepest meditation was "don't move, it hurts worse if you move." I also read about this form of punishment having been used at the torture museum in Rothenburg. In two hundred years had we not progressed? It appears not. And what about today?
- The reason we choose this year to spend 6 weeks in Europe was because the kids have 4 months off for summer due to school reconstruction. Neither my husband nor I felt the kids should just plug-in all summer without something more: learning, experiencing, engaging in life.
- What do you say to your German relatives, when they accompany you to War Memorials. A confident nod of the head with a yep, we kicked your ass attitude? No. You explain to your children that 25% of the men pre-WWII-Germany were unemployed and women basically did not have any employment aside from home-making, which translates to 50%
- + of the people having little to no income, they were starving and they were desperate. You explain to them that once the monster was kicked, whether you agreed or not, to protest meant torture and death. And you must explain that despite the xenophobia that is reported in today's news, the western world hopefully can find another way. Never Again. (Words inscribed on the memorial wall in the Roll Call yard.)
- I finish listening to this man's story, I'm hot and seek shade by the poplar trees. These men of past had not that choice.
- Schleißheim: After our visit to the concentration camp, we still had 3 hours before our baggage drop, so between Dachau and the Munich airport we visited a provincial castle, or at least it was of the country at the time. Obviously, this is a locals art museum, as it's the first time I had to dig a little deeper into my German. The kids were free and I was €4 and there was little English guidance. I am really not sure of the history, but the entire grounds had 4 or 5 genesi of buildings and head's-of-state. This is not a castle museum, but instead holds many works of art collected by the previous aristocracy. We see paintings, marble inlay, tapestry and frescoes. Simply preparing my children for the big stuff coming up in Paris and Italy!
- One a personal note, I am ready to move away from the land of bread and pretzels and so does my waistline. The kids want cold, still water and it has been hard to manage my food sensitivities. It's not that my relatives wouldn't have tried to accommodate me, I just didn't want to burden them. After a day of head-cold symptoms, I did have to make it cear that I couldn't have mustard (in lots of food here). Our flight was to leave at 9:50pm but it was delayed due to the French Labour Dispute. We did not arrive to our destination until 2 hours later (1:30am). New apprehension arises for me with our trip plans. John is trying to see if he can come over sooner. I think we'd all feel better. Additionally, with all the sitting in airplanes, trains and rental cars, picking up and moving luggage, my back has gone out. Keep Calm and off to the land of Carry On.
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